T Cook’s Restaurant at The Palms Resort – Phoenix, AZ:T Cook’s is a classy Mediterranean fine dining venue with an attractive colonial Spanish feel in the midst of the Royal Palms Resort and Spa.
The décor subtlety grabs attention with a pleasant, relaxed and elegant vibe. The interiors comprise of lovely high-vaulted ceilings, attractive drapes and aesthetic flower arrangements along with a brilliant play of lighting to keep the atmosphere discreet yet vivacious. A striking lounge appeal is further accentuated by lively music playing in the background and colorful cocktails darting back and forth. There’s a nice softly lit bar region that plays along well with the sophisticated yet laid-back atmosphere sported by T Cook’s.
The menu ranges from wild Burgundy escargot and lobster and fennel bisque, to classic tomato soup, and pear and organic mixed green salad for appetizers (with prices ranging from $11-$ 18). There are a couple of chef’s special antipastos as well, which are quite popular.
Main dishes vary from seared curry dusted Georges Bank scallops, butter poached Maine lobster, grilled beef tenderloin, pan seared monkfish resting on a Moroccan style shrimp stew, slow roasted lamb and pan roasted skate wing stuffed with a shrimp mousse.
Their classics main courses included Chef Lee’s carbonara with garlic cream, prosciutto, house cured pancetta and egg yolk, and butter poached Maine lobster with sour cream raviolis, asparagus and champagne chive butter sauce. Ranging from $25-$42, there was easily something for everyone here.
The wine list is extensive, with heavy emphasize on the Californian varieties.
We were here with friends and took the opportunity to try a variety of dishes. We started with the crab cake with basil butter sauce topped with a petite herb salad, absolutely amazing. The pear and organic mixed green salad with spiced pecans and Maytag blue cheese was simple, yet delicious.
For our main courses we tried the slow roasted lamb stuffed with rosemary mousse on a bed of roasted vegetables, and honey-parsnip purée, and finally, all natural grilled beef tenderloin with a Fontina cheese and truffle potato gratin, creamed spinach and roasted Roma tomatoes. It was cooked to perfection; melt in your mouth, medium rare.
For a side dish we ordered asparagus and baby carrots sautéed and tossed with T Cook’s orange marmalade butter, once again T Cook’s surpassed our taste buds’ expectations!
Our meal was fittingly topped with a bottle of 2005 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, ah, what a delight!
We ended our tryst of fine Mediterranean cuisine with a caramel cheesecake and vanilla crème brûleé served with fresh berries and guava sauce. From appetizer to dessert, every bite was bombastic!
Every aspect of our dining experience was great, except that the restaurant had only one waiter working on the outdoor patio area and there were just too many tables for him to handle effectively. He did an excellent job, but it would have been better if he had the support of a second server. None the less, the food was superb; the drinks were nothing short of divine and the setting excellent. In short, we enjoyed a perfect evening. T. Cook’s gets our rating of Bombastic!
What I liked: The scrumptious food, the drinks and the elegant setting.
What I didn’t like: The fact that a single server was tending to too many tables.