Flavorful Feedback

Original article: https://www.fsrmagazine.com/chain-restaurants/flavorful-feedback

Flavorful Feedback

Cooper’s Hawk CEO Tim McEnery enjoys a meal with his father, a self-described burger connoisseur. The restaurant group draws menu inspiration from a multitude of places, in this case, naming a recent addition—The Leonard Burger—for McEnery’s father.<br /><br />

Cooper’s Hawk CEO Tim McEnery enjoys a meal with his father, a self-described burger connoisseur. The restaurant group draws menu inspiration from a multitude of places, in this case, naming a recent addition—The Leonard Burger—for McEnery’s father. COOPER’S HAWK WINERY & RESTAURANTS

It didn’t take long for Matt McMillin to understand what he was getting himself into. “The first time I walked onto a bus, one of the wine club members said, ‘Hey, it’s great to meet you. When are you bringing the Thai Flatbread back,” McMillin recalls, laughing. “So everybody always has their favorites, you know?”

The executive chef and vice president of beverage and culinary innovation at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has a few more opinions to sift through than most. The 160,000-plus members of the 22-unit restaurant group’s celebrated wine club are given a chance to directly affect the brand’s culture. Perhaps most notably, feedback is pointed right in the place where guests praise and complain quite often: the food.

In March, Cooper’s Hawk unveiled its spring menu. The brand, which began in Orland Park, Illinois, in 2005, and has since spread to locations in Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin, typically executes one major menu overhaul a year. This one was built from the outside in. After addressing the initial questions—what’s selling, trending, and being ignored—McMillin says the company started listening to crowd noise. For research, there’s one big wine club event each month, as well as destination trips that blend Cooper’s Hawk brass into the mix.

“I was in Portugal last May with a group of 20, and they’re real vocal,” McMillin explains. “So not only are we dining together, having a great experience together, but it’s an opportunity for me as a chef to hang out with the heavy users of our brand who give us a tremendous amount of feedback.”

A trip this past year to New England let club members sample cuisine from Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard. The experience, dotted with servings of lobster rolls and shrimp boils, prompted a wine clubber to suggest a themed dinner to punctuate the experience. Hence, a base for the Toast to the Coast dinner in March was formed. “We did different courses from all of the different areas that we visited and it was crazy popular,” McMillin says.

Don’t be surprised if something similar follows McMillin’s spring trip to the Southern Coast of Italy, which he took with 35 members. “I’m going to be sending pictures and ideas back to my research team and we’re going to craft a menu from all the places we went to,” he notes. Similarly, CEO and founder Tim McEnery is also traveling to Canada with a group.

McMillin says Cooper’s Hawk also takes into account user reviews, such as comments left on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, but that nothing quite beats face-to-face feedback. “It inspires this idea of making [the brand] their own and making it something special where the guest feels their voice is heard. What restaurant can guests go to and feel heard, where they can make an impact on some decisions that are going on with the company?” McMillin says. “That’s the beauty of the wine club. It’s the lifeblood of what we do.”

Cooper’s Hawk pairs wine with contemporary American food

Aurora Beacon-News

Those looking for upscale dining and a Napa-style tasting room will find that and more at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant located in north Naperville in the Freedom Commons plaza.

“We create community, and we do that through taking care of people,” said Kat Szeszak, general manager of Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Naperville. “Whether it’s taking care of our team members who then take care of our guests, creating community is our mission.”

Since 2011, Cooper’s Hawk in Naperville has been serving fresh contemporary American fare infused with flavors from around the world along with award-winning wines. In addition, the company’s wine club — where members receive the winemaker’s newly released wine each month, among other perks — keeps growing in popularity.

The company’s winery is located in Countryside, Illinois, where they craft nearly 50 varietals of artisanal wines that are served at its restaurants and distributed to its wine club members.

Here’s the dish on this local treasure.

What’s on the menu? Whether you’re hankering for an appetizer, salad, entree or dessert, the restaurant’s vast menu offers something for everyone. Each dish is made fresh and from scratch, “incorporating peak-of-season ingredients,” and is listed with a bin number to guide you to the perfect wine match. From a classic cheeseburger to a trio of medallions — and everything in between — Cooper’s Hawk delivers. In addition to a gluten-free menu, there is a Life Balance menu — where each dish is under 600 calories. But don’t forget the sweets, because along with house-made desserts, they offer confections including chocolate-covered strawberries, truffles and cheesecake lollipops.

