Royal Palms Resort and Spa has long been one of the Valley’s most romantic retreats, hosting intimate rooms, a lovely spa and delectable dining options. While the resort remains a top spot for checking in, its on-site restaurant and bar have recently undergone quite the makeover. T. Cook’s is now headed up by a new executive chef, Paul McCabe. McCabe seeks to provide guests with creative interpretation of New American cooking, spotlighting the goods of local purveyors, farmers and artisans, including McClendon’s Select, Singh Farms, Noble Bread and Hayden Flour Mills. The new-and-improved T. Cook’s, under the direction of McCabe, features the likes of Spanish octopus with almond gazpacho, cucumber, black olive and aged grapes and Colorado lamb rounded out with caraway gnocchi, green harissa and daube jus on the dinner menu; for lunch, diners can indulge in squid ink cavatelli with mussels, cuttlefish, rock shrimp, sea beans, aged tomatoes and bronze fennel; and, for breakfast, healthy house-pressed juices and lemon ricotta flapjacks are sure favorites.
The menu isn’t the only change the resort restaurant has seen. The design now boasts a bolder color scheme, an interactive kitchen, the remodeled private dining room and a glass-enclosed wine and tequila tasting room. Alfresco dining is also at its best at T. Cook’s—be sure to check out the new private dining element found within the property’s historic Orange Grove. Royal Palms is now also home to the super-cool new Mix Up Bar. The new drinking destination—which will host small plates, live music and a garden-to-glass drink menu—is guided by Kim Haasarud, founder of beverage consulting company Liquid Architecture, a veritable cocktail celebrity.
In addition to an expanded wines-by-the-glass menu and beers on tap, The Mix Up Bar hosts classic cocktails and new signature sips, including “Grape and Grain” cocktails (drinks crafted with beer or wine); and “Below the Border” menu items (highlighting T. Cook’s newly expanded catalog of artisan tequilas). Plus, there is a selection of “Zero Proof” delicious mocktails (try the ginger beer) so non-drinkers are able to imbibe alongside their buds. www.themixupbar.com; www.royalpalmshotel.com.