Toast to Cooper’s Hawk and Chocolate

By Eloise Marie Valadez, (219) 933-3365

There are plans for an impressive new eatery in the region.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant will open in summer 2012 at Westfield Southlake Shopping Center in Hobart.

The restaurant, starring American cuisine, features its signature wines, a tasting room, retail shop and wine club.

Established by Tim McEnery in Orland Park, Ill., in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has expanded to various cities throughout the last seven years.

Other Cooper’s Hawk locations include Burr Ridge, Ill.; Wheeling, Ill.; South Barrington, Ill.; Indianapolis; and Brookfield, Wis.

The winery/restaurant makes more than 125,000 cases of wine annually. Its main production facility is in Countryside, Ill. FYI:

For the Love of Chocolate

The aroma of chocolate will waft through Chicago’s Merchandise Mart on Feb. 25.

Whether your preference is sweet specialty drinks, tempting pastries, smooth candy or even entrees that are given the chocolate touch, there’ll be plenty to taste and admire at the “For the Love of Chocolate” event.

The party, from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, is the annual not-to-be-missed benefit for the French Pastry School’s scholarship foundation.

Chicago-area chefs and pastry experts will give their creations the cocoa treatment during the fundraiser.

Throughout the event, guests will travel from themed room to themed room sampling the wares of noted chefs. Food demos, musical entertainment and other activities will also be featured.

The French Pastry School, founded by chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sebastien Canonne, is considered one of the acclaimed pastry institutions in the country.

The school’s first chocolate gala in 2006 was a benefit for Abigail Wodrich, daughter of Chesterton’s Third Coast Spice Cafe owners Lisa and David Wodrich. Proceeds from that benefit helped the Wodrich family pay for a kidney transplant for Abigail. The scholarship foundation was established in 2007. FYI: or

Valentine’s Day Dinner and Theater

The Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., will present a special dinner/theater package Feb. 10 through 12 in conjunction with the production of the musical “Gypsy.”

The dinner package includes four courses and a beverage from the cocktail menu. Cost is $88 per person for Friday and Sunday meals and $89 on Saturday. Cost includes a ticket to “Gypsy.” FYI: (630) 530-8300

The opinions expressed are solely the writer’s. Reach her at (219) 933-3365 or


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