About the owner: Tim McEnery is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants. An industry veteran who started as a dishwasher at the age of 11, McEnery held positions at Aramark and the Lynfred Winery before launching Cooper’s Hawk in 2005 at the age of 29. He currently resides in Roselle with his wife Dana and their two children.

A mission statement or philosophy? Led by McEnery’s passion for food, wine hospitality and people, Cooper’s Hawk is all about a “culture of community,” as evidenced by its wine club members, guests and employees. The first Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant opened in 2005 in Orland Park, and there are now 23 locations around the U.S., including eight in Illinois.

What’s the decor like? Cooper’s Hawk has neutral tones and high-end finishes that provide a hip atmosphere. With sleek exposed brick and stone, sleek black tables, comfortable upholstered booths and an impressive bar, it’s upscale yet comfortable.

Food specialties: Whether their popular Asian pork belly tostadas appetizer to Dana’s (named for Tim’s wife) Parmesan-crusted chicken entree, each dish is designed to pair perfectly with one of Cooper’s Hawk’s hand-crafted wines. Another favorite is the shrimp campanelle pasta with sausage, caramelized onion and a tomato-Parmesan cream sauce.

We’re different because: The Cooper’s Hawk concept combines four unique components under one roof: an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, and Napa-style tasting room/retail gift store.

Extras: Outdoor seating is available when weather permits. In addition to catering, they can host your private party or event. Their wine club members enjoy exclusive events, rewards, discounts and gifts.

Price range: Appetizers range from around $9 to $13, sandwiches and hearty salads start around $11. Entrees like Dana’s Parmesan-crusted chicken are $17.99 and desserts are around $8.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant is located at 1740 Freedom Dr. in Naperville. The tasting room and restaurant are open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Go to coopershawkwinery.com.

Jane Donahue is a freelance writer.

At Cooper’s Hawk in Annapolis, wine takes center stage but food impresses, too

Full article available here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/bs-lt-coopers-hawk-review-20160714-story.html

Wine lovers, rejoice. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is the place for you.

The two-story space in the Annapolis Towne Centre features a lower-level tasting room, along with a restaurant, bar and outdoor patio on the upper floor.

Cooper’s Hawk pairs varietals with New American cuisine in an inviting, casual setting. It is not your typical mall restaurant, and there’s not a wine snob in sight.

The chain opened its first Maryland location in May, making it the company’s 23rd in the country. It is named for a winery in Illinois that gets its grapes from California, Oregon, Washington and Michigan vineyards.

There’s no doubt about the restaurant’s commitment to wine; each dish on the menu has a bin number next to it as a suggested pairing.

On a recent Tuesday evening, the restaurant was packed. We arrived without reservations and were told we would have to wait a half-hour to be seated.

We headed to the bar, where a jovial crew of bartenders explained the restaurant’s concept and allowed us to try a few wines before we decided on a glass of Cooper’s Hawk Lux Meritage, a red described as “full-bodied and refined.”

Several imbibers around us were enjoying wines decanted in large glass vessels at their tables.

If vino isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options, from specialty cocktails to craft beer and nonalcoholic beverages.

We were seated in the main dining room in a timely manner. It has an understated sophistication with soothing earth shades, wood pillars and beams, romantic lighting and bold paintings of grapes and vineyards.

We didn’t see much of our server that night. He stopped by occasionally, but the rest of the staff filled in when necessary.

A round of bronzed pretzel bread with creamy butter was a good start to the meal.

The Asian pork-belly tostadas appetizer featured five open-faced morsels. Each round was stacked with slices of pork belly adorned with slivers of scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro and radishes tempered with a sweet chili barbecue sauce.

Another dish, the Mexican drunken shrimp wrapped in bacon, capitalized on Tex-Mex flavors with a tequila lime butter sauce and a bed of fresh guacamole supporting the five fat shrimp.

In addition to other appetizers such as Thai lettuce wraps, calamari and crispy crab beignets, the kitchen turns out several kinds of bruschetta and flatbreads to get your meal underway.

Our main meals, with a few exceptions, showed care and thoughtfulness. The soy-ginger salmon was a finely seasoned specimen. Wasabi-buttered potatoes with a touch of zing and a crunchy Asian slaw were great complements to the fish.

