12 Favorite Places to Eat Outdoors in Greater Phoenix

Categories: Buchanan, News

The House at SC 3.jpg
Joseph Maddon
The House at Secret Garden
The House at Secret Garden

Housed in a lovely Spanish Colonial mansion built in 1929, The House at Secret Garden, which sits right on bustling Baseline Road, is everything its name suggests -- a glittering gem hidden in plain view. Owner Pat Christofolo and her chef-son Dustin have created a peaceful, gracious retreat indoors and out, but unless your heart's set on happy hour (offered indoors only) you'll want to head straight for the cozy, flower-filled patio, finished in flagstone and bordered by orchid trees. Once you've taken in its other charms -- a small fish pond and stone fireplace -- you'll be ready to concentrate on Dustin's Italian-inflected, Modern American menu, which runs to lemon chicken with smashed potatoes and rosemary, hand-made pappardalle with wild boar sausage and shrimp and grits.

The House

It's just a cozy little 20's era house, nothing fancy, really, fixed up like a 19th Century French bordello. Although the interior, with its flocked wallpaper, eye-popping, mirrored backbar and crystal chandeliers is a lot of fun, it's impossible to resist the charming bricked patio, edged by curling cat's claw and a row of shade trees (including one great big shady monster at the patio's far end). An imposing brick fireplace promises to be fun when winter arrives. Meanwhile Matt Carter's outstanding European-influenced modern American food, which includes wood-grilled crab leg with aji amarillo-lime butter, steak tartare and duck confit meat balls with foie gras is good enough to put time and place right out of your head.

Location Info

The Farm at South Mountain

6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Joe's Farm Grill

3000 E. Ray Road, Gilbert, AZ

Category: Restaurant

El Zocalo Mexican Grille

28 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Del Frisco's Grille

2425 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The House at Secret Garden - CLOSED

2501 E. Baseline Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

House of Tricks

114 E. 7th St., Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Lon's at the Hermosa

5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

T. Cook's

5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
Dwayne like.author.displayName 1 Like

What about Four Peaks?

druuh like.author.displayName 1 Like

how in the hell could you leave out Hula's on this list??


 @druuh I dunno. Sorry! Hard to hit them all. I've already thought of about 5 others that should've also been included.

wherewasi topcommenter

You're spot on with T. Cook's and Lon's.  I haven't been to most of the others you highlight, though the pictures look nice.  Del Frisco, while it does have a great patio, I find, quite frankly, the food just isn't that good and it's pricey.  We'll see what happy hour offers.  We went there several times when they first opened, but always left not-quite-happy.


I used to love the Cork and Cleaver's patio.  I am losing hope that they will re-open.  It's been 2 years now.


 @wherewasi Know what you mean about Del Frisco's. I've only eaten there once but was completely unimpressed. Great service though, and I do love that second-floor view!

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