‘Watts for Dinner’: Cooper's Hawk for your next wine and dine

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant in North Naples. Things got off to an appetizing start with the roasted vegetable and goat cheese flatbread ($11.99), featuring mozzarella, roasted grape tomatoes, pesto, basil and a balsamic glaze.

The crust was nice and crisp, like a flour tortilla, and the toppings plentiful. This was one of my favorites dishes of the night.

I also had the appetizer-size Caesar salad ($7.99) featuring a creamy Caesar pesto dressing (which was amazing, as were the crispy croutons). The lettuce was a bit limp, but otherwise a solid performer.

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My dining companion went the soup route, ordering the crab and lobster bisque ($8.99). It also came topped with toasted croutons and earned a thumbs up.   

For my entrée, I selected the pistachio-crusted grouper ($27.99) served in a mustard sauce with a side of Mary’s mashed potatoes and asparagus. While the asparagus could have used a little salt, an easy fix, the mashed potatoes and the grouper were pure perfection. This was a large filet, and the flavors worked so well together. It was complete harmony. Loved it! I highly recommend this dish.

My dining companion picked the Mediterranean salad featuring shrimp ($17.99). This salad has cucumber, red onion, asparagus, kalamata olives, a zesty giardiniera, sweet grape tomatoes, feta cheese and polenta crisps and is topped with an Italian vinaigrette.

This salad also had a bit of a lettuce problem. And there was not nearly as much harmony in the ingredients. But the salad is huge.

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And finally, the most anticipated course of the night, dessert. I picked the S’more budino ($8.99) featuring a caramel custard and Valrhona chocolate mousse and topped with toasted marshmallows. A beautiful dish that tastes as good as it looks (and sounds). I savored every bite. Amazing! A must try!

My partner in dine had the salted caramel crème brulee ($8.99) with fresh berries and a flaky sea salt. The flavors in this dessert were a bit more subtle, and the top could have used some more fire, but he still ate every bite.

Cooper’s Hawk describes itself as a wine-driven dining experience, inspired by Napa Valley’s wine country. It was founded in 2005 by CEO Tim McEnery. The Naples location offers a modern dining experience which is stark in nature, yet appealing.

There’s also a store on premises offering decanters, wine accessories, and gifts. There’s a dedicated area for tasting and private dining areas for groups.

Happy eating!

More:Hey Banner readers! Are you looking for a place to eat?

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If you go

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant

  • 11905 Tamiami Trail N., Naples
  • 239-449-1700
  • chwinery.com