We added a side of steamed asparagus. It was cooked to a nice crisp-tender stage, but the presentation was disappointing. The stalks were thrown willy-nilly on a plate like a pile of discarded lumber.

We can’t think of enough positive adjectives to describe the short-rib risotto. The carnaroli rice was like a multitude of juicy pearls laced with shreds of tender beef, mushrooms, onions, shaved Parmesan, white wine and a fragrant hint of white truffle oil. We paired it with a generous side dish of tender grilled broccoli.

The house-made desserts were a great exit from savory to sweet.

The ooey-gooey butter cake lived up to its intriguing name. The miniature round of buttery yellow cake sat in a pool of citrus cream surrounded by balsamic-glazed berries. A simple sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar and a strawberry on top completed the splendid dessert.

Even if you are not a fan of bananas, you’ll succumb to this version of an old-fashioned English treat. An individual-size banoffee pie was stellar, with a graham-cracker crust, banana slices, a toffee filling and a thick pillow of fresh whipped cream.

And, yes, the desserts came with wine suggestions.

It might have taken Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant a while to get to Maryland — the first location opened in 2005 — but we’re glad it finally found us.

You don’t want to miss this fun experience, especially if you’re a wine drinker.

New restaurant at Liberty Center hiring nearly 200

Original article: http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/new-restaurant-at-liberty-center-hiring-nearly-200/nrk4H/

New restaurant at Liberty Center hiring nearly 200

 New restaurant at Liberty Center hiring nearly 200 photo

The Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant location in Naples, Fla. Photo from Cooper’s Hawk Facebook page

By Eric Schwartzberg

Staff Writer

Among the Butler County businesses looking for employees this week is Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, which is scheduled to open Aug. 22 at 7490 Bales Street, Liberty Twp. in Liberty Center.

The modern casual restaurant expects to hire nearly 200 new staff members for the new location, its second in the Greater Cincinnati area and the 24th location overall for the expanding restaurant group.

Cooper’s Hawk will include four components under one roof: an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, and Napa-style tasting room and retail gift store. Each Cooper’s Hawk location is distinctive in layout and décor, Liberty Center officials said.

Restaurant officials said their looking to hire “fresh, talented team members with a passion for food, wine, and hospitality.”

Both full-time and part-time positions are available for its kitchen and front-of-house, including line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers, houseworkers (server’s assistant), tasting room attendants, servers, hosts, and bartenders.

In conjunction with the opening, Cooper’s Hawk will host a hiring fair from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Tuesday and Wednesday in a temporary hiring office just outside of the restaurant.

Interested candidates who are unable to attend may also apply online by visiting www.coopershawkwinery.com and click on “careers” in the upper right corner.

Founded in Orland Park, Ill. in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk now has 24 locations throughout Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin, with one additional unit slated for construction through end of 2016.

It has earned ‘Breakout Brand’ and ‘Hot Concept’ accolades by Nation’s Restaurant News.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant bears fruit in Annapolis

Original article and media: http://www.examiner.com/article/cooper-s-hawk-winery-and-restaurant-bear-fruit-annapolis

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant bears fruit in Annapolis

Nation’s Restaurant News in 2014 labeled Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants a ‘Breakout Brand’ and ‘Hot Concept’ – a fast casual concept that is first and foremost a winery then a restaurant and artisanal retail market. The winery is based in Illinois, the grapes from California, Oregon and Washington and the winery/restaurants are in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, home state of Illinois and now the first Maryland location in the Annapolis Towne Centre.
New Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant opens in Annapolis, MD - Short rib risotto
New Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant opens in Annapolis, MD – Short rib risotto
photograph by Dara Bunjon – Dara Does It
Food and wine at Cooper's Hawk Winery &amp; Restaruant
courtes of Cooper’s Hawk

The Annapolis Cooper’s Hawk restaurant is on the second floor with numerous areas to dine al fresco or partake of your food and wine in the climate controlled dining rooms. The Napa-style tasting room and retail market is ground level with sauces, pastas, and freshly made confections: chocolate covered strawberries, truffles, cheesecake pops and other assorted chocolate temptations.

