Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant Ft. Lauderdale, located in Galleria Mall, was dark for seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, they reopened and I had the opportunity to visit them for a second review.
The company was founded in 2005 by CEO Tim McEnery and has many locations across the country. Not only is it an upscale yet casual restaurant and bar, but Cooper’s Hawk is a Napa-style wine tasting room. While tastings are currently on hold for safety protocol, they do plan on returning as soon as safely possible.
Perched in a former empty space they carved out over Season 51 and P.F. Chang’s, it’s just a ride up the dedicated elevator located just inside the valet entrance at the Galleria to the second-floor location. The doors open directly into the tasting room where you can soon (once again) sample the Napa experience with handcrafted wines and peruse wine accessories and the artisanal market. The dining room is expansive…three large areas with gigantic glass windows that overlook Sunrise Boulevard. The décor is modern and classy, yet simple.
The scratch-made menu features contemporary American cuisine mixed with international favorites, all with a SoCal twist. Since this is a winery after all, the vino list is impressive. Order varietals served by the glass, the bottle or by flights of four.
There are five different flights to choose from or let your inner wine snob shine and create your own. I felt like a Master Sommelier as I sipped Cooper’s Hawk LUX flight…Sparkling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meritage ($19.99). Not a wine fan, that’s OK too. The bar offers full liquor and great specialty cocktails, like Dana’s Pineappletini…a refreshing mix of Tito’s vodka, Malibu pineapple rum, fresh pineapple juice and sparkling wine ($11).
My dining companion and I were starving so we ordered a lot and shared everything. As we enjoyed our beverages, our server brought out a loaf of pretzel bread and whipped butter.
One thing I have to mention…it’s quite surprising just how inexpensive things are here given the quality of ingredients and portions. We kicked off this feast with the yummy shaved Brussels Sprouts, cashews, mint, sweet Thai chili and sesame-Sriracha aïoli ($12.99)…so crispy and mouthwatering! Joining the appetizer course was an old favorite…Calamari. A mountain of fried rings were bathed in sweet chili-ponzu glaze, cilantro and sesame-Sriracha aïoli. Other highly suggested appetizers include the Mexican Drunken Shrimp (I had last time and they were so good) and the Tex-Mex Asian fusion Over the Boarder Egg Rolls.
While the menu was pared down a bit since my last visit, main course selections are still plentiful. There are too many to mention individually but categories include hearty chopped and combination salads, beef, pork, seafood, chicken entrees and Surf & Turf platters.
One of the best things I’ve ordered during both visits was the pan-roasted Barramundi ($25.99) served with blistered green beans, grape tomatoes, ginger rice and Thai lemon grass sauce. We also lingered over the Gnocchi Carbonara ($19.99). Homemade, tender pasta puffs with bacon and peas topped with shaved Parmesan are so decadent and so delicious!
Even though I was stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, I wasn’t leaving without dessert! We decided to share the S’more Budino ($8.99). Layers of caramel custard, Valrhona chocolate mousse and brown-butter toasted Graham cracker almost did us in but we finished it, child!
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant is located on the second floor inside the Galleria Mall at 2568 East Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale and is open 7 days a week from 11am to 9pm for in-person dining with enhanced safety measures in place. Reservations are strongly suggested and are available at 754-755-9463. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 2-5pm with discounted wine, specialty drinks, select cocktails and almost a dozen appetizers and flatbreads to choose from. Takeout and curbside pickup is safe and easy with ordering available at www.chwinery.com.