Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant begins A Study in Reds

Written by Matt Burosh
Indy Star correspondent

Come late January, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants will undertake A Study in Reds, a promotion that will have all 15 locations across the country simultaneously serving a special $65- per-person four-course meal that fea- tures four separate red wine pairings, each specifically selected to comple- ment its respective dish for the evening.

There is one tiny catch, however — but it’s not really a catch at all, said Bradley Smith, manager at the Indianapolis location.

“You do have to be at least a one-bottle member of our wine club to take advantage of the event,” said Smith, who has been managing the Indianapolis location since its opening in 2010.

“But we don’t charge you the $18.99 per month fee until the end of the month, so if you decide you don’t want to be a member anymore before the last business day of the month, you don’t get charged.”

Smith explains why the company is comfortable offering a risk-free approach to its wine club memberships — which can be purchased either online or in stores.

“In reality, there are a lot of other great benefits to being in the club, aside from just getting access to events like A Study in Reds, so we don’t get a lot of cancellations,” he said.

Some of those perks include handcrafted, members-only wines each month, gift certificates for birthday celebrations and discounts on retail wine purchases.

“Events like these are basically an opportunity to have people in our wine club connect with each other,” said Smith, who has experienced as much firsthand.

“It sounds cliche, but it really works. My wife and I came to an event last year, and while we were there, we met a couple we hadn’t met before, and now we’re actually all friends and hang out outside of the restaurant — a lot.”

Link to original source


Cooper’s Hawk Soars High Amid Indy’s Restaurant Scene Rating 5 Star Rating
By , Guide
About a month ago, I was driving across 96th street and noticed Cooper’s Hawk for the first time. I don’t know how I’d missed it before, but I was instantly curious about it. I hadn’t even heard anyone talking about it. I later discovered that Cooper’s Hawk has been at that location for several years! When my department announced it was holding our holiday party there, I was excited to give it a try. I headed to Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant eagerly.

The Experience

Located at 3815 E. 96th Street on the northside of Indianapolis, Cooper’s Hawk is both a winery and a restaurant. The entrance opens into the tasting room, which includes a small gift shop. The store is filled with wine accessories and gifts and you can of course, purchase bottles there. You may also sample wines from the latest selection in the tasting room. A tasting includes eight wines and no reservations are required. Freshly-made dessserts are also available from the bakery case.

Inside, Cooper’s Hawk has both a classy and comfortable feel. Wine barrels add to the decor and warm woods contribute to its classic feel. Because Cooper’s Hawk is a winery, much of its decor reflects that.

The Service

When our group arrived, the private room that was reserved for us was not quite ready. It was a weeknight, but the waiting area in the tasting room gets crowded because of the gift shop. After cruising the tasting room for a few minutes, we were seated in a nice, private room. The private party room had three small tables that seat about six and a wine serving table. The room is lined with old wooden wine barrels,creating a warm, intimate feel.

As we were seated, we were kindly greeted by our personal server for the evening. For our company party, both red and white wines were available on the table. In addition, the server promptly took our drink orders as our party trickled in. Once we had all settled into our seats, our order was taken and appetizers arrived shortly.

Throughout the meal, we received impeccable service. We were never without drinks and the server was observant and took care of our needs without hovering. He provided us with menu suggestions, offered his personal favorites and politely answered our questions. Cooper’s Hawk strives to be what they call a “modern casual” restaurant and that was reflected in their service style. While the service was the quality of a five star restaurant, it was personable. I once ate at a local restaurant where a nervous man flew to our table and scraped the crumbs between each course. It felt stuffy and cold and frankly, made me uncomfortable. There is none of that at Cooper’s Hawk, which added to the pleasant experience.

The Food

Cooper’s Hawk offers a varied menu – everything from sandwiches and burgers to Italian dishes and flavorful steaks. Guests on nearly every diet should be able to find something to fit their needs. The restaurant offers a special gluten free menu and what they call a Life Balance menu, which features dishes under 600 calories and smaller portions. Calorie counts are listed beside each menu item and extra care is taken in measuring portion sizes to ensure accuracy. As someone who is currently mindful of every calorie, this would be so helpful. However, on this night, I most certainly was not counting calories.

The wine aspect of Cooper’s Hawk is ever-present. Each menu items includes a bin number beside it with its perfect wine pairing. The dishes are made with their signature wines in mind. These wines will compliment the dishes and take the meal to another level of flavor. However, you can certainly dine at Cooper’s Hawk without ever sipping wine.