What is different about the menu at a Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant is that the food doesn’t dictate the wine, the wine, The Cooper’s Hawk wines, are at the beginning of the recipe/menu development. You can order by the glass, bottle and the Winemaker’s Barrel Reserve from a decanter and you are encouraged to taste before you order a glass so you aren’t concerned about trying something new. Not sure what wine goes with what dish, there is a suggested wine for each dish.

The warm night we were there most guests were out on the patio drinking, enjoying the breeze and munchables from the menu with offerings in the appetizers, bruschetta and flatbread categories. Don’t get me wrong, there are serious entrees in all the categories: beef, pork, seafood, pasta, chicken, enchiladas, burgers, sandwiches and chopped salads.

We choose to sit in the dining room, a mellower atmosphere with eye appeal. The Mexican Drunken Shrimp were highly touted by the manager and our server and it was paired with their Gewürztraminer. The shrimp came wrapped in bacon and perched upon guacamole with a tequila lime butter sauce and paired perfectly with the Gewürztraminer. House made meatballs rounded out our appetizer portion of our meal. A decadent, rich, short rib risotto perfumed with white truffle oil and finished with shavings of Parmesan cheese was bountiful. The husband’s appetite went to the founder’s wife favorite dish; Dana’s Parmesan crusted chicken with a tomato basil relish, lemon butter.

The key lime upside down dessert was the husband’s choice but I went for the confections, a chocolate covered strawberry and a chocolate truffle – just enough without sending me over the edge.

There is something at Cooper’s Hawk for everyone from the specialty children’s menu, numerous choices for those with dietary restrictions, including their ‘Life Balance” menu offering edibles, each under 600 calories. Also, they are legendary for their wine club – check it out.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant – 1906 Towne Center Blvd Ste 238 – Annapolis, MD 21404 443-837-9989 www.coopershawkwinery.com Facebook Twitter & Instagram @CHWinery

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Now Open in Maryland

Original Article: https://www.fsrmagazine.com/chain-restaurants/coopers-hawk-winery-restaurants-now-open-maryland

Maryland’s first Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants officially opened its doors in the Annapolis Towne Center, bringing a modern, casual dining experience and its own specialty handcrafted wines to Annapolis.

The Cooper’s Hawk culinary team has created a seasonally inspired menu with unique takes on classic dishes, incorporating peak-of-season ingredients and innovative preparations.<br /><br /><br />

The Cooper’s Hawk culinary team has created a seasonally inspired menu with unique takes on classic dishes, incorporating peak-of-season ingredients and innovative preparations.

The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with occupancy for more than 300 guests, as well as a large private dining and event room that can be subdivided. The 9,454-square-foot restaurant and tasting room will open daily at 11 a.m., and will remain open until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and close at 9 p.m. on Sunday. The bar will have extended hours, closing at 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 11 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations and private parties are accepted and encouraged. Contact the restaurant for specific dining questions and reservations.

“After spending the last few months preparing for our grand opening, my staff and I could not be more excited to introduce Maryland to our signature menu, award-winning wines and great guest experiences,” says Scott Anderson, general manager. “We are eager to join Annapolis’ growing culinary community.”

Complementing Cooper’s Hawk’s innovative concept is the restaurant’s unique design. The two-story establishment will feature a lower-level tasting room and gift shop with the restaurant, bar and outdoor dining space located on the second level. Each Cooper’s Hawk location is distinctive in layout and décor, but carries the same warmth and elegance that guests have come to expect.

Menu/Signature Dishes

The Cooper’s Hawk culinary team has created a seasonally inspired menu with unique takes on classic dishes, incorporating peak-of-season ingredients and innovative preparations. Each dish is created in a scratch-kitchen and is expertly paired with one of Cooper’s Hawk’s award-winning handcrafted wines. The menu features unique dishes with bin numbers listed next to each item on the menu, guiding guests to their selection’s perfect wine match. Signature dishes include: Soy Ginger Salmon, Chicken Giardiniera, Asian Pork Belly Tostadas and Mexican Drunken Shrimp.

Wine Program

Blending grapes from the best vineyards in the world, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants produces an extensive selection of red, white, sparkling, dessert, and fruit wines crafted by expert winemaker Rob Warren. Since opening in late 2005, Cooper’s Hawk Winery has received over 350 wine awards from various local, national, and international wine competitions including, a 99-point score at the Critics Challenge International Wine Competition for its Lux Pinot Noir.

