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.
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.
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