There are several signature dishes on their menu that have become diner favorites. One of these is the Trio of Medallions. The entree features broiled USDA Angus horseradish, bleu cheese, and parmesan-crusted filet medallions. The medallions are served with Mary’s potatoes (whipped with butter and cream) and asparagus. Sandwich specialties include the Asian BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. The sandwich is made with sliced BBQ pork tenderloin, prosciutto, pineapple, swiss cheese, ginger scallion mayo, and crunchy Asian slaw on sweet onion pocket bread.

Cooper’s Hawk also offers a special brunch menu on Sundays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The brunch includes a complimentary Mimosa, Bellini or glass of sparkling wine. I would love to go back and try their Naple-Style Brunch which for $14.99, includes baked fresh toast with apples and dried cherries, scrambled eggs, country potatoes, fresh fruit and a choice of Nueske’s appledwood smoked bacon or Vermon maple sausage links. For the little ones in your party, regular and brunch kid’s menus are available.

The Review

I started my meal off at Cooper’s Hawk with a Raspberry Spritzer. I enjoy sweet, white wines but did not care for their Moscato, which is generally my favorite. Their version is made from melons and having never been a fan, that faint taste was enough to set me off it. I did sample a few white wines but in the end, decided I would enjoy something sweeter. I was very happy with the spritzer. It was refreshing and sweet and large enough that I could drink it throughout the meal.

We began our meal with the Cooper’s Hawk Sampler which includes Over the Border Egg Rolls, Tenderloin Sliders, Chicken Potstickers, and Mini Crab Cakes. I was able to sample both the chicken potstickers and a mini crab cake. Both were delicious. The Caprese Flatbread was also part of our appetizer order. It is made with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onion, Julienne basil, pesto, and a balsamic reduction. I enjoyed the crisp, fresh flavor of the flatbread’s ingredients.

I was in the mood for a good steak, so when I spied the Cowboy Ribeye, I knew it was my choice. The 20 oz USDA Angus bone-in ribeye is cut with flavorful marbling and topped with butter and crispy onion strings. It is served with broccoli and a choice of side. I chose the baked potato. I knew the Cowboy was going to be huge but I really wanted a flavorful cut and I knew with the marbling, the ribeye was going to suit me. The Cowboy did not disappoint. It was full of great flavor and the onion strings on top, combined with the broccoli, complimented the steak. While I have often been disappointed with expensive steaks ($35), I thought this steak lived up. I did, however, have to save over half of it for the following day!

Several of my co-workers ordered the Medallion Trio and said it was delicious – a great blend of flavors. They were pleased with the portion size and the presentation. Those that ordered the Medallions were able to finish it at the restaurant.

For dessert, I opted for the Cooper’s Hawk Chocolate Cake ($6.99). This chocolately confection is layers of chocolate cake, chocolate moose and rich chocolate ganache, served with vanilla bean ice cream. With it, I had a cup of coffee. The chocolate cake was moist, rich and huge! Half of that also went home. With coffee to cut some of the sweetness, it was a perfect dessert. Several at the table got the Creme Brulee and while they said it was okay, it was too sweet for them and the concensus was they’d had better at other restaurants. Cooper Hawk’s specialty dessert, the Banoffee Pie received rave reviews. It is fresh bananas in a toffee filling in a graham cracker crust, with fresh whipped cream.

As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. I was delighted with my choices and everything from the drinks to the dessert was good. I enjoyed their “modern casual” environment and appreciated their vast menu with unique flavor combinations. While I was not footing the bill for this meal, I do appreciate that there are menu choices for every price range. You can enjoy a quick dinner on a Tuesday night or a special anniversary dinner in the same restaurant. It’s casual enough for jeans, but nice enough that you won’t feel out of place in dress clothes. For a fun and tasty evening out, I highly recommend Cooper’s Hawk.


  • Chicken Potstickers
  • Cowboy Ribeye
  • Trio of Medallions


  • Quality Food
  • Nice Atmosphere
  • Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff


  • Crowded Tasting Room/Wait Area

Link to original source

Cooper’s Hawk: Sufficiently intriguing

by , Nuvo- Indy’s Alternative Voice

Asian BBQ Pork Belly Nachos. Photo by Mark Lee

With its generous expanses of exposed limestone and natural-hued wood, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, on the inside at least, resembles a sort-of fantasy incarnation of the idyllic wine country restaurant.  Bordeaux barrels adorn the walls and the ambience is light and spacious. If it weren’t for the view of H.H. Gregg next door, you could almost be in Napa.