The Annapolis location is the 23rd Cooper’s Hawk restaurant in the country, with additional units slated to open 2016.

Cooper’s Hawk seeks more space

Kevin Beese Pioneer Press

A popular Burr Ridge restaurant is looking to expand.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant plans to add more than 2,700 square feet of space by taking over two existing storefronts in Burr Ridge Village Center and expanding its operations.

The casual upscale wine and dine restaurant is looking to snag the existing storefronts of Yankee Candle and Sunglass Hut to add 129 bar and dining seats. When the addition is complete, the restaurant would go from 9,486 square feet of space to 12,246 square feet.

The restaurant at 510 Village Center Drive has been at the location since entering the village in 2007. At the time, it was the second location for the restaurant chain.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery: Spring Menu

Originally article and media originally posted at foxillinois.com

Cooper’s Hawk Winery at White Oaks Mall, a Springfield-area staple in upscale casual dining, has released their new spring menu and Jason Longfield, Executive Kitchen Manager is here to show us how they prepare some of the innovative menu options and discuss the perfect wine pairings. All morning we’ve been taking a close look at each of these dishes.

Take a Short “Flight” to Cooper’s Hawk

From GregsListDC

Full article: http://gregslistdc.com/spotlight/2016/april/take-short-flight-cooper-s-hawk

Written by Anita

April 23, 2016

As the weather warms, we are all feeling the urge to spread our wings. We recently flew the coop and headed to the new Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Ashburn, VA. Started in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk uses nationally sourced grapes to produce a wide array of wines, many of which have received numerous regional, national, and international awards. Based in Illinois, it currently boasts over 20 locations in eight states, with more to come.

Cooper’s Hawk allows you combine several experiences into one visit. In the mood for a tasting? Enjoy one of Cooper’s Hawk’s many wine flights at its Napa-style tasting bar or in a private barrel room. Guests are offered a few complimentary sips and can purchase additional varietal wine flights that change monthly. Opt for the tasting alone or choose to sip from your own souvenir wineglass. You also can pair your flight with a housemade hand-dipped chocolate truffle, a chocolate-covered strawberry, or a cheesecake lollipop from the Cooper’s Hawk bakery. Tasting notes include helpful hints about the nose, taste, and appropriate food pairings. Feel like shopping? Peruse Cooper’s Hawk’s retail gift shop, which includes fun and unique items for your favorite ‘wino.’

Feeling peckish? Try to land your flock at a table in Cooper’s Hawk’s dining room or on its warm-weather outdoor patio. (The restaurant can even text you when your table is ready.) Meals here start with warm salty pretzel bread loaf and creamery butter. Standout appetizers include the fold-your-own Thai lettuce wraps (moist strips of sweet chili-glazed chicken, julienned carrots and squash, sliced cucumber, sesame seeds, and crisp lettuce leaves served with a trio of cashew, peanut, and soy caramel dipping sauces) and the ahi tuna tacos (crunchy tortilla shells filled with chunks of blackened and seared tuna and finished with Sriracha and wasabi cream, zesty pico de gallo, fresh sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and radish.) For a hearty entrée, try the red wine braised short ribs (a beefy mélange with roasted carrots, parsnips, and mushrooms in a mustard sauce, sprinkled with crispy onion strings and accompanied by Mary’s decadent whipped potatoes). Tasty lighter options include the flaky pistachio-crusted grouper and Ellie’s lemony chicken piccata. Watching your wattle? Cooper’s Hawk’s Life Balance menu includes dishes that clock in under 600 calories. Gluten free options also are available. Each menu item includes a bin number matching it to a recommended wine, which makes creating the perfect pairing a snap.

If you’re able to save room for dessert, our favorite (suitable for sharing) was the Banoffee pie—a light graham cracker crust filled with a creamy banana and toffee filling, layered with sliced bananas, drizzled with caramel, and topped with generous dollops of fresh whipped cream. Chocolate lovers will swoon over the Reese’s ice cream cookie—a warm gooey Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup chip cookie baked in a cast iron skillet and crowned with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.

Want to be part of the roost? Then join Cooper’s Hawk’s Wine Club, which offers members monthly wine selections, wine discounts, rewards, special event and travel invites, and insider tasting notes and recipes. And watch GregsListDC like a hawk for information about Cooper’s Hawk’s upcoming fledgling openings in Annapolis, MD and Reston, VA.