T. Cook's Olive Oil Cake

T. Cook’s Summer Menu

Though T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa has long been a Phoenix favorite for special occasion dining (for more than two decades, in fact), don’t wait for an anniversary or graduation to sample the restaurant’s brand-new spring/summer menu. Toast to today alongside Chef Lee Hillson’s glorious mussels and lamb chops as those alone are worth celebrating.

If it’s been a minute since you’ve ventured to T. Cook’s, let us remind you: the elegant restaurant, helmed by the beloved Chef Hillson, is known as much for its beauty as it is its delicious Mediterranean-inspired menu. While earth tones and plush textures fill the interior, the patios (there are open-air dining spaces near the front and rear of the restaurant) are our favorite places to savor and sip, with water and fire features filling the atmosphere.

And being that the new menu celebrates the flavors of the season, the crisp strawberry kale salad, with crunchy Marcona almonds and tangy goat cheese, seemed like the perfect place to begin. Getting a little heartier, the Salt Springs mussels deliver a wave of bold textures, with spicy sausage, perfect little baby heirloom tomatoes, spinach and Pernod, all bathing in parmesan cream. On top, two perfectly toasted slices Noble Bread to soak it all in.

Showcasing that even pasta can be a wow-worthy moment on a menu, the Bolognaise bucatini is as comforting as it gets. The best part? The beautiful pillows of herbed ricotta that dot the plate.

One of the prettiest presentations, the garlic and rosemary lamb chops is the embodiment of spring, bursting with greens and pinks in the form of snap peas, mint pesto, pea greens and pomegranate seeds. Roasted spring potatoes round out the plate, making the perfect partner for the melt-in-your-mouth lamb. If you’re game for a little extra spud, the truffle mash is a delightful, buttery companion to the dish, as well.

A fitting way to close a meal at T. Cook’s is with the Citrus Olive Oil Cake (the resort has an on-site citrus grove, after all). The tender cake is like a slice of sunshine–all summery and vibrant. The cake is paired with orange marmalade, super seeded crumble, salted caramel and clouds of whipped mascarpone cream.

To make a reservation at T. Cook’s to try the spring/summer menu, visit www.royalpalmshotel.com/tcooks.

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