Things weren’t going well at “Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant,” over in Coconut Creek. Not only were storm clouds overhead, but there was a maelstrom in the kitchen.
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.
And even though the company claims to offer 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,” we didn’t enjoy our experience at this place, one bit.
Because we were told the kitchen was “slammed” with orders, and were forced to wait well over 65 minutes for just two of our entrees to arrive, we opted to end our meal with the “Gnocchi Bolognese with Braised Short Rib” — San Marzano Tomatoes, Pancetta, Burrata Dolce, Extra Virgin Olive Oil” ($22.99)
While the beef and tomato sauce offered an earthy, smoky, richness, which didn’t offend ... the potato dumplings, on the other hand, did. They had a tough, doughy, rubbery texture.
It was like eating thick wads of gum, topped with a meaty tomato sauce. The only real difference being, as hard as we tried, we couldn’t blow bubbles ....
Given that it was a mixed bag, and only slightly better than the other horrific items that we had sampled that visit, this dish ended up scoring a (quite generous) “C-.”
Skip the food, 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 an inordinate wait and loathsome meal.
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