Earlier this month, Michael and I had the pleasure of checking out Cooper's Hawk Winery at their newest location in Sarasota. This modern yet casual restaurant is nestled in Fruitville Commons, the up-and-coming mixed-use community that will soon be home to apartments, office space, boutiques and more. If I didn't already love where I lived, I'd definitely consider moving to Fruitville Commons just to be within walking distance of Cooper's Hawk!
Upon entering the restaurant, you'll feel like you've been transported to Napa Valley as you're greeted by the tasting room and artisanal market. If you're interested in doing a wine tasting, the experience includes 7-8 different wines and a dedicated tasting room attendant to guide you through your wine journey. They also have a wine club membership, and if you purchase the 2-bottle membership, you'll enjoy a monthly complimentary wine tasting for 2. In the artisanal market, you'll find high-end decanters, wine accessories and other gifts perfect for any wine enthusiast.
Now on to my favorite part, the food. Cooper's Hawk offers a wine-driven dining experience, which is great, especially if you're like me and find joy in pairing different wines with different foods. Once you're seated, you'll be offered 2 samples of any wines on their menu and it's important to note that all of their wines can be purchased by the glass or bottle. This is a great opportunity to try something new or discover a new favorite!
When it comes to the menu, their culinary team has designed a contemporary American menu infused with flavors from around the world, so there's definitely a little something for everyone. Aside from choosing what wine I wanted for the evening, one of the most difficult tasks of the night was selecting an entrée. I finally decided on the braised short rib risotto, which was absolutely incredible. I'm still dreaming of the delicious combination of braised short rib, roasted mushroom, sweet onion, white wine, shaved parmesan and white truffle oil. To take a look at their wine and food menu, click here.
Of course, we always save room for dessert, and the sweet treats did not disappoint. All of their desserts are house-made and the perfect way to end your night. I highly recommend the key lime pie and salted caramel crème brûlée!
Our server Emma was super knowledgable about the menu and very friendly, so she made our night very enjoyable from start to finish. All in all, we had a wonderful first experience at Cooper's Hawk Winery and are definitely looking forward to dining here again soon!
* A special thank you to Cooper's Hawk Winery for hosting me. All opinions are my own.