It's been about two years since T. Cook's, the iconic Valley restaurant located at the Royal Palms resort, debuted a new look and a new menu — one that veered away from the restaurant's usual Mediterranean cuisine by introducing a more relaxed New American bill of fare. The changes, to both the restaurant's decor and menu, faced skepticism from diners who had come to love the restaurant's Mediterranean food and feel.
Well, now T. Cook's executive chef Todd Allison has switched up things again. Last week, Allison debuted new lunch and dinner menus that return to the Mediterranean-style cuisine for which T. Cook's had long been known.
The change will realign the restaurant with "the feel of the resort itself," Allison says.
Aiming to offer diners "more recognizable" but still "elegant' fare, Allison says the menus will feature Mediterranean influences while still being seasonal and in-tune with current trends. He hopes to use more locally grown ingredients, as well as some imported from the Mediterranean. Allison also has expanded the resort's garden and will use more herbs and vegetables grown on site.
Look for dishes such as whole roasted sea bream ($35) with mustard greens, shaved fennel, radish salad, Kalamata olive, and pickled garlic; grilled New York strip ($44) with blistered shishito, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, olive demi, and chimichurri; and Durham Ranch wild boar chop and braised pork cheek ($37) with housemade sauerkraut, pearl onion, mustard, savory granola and caramelized apple glaze.
The restaurant will also debut a new brunch menu this Sunday.
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Other changes Allison has planned for the restaurant include making better use of the fireplace located in the restaurant's dining room. He hopes to bring in seating and create a sort of chef's counter where diners can watch Allison and his crew in action.
"My plan is, obviously, to use [the space] to its full potential," he says.
Allison joined the Royal Palms as executive chef in May 2015, replacing former executive chef Paul McCabe. McCabe oversaw the restaurant's renovation and re-launch as a New American restaurant back in 2013.
For more information about T. Cook's visit the T. Cook's restaurant website.