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Here's What to Expect from the New T. Cook's & Mix Up Bar at Phoenix's Royal Palms Resort

After a summer-long renovation, a new chef, and a menu re-vamp, the transformation of T. Cook's, the longstanding restaurant inside the Royal Palms Resort, is complete.

And (bonus) there's a new bar concept, too.

Officially unveiled last Monday, T. Cook's newly remodeled interior emphasizes a more vibrant color scheme as well as adding features such as an interactive kitchen, a glass-enclosed wine and tequila tasting room, and a new private al fresco dining experience within the property's historic Orange Grove.

As for the restaurant's updated menu of New American cooking, executive chef and Sedona native Paul McCabe (La Valencia in the La Jolla Hotel, L'Auberge Del Mar) had this to say:

See also: The Five Best New Phoenix Restaurants of 2013 (So Far)

"The menu is designed to be more social and approachable, while incorporating cooking techniques that reflect the evolving culinary scene in Phoenix and beyond," says McCabe. "Our dishes are inspired by seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, with some of the freshest growing right in our backyard. We'll be handpicking everything from vegetables and citrus, to herbs and select seasonings."

For dinner, that means polished starters like venison tartare ($14), stone seared foie gras ($25), and Spanish octopus ($16). Entrees include a sweet corn agnolotti with Maine lobster ($18), Colorado lamb ($36), rouget, (red mullet) with rabbit bolognese ($32), and even braised and seared antelope ($38). For dessert, think a dark chocolate pate ($12), organic peach frittelle ($11), or perhaps something sweet from the bar.

And speaking of "the bar," The Mix Up Bar, the Royal Palms' contemporary new cocktail concept and re-invention of the original T. Cook's Lounge, is open as well.

Headed up by Kim Haasarud, a James Beard-honored mixologist and founder of the beverage consulting company Liquid Architecture, The Mix Up offers "garden-to-glass" cocktails as well as wines-by-the-glass, beers on tap, and signature offerings like "Grape and Grain" cocktails (showcasing drinks crafted with beer or wine), artisan tequilas, and a selection of alchol-free "mocktails."

"I like to source as local as possible," says Haasarud. "The cocktails are created with products from the surrounding areas, including AZ Bitters Lab's flavored bitters, La Bella Terre's botanical sprays, and vinegars from Outrageous Olive Oil & Vinegars, to name a few."

Along with the libations, The Mix Up Bar's small plate menu -- created by T. Cook's McCabe -- offers guests sophisticated snacks like lobster corn dogs, oysters, salmon tartare, herbed house flatbreads with seasonal toppings, or a charcuterie board that might include duck pastrami and Manchego.

T. Cook's is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations and more information, call 866-579-3636 or visit the restaurant's website.

The Mix Up Bar is open daily at 11 a.m. and closes at midnight. For reservations and more information, call 602-977-6458 or visit the bar's website.

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld