The House at Secret Garden is one of those places that you arrive at and ask yourself “Has this place always been here?” Well it had to be, because the main home on the property was built in 1929. At one point in time it was even a hippie commune.  Today, The House at Secret Garden has been transformed into a quaint, and surprisingly affordable, restaurant with outstanding food and service.  Offering fresh farm-to-table seasonal cuisine, this restaurant received the award for Best Authentic Arizona Restaurant of 2012 by Phoenix New Times.

There’s a certain air of mystique about the candle lit hacienda that you will sense immediately.  Your curiosity will be sparked when you step through the old wooden doors and see the beautiful stair case adorned with Mexican tiles and iron railings.  You won’t be able to resist exploring all the areas of this ever so interesting property.  The question begs, what’s at the top of those beautiful stairs?  Well, I couldn’t resist asking and was informed the restaurant uses it for office space and it’s not open to guests.  The House has a patio with outdoor dining that is set far back from the street and is a quiet, tranquil area.  The patio is surrounded by flowering trees, a brook, and during the cooler months it’s warmed by an outdoor fireplace and heaters.

The House at Secret GardenThe dining room is positively charming and intimate.  It’s cozy with soft lighting, rich colored woods and glazed walls.  Their creaky wood floors add to the charm.  Upon sitting down, you will find yourself eager to discover the menu.  The cocktail menu has creative and refreshing features all made with freshly squeezed juices.  The wine list is exceptionally thoughtful. The House offers a range of respectable low, mid and high priced bottles and wines by the glass.  A detail that speaks a thousand words on the wine list is a Paul Hobbs chardonnay and a Hobbs malbec from Argentina.  When you are dealing with smaller wine lists, as opposed to the wine novels offered in some restaurants, and there’s a bottle or two of Paul Hobbs tucked in, no doubt the person who pulled the list together has fine taste in wines.

Salads and starters were beautifully presented.  On the menu, is a cheese platter that you can customize by mixing and matching a variety of different cheeses. The platter is accompanied by grilled bread, figs drizzled with balsamic, nuts, olives and golden raisins.

Other starters included seasonal soups, a grilled romaine salad and sweet potato planks served with crème fraiche and pancetta.  The happy hour runs daily from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and there are additional appetizers to choose from on that menu.  Happy hour on their serene patio with the outdoor fireplace is sure to be a relaxing end to a busy day.  The owner, Pat Christofolo, highly recommends the shrimp and grits, pork belly, polenta fries and pappardelle.  Pat shared these are some of the customer favorites.  Pat’s son, Dustin, is the chef and co-owner and he is the former chef at The Farm Kitchen at South Mountain. Pat says the restaurant is chef driven and will maintain their focus on seasonal local cuisine.

The House at Secret Garden

Main courses are affordable and delivered timely to the table by friendly and polished servers.  Portions are just right so you won’t gorge yourself and the flavors of the fresh herbs, cheeses, and vegetables can be distinguished in the dishes.  It’s apparent by the overall presentation that the food is prepared with admiration for the customers. For dessert, try the Dried Berry Bread Pudding with cranberries, raisins, almonds tart cherries and bananas. Served with pecan gelato and bourbon maple anglaise, this dessert is divine.

The House at Secret Garden is truly a delight from the charm of the old home to the service, food and affordability.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to stop in, definitely do so and make your reservation quickly and easy by going to  You can expect a delightful evening at The House in a relaxed setting and likely find yourself eager to return.


The House at Secret Garden

2501 E. Baseline Rd.

Phoenix, AZ85042