Entering the front door, you find yourself not in a traditional restaurant lobby, but in a tasting room-gift shop full of the latest essential wine-related accoutrements, chocolates and, of course, wine for sale and for tasting. For Cooper’s Hawk not only serves wine, it makes it too, at the restaurant’s headquarters in Illinois, from grapes sourced from notable growing regions around the country. At first glance, the gift shop seems a bit heavy-handed, like an upscale Cracker Barrel, but in spite of having been warned to expect an equally heavy sales pitch for the winery’s club, the subject wasn’t broached a single time during the course of a very agreeable recent meal. Seated promptly, we were attended to with efficient yet unstuffy courtesy throughout the course of lunch by our knowledgeable and helpful server. Cooper’s Hawk offers an epic menu, with a full complement of salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta, fish, poultry and meats, not to mention desserts and cheeses. Usually a menu of this scope could only achieve middling quality at best, for obvious reasons, but in this case the kitchen did a credible job of bringing freshness and vitality to most of the dishes we sampled.

First off, and best of all, was an appetizer of Asian BBQ Pork Belly Nachos, small individual crisp tortillas topped with slices of sweetly spicy belly, finished with a heaping crunch of scallions and radish and a smear of subtly spiced barbecue sauce. Served six to a plate for $8.99, this was a generous portion.

Somewhat less successful, but still quite tasty, was a plate of Mexican Drunken Shrimp ($12.99) served in a tequila lime sauce. Although good-looking on paper, the bacon-wrapped shrimp could have used more crunch, and the sauce appeared to have been thickened with cornstarch, slightly dulling the edge of the otherwise snappy main ingredients. Of the two entrees we sampled, the house-made gnocchi, topped with fresh spinach and a lively tomato sauce, was a solid effort, the gnocchi being perfectly cooked and just slightly firm in the middle. The chicken piccata, a wonderful traditional dish when done perfectly, was almost there but not quite: the super-thin chicken escalopes had become a bit tired and chewy and the sauce was on the creamy side, lacking the dish’s essential zip but still delivering a good depth of lemon-caper flavor in spite of that.

Rounding out the meal we enjoyed the aptly named banoffee pie, a surprisingly light and airy confection centered around bananas, caramel and cream. And what of the wine? Although Cooper’s Hawk offers numerous tastings and wine flights, this was lunch, so I confined myself to a very well-made and varietally true gewürztraminer, a wine sufficiently intriguing to prompt a future visit to try a few more.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant 3815 E. 96th St. 574-9463
Mon-Thu:  11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Fri-Sat: 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Food: 3.5 stars Service: 3.5 stars Atmosphere: 3.5 stars

Link to original source

Cooper’s Hawk Make Wine-Food Pairings Foolproof with Good Results

Making wine accessible, inexpensive and well-paired with good food:  that’s what Cooper’s Hawk restaurants have accomplished.  And if my math is not too bad, I think they bring several million a year to the bottom line too.

