With the arrival of the Illinois-based chain, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Virginia Beach residents now have a new place to wine and dine. The Napa-style tasting room and eatery is housed in a sleek new building situated in Lynnhaven Mall’s western-most parking lot. Its doors officially opened to the public on Monday, Dec. 10, introducing beach residents to handcrafted vino and a delicious spread of modern, casual cuisine.
When asked why Cooper’s Hawk selected Virginia Beach as its 35th restaurant location, General Manager Andrew Good said that the coastal city fit their search for a community with a flourishing culinary interest and taste for wine. Cooper’s Hawk is recognized for being one of the largest wineries in the country, winning over 500 wine awards and boasting upwards of 355,000 wine club members.
When entering the Lynnhaven Cooper’s Hawk, guests are invited into a spacious tasting room and artisan market brimming with wine trinkets, seasonal goods and an assortment of truffles, freshly dipped strawberries and other candies crafted by the winery’s in-house pastry chefs. At the tasting bar, wine enthusiasts can sample a selection of three Cooper’s Hawk tastings including a variety sampling, lux sampling or sweet sampling. Each tasting includes eight different wines and a detailed tasting sheet outlining each pour’s aromas, region and savors.
To the right of the tasting room sits a roomy, full-service bar equipped with top-shelf spirits, beer and white wine on tap. Ami Vanderhoof, senior marketing manager at Cooper’s Hawk, explains that the bar keeps its wines on tap to ensure freshness in each pour. “When you open a bottle of wine, the first glass never tastes the same as the last,” she says.
Emily Wines, master sommelier at Cooper’s Hawk, explains that what sets Cooper’s Hawk apart from other pairing restaurants is that instead of sourcing wines to pair with its food, Cooper’s Hawk creates dishes to pair with its wines. On the Cooper’s Hawk menu, each plate of Asian pork belly tostadas, pan-roasted barramundi, crispy Brussels sprouts and other scrumptious bites are carefully paired with a bin number that corresponds to one of Cooper’s Hawk’s 47 varietals. Its portfolio of wines runs the gamut of household reds and whites to an almond sparkling, port-style Nightjar and vivid barrel reserve that changes every three to four months and is poured exclusively in the restaurant.
Cooper’s Hawk also curates a line of lux wines including a fruit-forward sparkling, full-bodied chardonnay, honeyed ice wine and one of Wines’ favorite, a complex pinot noir. In addition, the winemakers at Cooper’s Hawk create a wine of the month that can be sampled in the tasting room, or purchased by the glass or bottle by wine club members.
Although details are still under wraps, Wines has partnered with Cooper’s Hawk to curate her own line of vinos under the label Camille Brave. Bottles are expected sometime in 2019.
The cuisine at Cooper’s Hawk is as equally as astounding as its wide selection of varietals. Edmund Vogel is Cooper’s Hawk’s executive kitchen manager and personally trains each chef at Cooper’s Hawk’s newest locations to practice and appreciate the restaurant’s dedication to quality.
Vogel explains that each morning, all house-made sauces and dressings are taste-tested and approved by the head chef. The scratch kitchen also sources its produce and ingredients from only the best farmers and culinary craftsmen in the country. Via YouTube, Vogel introduced us to Cooper’s Hawk’s heirloom tomato source, farmer Lee Jones of Ohio, and the Illinois-based Romozzi family for their dedication to mixing, rolling and shipping thousands of pounds of gnocchi to Cooper’s Hawk locations.
Chef recommendations are special dishes not listed on the menu but rotate every month and pair wonderfully with Cooper’s Hawk’s wine of the month.
For more details about the Cooper’s Hawk menu, wine list and wine club membership, visit CHWinery.com.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is located at 733 Lynnhaven Mall Loop, Virginia Beach and is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.