Tim McEnery remembers visiting a winery before meeting friends for dinner some years ago. As he headed out, he thought about wanting to be able to enjoy a meal without having to leave the winetasting room. Already a restaurateur, McEnery went to work in a winery to learn about the nuances of the business before setting out to start his own.
Two years later, in 2005, Cooper's Hawk Restaurant & Winery debuted in Orland Park, Illinois. McEnery's concept — with a unique combination of a modern casual eatery, Napa-style tasting room, and artisanal retail market — now has 35 locations across the nation, and a new outpost is set to open August 12 at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale.
Cooper's Hawk will be the mall's first restaurant with a winery. "We like to be associated with local retail shops and restaurants," says John Inserra, president and chief operating officer of Cooper's Hawk. "The Galleria Mall offers a collection of upscale restaurants, but none focus on wine or have tasting rooms. We are in good company but offer something different."
The brand's tenth Florida location will occupy 15,000 square feet on two levels inside the mall. The restaurant will boast California wine country architecture, including a textured cork wall in the bar and artwork created using reclaimed barrels. The dining room, bar, and private barrel room accommodate a total of 314 guests.
The menu will include the award-winning Cooper's Hawk wine collection and 70 food offerings, each listed with a bin number guiding guests to a wine pairing. Highlights are shrimp and scallop risotto with sweet corn, asparagus, and white truffle oil; ginger-soy-glazed center-cut New York strip steak with wasabi-buttered mashed potatoes; and Asian pork belly tostadas with sweet chili barbecue sauce. The menu will also offer kids' meals and gluten-free options.
Locals will be able to join the brand's wine club — comprising more than 380,000 members — which offers wines, unique travel and dining experiences, and insider rewards, as well as special events hosted by sommeliers and celebrity chefs such as Richard Blais and Anne Burrell.
Inserra adds that a Cooper's Hawk location is slated to open next year in Dania Beach.
Cooper's Hawk Restaurant & Winery. Galleria Mall, 2414 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 754-755-9463; chwinery.com. Opening August 12.