My brother claims that he doesn’t know one wine from another.  He does.  He knows if a wine is red, white, pink, or sparkling.   Regardless of this claim, in fact he appreciates when wine and food pair well, and this is what Cooper’s Hawk makes easy.
I loved the menu.  The wine list is substantial, with at least 30 wines to choose from, all made by Cooper’s Hawk from grapes trucked in from California, Oregon and Washington and a few other states. The 60,000 square foot facility in Southwest suburban Chicago will soon be expanded to 80,000 square feet with a goal of 100,000 square feet.   Current case production is 175-180,000 cases, according to Indianapolis restaurant manager Matthew Kehret.  (The website notes “over 125,000 gallons” a year.)    Indianapolis is one of 6 locations in the Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants group; more are planned soon for other Indiana and Ohio locations.
Rob Warren is the primariy winemaker, collaborating with owner Tim McEnery.  Warren’s chops include Kacaba Vineyards in the Niagara region of Canada, and Tarara winery in Virginia.
At the side of each wine on the menu, there is a “bin number”.   On the other pages of the menu – appetizers, main entrees, desserts – are listed brief descriptions of the items on offer, and those items also include a Bin Number.    There is also a Life Balance Menu, part of the group’s recognition of trends in healthy eating.
I chose the “custom tasting” option on the wine list ($15.99).  After my brother and I had decided on our food choices, we looked at the Bin Numbers, and then ordered the wines for the tasting according to the suggested pairings.   The pours, by the way, were generous.   Our pairings:
·         Caesar Salad.  Viognier (bin 76).  A classic new world style Viognier.  13.5% alcohol
·         Caprese Flatbread.  Sauvignon Blanc (bin 78).  A bit metallic to my taste, but not objectionable.   12.5% alcohol
·         Beef tenderloin sliders.  Cabernet Zinfandel (bin 94) .  A blend of 60% cabernet and 40% zinfandel.  Not as hearty as I would have assumed it would be, but a nice drinkable red that’s beef-friendly.  13.5% alcohol.
·         Bacon-wrapped scallops with roasted pineapple and a white rice pilaf.  Gewurztraminer (bin 73).  Nicely sweet but not over the top, and a good pairing.  13.5% alcohol.
Our server presented us with the wine club brochure at a strategic moment, that is to say, after a few glasses of wine.   The wine club has some nice features, such as the ability to earn “points” for every dollar spent at the establishment, and for 350 points you receive a $25 certificate good towards dine-in or carry-out food.   You can choose to join the wine club in four categories:  variety, red, white, sweet.
If you sign up to receive one bottle of Sweet wines each month, you’ll pay $16.99.   For the other categories, it’s $18.99.
So let’s say you join at the $18.99 price.  That’s $228 a year.  (You can cancel at any time, but why would you?  The wine pick-up parties and special events for wine club members are reputed to be great fun!)
With 4000 wine club members in the E. 96th Street, Indianapolis, establishment alone, that’s over $900,000 in revenue yearly.   (And membership keeps growing!   This establishment has only been open for 18 months….).    Let’s say, generously, that the cost of goods sold is about $4 per bottle.  That’s $192,000 a year.     So the wine club brings down to the bottom line OF JUST THIS ONE ESTABLISHMENT, a healthy $700,000.
Of course there are marketing costs.  But the restaurant was pretty busy and I have a hunch that that operation covers its own expenses, and then some.    The servers are not sommeliers, WSET or other high-priced labor.  There’s a lot of automation in place in assigning tables and calling diners by those vibrating devices that you are given when you check in.  There’s a wine tasting area and a gift shop too.
I like this model.  They’ve got a great thing going.  You really need to see the operation for yourself.  It’s a great way to introduce a wine-shy public to the concept of food and wine pairings in a way that guarantees them a nice experience.
I hope to meet Tim McEnery in person someday.  He and wife Dana have created an impressive enterprise since opening their first winer/restaurant in 2005 in Orland Park, IL.    The website doesn’t give me a clue to the name of the enterprise, but I’ll ask him when I meet him.
In the meantime, you too can “meet” Tim virtually at    Go to the PressRoom to see the short video.  Impressive.


  1. Hi Barbara,

    You mentioned the Southwest suburban Chicago location will soon be expanded to 80,000 square feet with a goal of 100,000 square feet. Is that the Oland Park location? Be great news if it is. Thanks.



  2. I’m glad to see someone actually giving a good review for this place. Although I’ve never been to the Indianapolis location, I’ve been to almost every IUllinois location and I LOVE Coopers Hawk. As stated, it introduced me to wine and wine tasting and I realize I actually prefer red wine, when I thought I was a white wine lover. I hope more people read this review.


  3. Hi Jill,

    While we realize our rate of growth will require additional production space over the next decade, we have only begun contemplating what those requirements will be and have no current plans for production facility expansion. There are no expansion plans in place for preexisting winery and restaurant locations either; however, we will be opening our ninth location in Merrillville, Indiana this upcoming summer.

    Melanie Pierce
    Director of Marketing Communications

Cooper’s Hawk Winery Pairs Their Wine with Great Menu

The inviting décor at Cooper’s Hawk Winery denotes that wine is one of the main priorities. The warm dining room and tasting bar have a rustic feel that could be inside a private wine cellar. The stone walls are lined with huge oak barrels conjuring up the feeling of Napa Valley.

Cooper’s Hawk produces more than 125,000 gallons of wine each year from grapes grown in California, Washington, Michigan and Oregon that are chosen from top growers in the country.

View slideshow: Cooper’s Hawk Winery

If you want to try a variety of Cooper’s Hawk wine, there is a monthly wine club offering members one bottle of wine per month for $18.99.

We were impressed by the large suspended decanters we saw on many diner’s tables throughout the restaurant. If you order a bottle, it will be decanted at your table and set up as a dangling piece of art to marvel at throughout the evening.

