Cooper’s Hawk @ The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale: 2568 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Cooper’s Hawk is a national chain of restaurants that started in Orland Park, IL. Founded by Tim McEnery to have both a winery and restaurant. They have been around a little over 15 years now and can be found in 11 states.
My friends Chris and Ken decided that we should all go out to dinner. We were on our way to one of our favorite stomping grounds, Seasons 52 when we stopped at the elevator that takes you to the 2nd floor and Cooper’s Hawk restaurant at the Galleria Mall. Chris turned to Ken and me and said, “Hey, why don’t we do something completely different.” Knowing that they usually don’t like change, I was shocked at the suggestion but had been wanting to try this place for months. So I agreed, and we ascended to the second floor.
You walk into an ample open space occupied by an artisanal market as you exit the elevator. Here you can taste/sample Cooper Hawk’s latest wine selections. You can also purchase wine by the bottle, browse the assortment of wine-related gifts, or have one of their gourmet desserts from the bakery case.
To start things off at Cooper’s Hawk, they will provide you with one of the most amazing loaves of freshly baked bread. We ordered a second because we finished the first one so fast. Once the butter melts onto the warm surface of the bread, you will find yourself in heaven.
Since my friends were going to be eating light for the evening, I had to make up for it by ordering the crab and lobster bisque. The flavor was excellent, and the creamy bisque base was tantalizing with flavor that made my mouth water. There were chunks of crab and lobster that you could see and taste. And those three croutons just topped it off.
Cooper’s Hawk Main Courses:
For Ken’s main course, he went with the wedge salad. This usually is an appetizer, but he decided to make it his meal. Now you can get this salad as it comes (chopped), or you can ask them not to and let the lettuce remain whole. It is served with applewood smoked bacon, bleu cheese, red onion, sweet grape tomatoes, Italian vinaigrette, and bleu cheese dressing. The salad was a nice healthy meal for him, and he enjoyed every bite.
Chris went a little bigger by having a flatbread & salad combination. He went with the Caprese flatbread made of ripe tomato, mozzarella, red onion, pesto, basil, and a balsamic glaze. He chose the chopped wedge for his salad and let them chop it up. The flatbread had an excellent combination of flavors and crispy the way we like it. He enjoyed his salad as much as Ken did.
Lastly, I opted to try the red wine braised short ribs. The meat was cooked to be perfectly fork-tender. The au jus added flavor, as did the crispy onion strings served on top. Cooper’s Hawk serves this dish with oven-roasted vegetables, Mary’s potatoes (whipped potatoes with butter and cream), and grainy dijon mustard butter. I opted instead to have Betty’s potatoes which are shredded potatoes with white cheddar and scallions.
The potatoes sent me to heaven, and I could not have been happier with my choice. I have to say the ribs were so juicy and tender, and they just melted in my mouth. The vegetables are a nice mix, and their crispness adds to the flavor. I would highly recommend this dish.