12 Favorite Places to Eat Outdoors in Greater Phoenix
|T. Cook's at the Royal Palms|
For some crazy reason, T. Cook's never gets much play for outdoor dining, but it absolutely should. Backed up against Camelback Mountain, surrounded by lush lawns, flowers and a small, on-property grove of citrus trees, every inch of this gracious restaurant and the ultra-private resort around it is drop-dead gorgeous. New York financier Delos Cooke built himself a Spanish Colonial mansion here in the late 20's, and this local Grand Dame still has the whiff of old money and Old World charm. There are two fireplace-furnished patios and a charming courtyard for soaking up sunshine and balmy breezes, but the courtyard is strictly first-come, first-served, so plan accordingly.
Windsor bills itself as a neighborhood bar and restaurant, and it is exactly that, a comfy urban hangout that caters to its well-heeled neighbors, many of them arriving on foot or by bicycle. Although the covered patio (more of a breezeway, really) doesn't offer knock-out views, everyone loves it just the same -- probably because it feels a bit like the way-cool patio at a hipster friend's home, you know, decorated by Crate & Barrel and featured in Sunset Magazine. The Modern American menu follows suit, featuring charcuterie, deviled egg dip and chips, a kale Caesar salad, and, of course, a Backyard Burger.