In order to maximize our wine tasting during the visit, we decided to create our own flight of wine. For $15.99 we browsed the wine list and chose 4 wines to include in our tasting flight. I created my own red flight including Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and a Lux Pinot Noir.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery
Photo credit:
Nicole Wawok

While each tasting glass was only 2 ounces, it is just enough to give you a true sense of the wine’s flavor and nuances. Each of the wines I tried was decent, but did not stand out to me as anything amazing. Wine tasting is one of those things that is truly about personal taste. I’m sure there are plenty of people that think this wine if out of this world.

The menu is designed with its wine in mind as a complement to each dish. Every item has a bin number listed on the menu as a suggestion for the perfect wine pairing.

We started with one of the signature appetizers on the menu; Mexican drunken shrimp. The shrimp is wrapped in bacon and served in a tequila lime butter sauce and a dollop of fresh guacamole.

Our waiter convinced us to try it with the classic oversell line “This is the best appetizer I have ever had.” Sadly, the dish fell a little short of such a lofty description, but it was still good. For $12.99, it seemed a bit pricey for the small portion we were served.

For the main course I ordered Chicken Linguini Reggiano. The linguini pasta is tossed with rotisserie chicken, sweet grape tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, spinach, and garlic cream. The dish was a large portion and a delicious combination of fresh vegetables and the savory flavor of the garlic cream sauce. A solid pasta dish that would rival a quality Italian restaurant.

The gnocchi carbonara was also excellent. The ricotta dumplings are made in house and served in a rich parmesan garlic cream sauce with pancetta, rotisserie chicken, sage, and peas.

Overall, a good restaurant with a unique focus on the house made wines and pairings with the menu items. The atmosphere is cozy and romantic and the service is friendly and inviting.

Cheers to Cooper’s Hawk Winery.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery

3815 E. 96th Street


DINING: Drinks or Not, Cooper’s Hawk Winery Shines

Andrea Muirragui Davis

Dining Served in a tequila lime sauce, the Mexican Drunken Shrimp is worth trying.(IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)
My husband and I are beer people. For a variety of reasons, wine just isn’t our thing. So we weren’t exactly buzzing with excitement when we headed to review Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant (3815 E. 96th St., 574-9463).

But we were when we left.

Cooper’s Hawk, a small Illinois-based chain, opened its first Indiana location last month in the sprawling former home of Bahama Breeze. To get to the dining room or bar, patrons must navigate a gift shop (think an upscale Cracker Barrel) and past a display case full of house-made chocolates that went a long way toward improving my enthusiasm.

We went for a late lunch on a weekday and pretty much had our choice of tables—after we refused the seater’s attempt to put us right next to the only other diners in the place. Really? Dozens of empty tables and you think we want to be able to reach out and touch a stranger? I understand trying to minimize server mileage, but c’mon, people!

While we perused the expansive menu, our server brought tasting samples of the special Winemaker’s Barrel Reserve, which changes periodically. As novices, we appreciated the no-risk policy that allows patrons to taste any vintage before ordering. The menu also lists suggestions for wine pairings with each item.

We opted against a liquid lunch, but ordered enough food that we ended up with dinner, too. First up: the Mexican Drunken Shrimp appetizer ($11.99)— bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp served atop fresh guacamole and a tequila lime butter sauce. The flavor combination was heavenly—bacon really does make everything better—but we would have preferred the meat to be warmer. Maybe if the guacamole were served on the side? The sauce was sop-it-up delicious, so we made good use of the complimentary pretzel bread.

For our meals, we tried the Gnocchi Carbonara ($15.99) and Chicken Giardiniera ($16.99). The gnocchi was delightful: obviously handmade dumplings filled with ricotta cheese, smothered in a parmesan garlic cream sauce, with chunks of crispy pancetta, roasted chicken and peas adding taste and texture. I’m thankful that hubby was generous enough to share.

I returned the favor with my equally yum-inspiring chicken. The meat was pounded thin, crusted with panko breading and parmesan cheese, and topped with the eatery’s own spicy giardiniera—a mix of pickled carrots, capers, onions and bell peppers. It added just the right bite to the rich breading and creamy whipped potatoes that anchored the dish. And it held up well to reheating, always a bonus.

