While there were storm clouds lurking over “Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant” over in Coconut Creek, we didn’t realize (until later) they were an omen.
This Illinois-based chain, which opened its first restaurant some 14 years ago, typically features a full-service restaurant, a tasting room, and a retail wine store at each of its 30 locations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia.
The company’s wines have supposedly earned more than 400 awards.
And even though it prides itself on offering customers, “a modern, casual dining experience with warm hospitality in an inviting upscale setting.” And despite its promise that, “[e]ach dish is made fresh in our scratch kitchen, incorporating peak-of-season ingredients,” this place will be getting no accolades from us. (We hated every minute of our torturous experience.)
We started with the “Caprese,” a flatbread topped with “ripe tomato, mozzarella, red onion, pesto, basil and balsamic glaze” ($9.99). While we understand that flatbread comes in all different shapes and sizes, we dislike when it has the consistency of a cracker, and crumbles to the touch. The vegetable and cheese toppings (which were cold by the time this appetizer got to our table) merely added weight which the thin base couldn’t absorb, making the disintegrated pieces difficult to enjoy.
It didn’t help things much that we waited some 45 minutes for this pathetic starter to arrive. It was only after repeated questioning, that our waitress reluctantly informed us that the kitchen had been “slammed” with orders.
Given that we neither liked the taste nor texture, we decided to “slam” this dish with an “F.”
(We suggest that you skip this item, and stick with the free loaf of warm pretzel bread and honey butter – which were so good that we asked for a second loaf as we suffered through the inordinate wait for our food.)
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