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.