Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:25 pm, Thu Apr 30, 2015.
By Sidney Lewis
Cooper’s Hawk began in a suburb of Chicago and now has locations across the country. The company sources West Coast grapes that are then delivered to the winery facility in Chicago for production, then sent out to its various outposts. While each restaurant is set up with similar dining rooms, bar, wine-tasting area and a retail store, each strives to achieve its own particular ambience. The Town & Country location goes for a combination of sleekly modern with some natural elements like rough stone for contrast, and plenty of glass for a wide-open feel.
Since wine is one of the main draws at Coopers Hawk, we had to imbibe, and opted for the Create Your Own wine flight ($16), which featured a blanc de blanc, unoaked chardonnay, barbera and a Bourdeax reserve. Sparkling, White, Red and Lux flight options also are available. The barbera was the standout here, dry with mild tannins, and the right balance of minerality and fruit.
Our exploration of the food menu began with the Thai Lettuce Wraps ($12). Chunks of chili-glazed chicken, crunchy veggies, crisp strips of wonton with lettuce leaves for wrapping and a trio of sauces: peanut, cashew and soy caramel. Simple and solid, this app is a good segue to all manner of main events.
Be advised, the Cooper’s Hawk menu is expansive—enormous, really, and chock-full of choices from flatbread to burgers to salads to larger entree-sized dishes. It takes a while to read through everything, but there’s literally something for every taste, so take your time and peruse. There’s even a Life Balance list which highlights dishes with less than 600 calories.
First up for us was one of the designated signature dishes, the Cooper’s Hawk Chicken Giardiniera ($17). Picture two large pieces of breaded chicken, topped with shaved Parmesan, kind of a stripped-down version of chicken parm sans red sauce and pasta. Alongside, Mary’s Potatoes, creamy and whipped up with plenty of butter and cream—another simple dish that adds up to much more than the sum of its parts.
In addition to dreaming up their own wine flights, Cooper’s Hawk allows guests to come up with custom culinary match-ups, as well, like the Choose Your Own Surf & Turf option. Our choices were the soy ginger salmon and two Parmesan-crusted filet medallions ($29). This selection came with some roasted veggies and a serving of the aforementioned Mary’s Potatoes. The sweet glaze on the salmon contrasted quite nicely with the savory filets.
In an attempt to keep things (relatively) light, we finished up with a trio of chocolates and truffles ($7; also available paired with wine for $13).
Cooper’s Hawk also offers a wine club, hosts private events, and has a happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Looking for a wide variety of vino and plenty of culinary choices? Cooper’s Hawk should be on your list.
– 1146 Town & Country Crossing Drive, 636-489-0059, chwinery.com