Though full, we couldn’t pass up dessert. I surprised myself by eschewing the chocolate—available individually or as an “assortment” with or without wine—in favor of the server-recommended Banoffee Pie ($6.99). Oh, dear. That’s something I didn’t need to know existed. The miniature pie has a graham cracker crust and what I can only describe as a toffee cream filling, accented by sliced bananas and fresh whipped cream. Our server told us it would be sweet, but she didn’t say it would be addictive.•

High-Flying Fare

Cooper’s hawks are fast birds of prey that live within
a wide swath of North America. Cooper’s Hawk
Winery & Restaurant has until recently been spotted
only in Illinois, but on Nov. 1, it began delighting
local carnivores and oenophiles with a wideranging
menu and large span of wines.
A cooper builds wine barrels, and so the
name, like the operation, does double duty. Cooper’s
Hawk is very much about the wine, producing
48 varieties at an Illinois facility (and, to a
lesser extent, within the four Illinois restaurants).
The grapes come predominantly from California,
Oregon and Washington; the winemaking smarts
come from Rob Warren, who studied and practiced
winemaking in the Niagara region before
joining Cooper’s Hawk. More than 100 awards
and a current annual production of about 75,000
cases of wine bolster his resume.
Cooper’s Hawk founder Ted McEnery washed
dishes as a child and managed restaurants before he
left his teen years behind him. A degree in restaurant
and hotel management from Purdue University
and a handful of years later, 28-year-old McEnery
opened his first Cooper’s Hawk Winery and
Restaurant in Orland Park, Ill. That was 2005. Nov.
1 saw the opening of his fifth location, in a fully revamped
Bahama Breeze location on 96th Street.
A tasting room greets visitors with gift baskets,
wine-friendly foods, bottles and—along a
back wall—a tasting bar. Take a complimentary
sip or order a structured tasting of eight wines
for $7—a sparkling, three whites, three reds and
a dessert wine.
The menu intertwines food choices with McEnery’s
wine mission, offering a wine suggestion alongside
each item. Decisions must be made from the
four pages of “something for everyone” mayhem,
but at least those decisions come paired with drink.
“The menu has a little bit of everything,”
McEnery says. “The most important thing was
to have a wide variety and not a steak or seafood
theme. Certainly, the wines drive the menu. We
cook with wine as much as possible and have several
bottles open to figure out pairings while we’re
working in the kitchen.”
The “upscale modern” hodgepodge includes
Mexican drunken shrimp (bacon-wrapped and
sautéed in tequila lime butter) and lobster-stuffed
potato skins, red-wine-and-mustard short ribs
and gnocchi carbonara.
Wines are American in origin, and in that
it melds myriad foods and cultures, the menu is
American in spirit.
Asian will not be divided from Southwestern,
and lunch not from dinner: The Cooper’s Hawk
menu is available in its entirety throughout the
day, meaning that bone-in ribeye is as fair a pick
for lunch as is a fried-green tomato BLT for dinner.
Starting with Key lime pie surely wouldn’t be
discouraged, and in fact it, like the seven other
desserts, comes with a wine recommendation.
Minimalist décor utilizes wine barrels but
mostly stays sleekly mod. Stylish lighting provides
focal points, whether in long recesses along a hallway
or dominating the dining room as blocky
white-shaded pendants. An open kitchen fills one
wall of the dining room, and a large, lively bar
takes over a corner with a tucked-away feeling
stemming from the short hallway that leads past
entry to lounge.
Service is casual but efficient, attentive.
A Cooper’s hawk hangs low in foliage and
relies on the element of surprise. Cooper’s Hawk
Winery & Restaurant opts instead for solace, in
menu and presentation. Wine, this place says, is
nothing to fear, and the comfortable menu alongside
it underscores the point.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
3815 E. 96th St.,(317) 574-9463,
Restaurant hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday
through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday
and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
The bar and tasting room hours vary slightly from


Cooper’s Winery and Restaurant Opens

A grand pre-opening VIP party was held October 29 at the new Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant that opened at 3815 East 96th Street this month. Founder Tim McEnery was on hand to mingle with the guests and talk wine and food. McEnery, a Purdue grad, says he’s excited to open one of his restaurants in Indiana after running four other Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants in the Chicagoland area.

“It’s exciting to be back in Indiana and share my love of wine and food,” says McEnery.

Cooper’s Hawk (named after a Midwest hawk, and cooper is a wine barrel maker) is an eclectic mix of winery, restaurant and retail shop. When pulling in from 96th Street you can see the huge oak wine barrels through the windows. Inside you will find a Napa style tasting bar, a retail shop, a full bar and dining room where you can pair your wine choice with dishes such as Mexican Drunken Shrimp, Pistachio Crusted Grouper, and Blackened Bleu Steak. The winery/restaurant has an exclusive and active wine club that has led to over a hundred wine awards. Most recently, Cooper’s Hawk was named “Hot Concept 2010” by Nations Restaurant News. You can learn more about Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant by visiting