IBJOpinion

DINING: Drinks or not, Cooper's Hawk Winery shines

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

 

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.•

__________

Second in a month-long series of fine-feathered restaurant reviews.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Yes sir keep cashing those 300K a year checks direct to IMS, while millions disappear from the teams like Rahal's. Guess there wasn't enough ka- ching going around to keep Sarah Fisher in business without their "merger". LOL._____.Meanwhile back in Realville the series with the "best racing in the world" drew what appeared to be about 5000 live spectators ( and probably 1500 of those Target "freebies", and was beaten in the ratings by a series that reportedly consists of "parades" and aired while most people are still sleeping. That will generate those big ka-chings for sure. :-). But, hey, as long as the Speedway gets the cash who gives a damn about the teams?

  2. Welcome to PETERSON LOAN AGENCY Company (A Personalized Service for All Your Financial Needs) We, Liberal Investment Company Providers offers loan at a very low interest rate of 2%, we offer Personal loans, Debt Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Educational Loan, Home Loan, and Loan for any reason and urgent needs!. with a maximum duration of 30 years. Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills? Are you in debt? Do you need to set up a business? Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan. Our loan ranges from $5,000-USD (Five Thousand US dollars) to $50, 000,000.00.(Fifty Million US dollars). We also lend in USA DOLLARS EURO and POUNDS ! Fill in this form and forward it to our email: PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM 1. Your Full names:_______ 2. Contact address:_______ 3. Country Of Residence:______ 4. Loan Amount Required:________ 5. Duration:_____ 6. Gender:_____ 7. Occupation:________ 8. Monthly Income:_______ 9. Date Of Birth:________ 10.Telephone Number:________ 11. Purpose of loan:_________ Yours In Service, MR PERRY, PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM

  3. If I could actually get the prices...I would do this on my own. We need laws that force provides to publish the costs they will charge. Everyone else gives you the price in advance...except hospitals.

  4. I was under the impression that fencing is not allowed on a front yard and that on a corner, both sides are considered "front" yards, therefore can't be fenced without a variance. Also impedes the visibility for drivers at the intersection. Am I understanding this correctly? Might be why a fence was not included in the plans and a request for a variance will have to be made?.

  5. I was a big fan of Cowards and Carrots, which I got a chance to see at the show. It's currently on Kickstarter, but the designer also put out What's He Building in There last year, which got a fair amount of buzz.

ADVERTISEMENT