Hidden in a suburb of Chicago is a little slice of Napa Valley. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Naperville is just that – a private winery joined by an upscale restaurant. Opened in 2005, Cooper’s offers an extensive menu of red and white wines in addition to classic dishes with a seasonal twist.
“Blending grapes from the best vineyards in California, Oregon and Washington, and fruits from Michigan, we produce an extensive selection of red, white, sparkling, dessert and fruit wines crafted by our expert winemaker, Rob Warren,” says operations officer Mike Moore. “Rob Warren prides himself on balancing both the science and art of winemaking and loves working with the huge variety of grapes at Cooper’s Hawk.”
Each year, Cooper’s Hawk Winery produces roughly 600,000 gallons of wine. The menu includes sparkling wine, white wine, blush wine, red wine, sweet red wine, sangria, fruit wine, dessert wine and mulled wine. Prices per bottle stay mostly under the $30 mark. Since 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has received more than 300 awards for their wine in competitions that are local, national, and international.
“Cooper’s Hawk provides a full-service bar, a private barrel-aging room, and a Napa-style wine tasting room,” Moore says.
Additionally, Cooper’s Hawk features a wine club, with an opportunity for members to taste the newest wine at the restaurant each month. “The wine club makes customers feel connected to Cooper’s Hawk and keeps customers engaged for the constantly evolving concept,” Moore says.
When it comes to the food, Warren is responsible for pairing the right wine with the right menu item. Dishes are considered “classic,” but seasonally inspired. Moore says favorites include Pistachio Crusted Grouper, cooked with a mustard sauce, potatoes and asparagus; Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with the same mustard sauce, potatoes, roasted vegetables and crispy onion strings; and Gnocchi Carbonara with pancetta, chicken, sage, peas, and cooked in a parmesan garlic cream sauce. For dessert, the most popular menu item is the Chocolate Pretzel Bread Pudding, topped with whipped cream, toasted white chocolate, caramel, and vanilla sauces.
“Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant’s culinary team created a seasonally-inspired menu with unique takes on classic dishes, incorporating peak-of-season ingredients and innovative preparations,” Moore says. “Each dish is prepared in a scratch-kitchen and is expertly paired with one of our award-winning wines.”
While the food screams upscale, Moore insists Cooper’s Hawk is a casual environment with a “relaxed atmosphere.” They aim to provide great wine, good service and a sophisticated menu that leaves everyone satisfied.