Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cervantes Bistro At The Royal Palms Hotel...A Review

Living in Phoenix we are fortunate to have so many wonderful resorts with fine dining options at our finger tips; but honestly how often do we take advantage of them? Most people, myself included, have never gone to many of these places...and that is sad.  Take for example T Cooks at the Royal Palms Hotel; I've heard so many good things about the place but have never been there.

Royal Palms Hotel

I recently had an opportunity to dine at the Royal Palms Hotel and was excited to finally be going to T Cooks. Unfortunately, the restaurant is currently under revitalization.  In its place, operating as a sort of pop up restaurant in the heart of the resort's art gallery, is Cervantes Bistro. Honestly, don't let the thought of "make-shift" location deter you from an evening at Cervantes Bistro...one would never know unless told that the rooms are not normally a restaurant. And the art throughout is absolutely amazing.

Royal Palms Hotel

Chef Paul McCabe, most recently from La Valencia, in La Jolla has joined the Royal Palms team as executive chef and is offering a limited menu at Cervantes Bistro until September when plans to reintroduce the new T. Cooks and it's Mediterranean inspired fare are set to take place. And you can be certain I will be making reservations.

House made Pesto

In anticipation of  T. Cooks reopening; McCabe will be hosting a sort of Test Kitchen every Wednesday through the summer.  Guests will have a chance to sample items that may end up on the fall menu.  The one I'm looking forward to trying and hope makes the final menu is the grilled corn agnolotti.  As of now McCabe sees this dish including chanterelles and Maine Lobster served in a brown butter sauce.

Simple, innovative and fresh best describes Chef McCabe's cuisine. Take for example the Farm House Salad which incorporated local greens, edible flowers, fava beans, corn and peas atop a tomato coulis. All of which is adorned with dehydrated kalamata olives, black garlic paste, and a pistou gelee. Incredible is how I describe it.

Farm House Salad

How about the Berkshire Pork Duo: a nice sized portion of  crispy seared pork belly accompanied by the most tender pork shot ribs that were cooked sous vide (a method of cooking food sealed in a plastic bag in boiling water for long periods of time).  Add to that some swiss chard and fresh made spaetzle and you've got an interesting dish for sure.

Pork Duo
 Another favorite of mine are the Day Boat Scallops which are served with asparagus and artichokes. What really makes this dish pop though is the peach puree. I never would've thought the combination of fish and peach went so well.


You really couldn't go wrong at Cervantes Bistro; even the roasted potatoes with garlic and herbs were top notch.

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Everything right down to the chocolate covered chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo crust and dollops of cherry puree was just bursting with flavor.

Chocolate Covered Chocolate Cheesecake

I'm not sure how I've missed going to T. Cooks all these years; but I'm glad I had the opportunity to try Cervantes Bistro.  Chef McCabe is working hard to create an uncomplicated menu with the freshest ingredients for the re-opening of T. Cooks in the fall and I plan to be the first in line to give it a try.

Cervantes Bistro @ Royal Palms Resort
5200 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Article can also be viewed at Arizona Weddings Blog  


  1. Oh my goodness. I kept saying, "oh that's my favorite" "no wait, that's my favorite" and then there was the dessert! I give up - all look amazing!

  2. A wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing this amazing experience, like you I like it very much.

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    Matt Levine

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