So these past few weeks have been crazy, as I’ve mentioned! With the wedding, aka Bucknell reunion since like half the guests were college friends, it was an awesome but completely packed wedding weekend! A whole bunch of the Bucknell crew ended up going to brunch at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. I’m actually going to dedicate two posts to this, one for the restaurant now, and a future one to the winery! That way I can give both aspects their due.
So onto the lunch! We had originally wanted brunch, and I thought they had a brunch menu, but they really only had their normal lunch menu. Which was plenty extensive but I think a few of my friends were disappointed that there weren’t more traditional breakfasty items on the menu. That said, the food was amazing. They start you off with this pretzel bread, a perfect boy too chewy, but definitely pretzel bread that was heavenly when warm! I was only half joking when I told the table that I’d be happy to just eat bread and leave. But it’s the kind of bread that gets you excited for the meal the first time you try out the restaurant! The appetizer of bacon-wrapped shrimp over guacamole was an interesting but delicious combination! T and I devoured it, but it was already lunchtime and we hadn’t really had breakfast at all.
I also want to note that we ended up at Cooper’s Hawk Winery with a group of 15 people and it was a little crazy. They ended up having to seat us at multiple tables, all in the same area of course, but unfortunately in large groups as it happens, you really only end up chatting with the people sitting around you. It was a little bit of a bummer but still, it is what happens. The wait staff were wonderful, gave us tastings of their current house wine, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which was quite tasty in my opinion. Had a nice crisp quality and that typical dry finish. They even had brought a few extras and instead of just bringing them into the back, just handed them out to people who liked the wine! So I had two small tastings of it.
We got a wide assortment of dishes, ranging from a mustard pork chop, to braised short ribs, to burgers, to flatbreads, to risotto, to gnocchi, to Parmesan crusted chicken…I can go on, but I won’t do 15 meals justice. A few highlights: the mustard pork chop was good. A bit tough in my opinion and far more mustardy than expected. Not in a bad way, but then I only had a bite and I wonder if the whole dish might have been overpowering.
The braised short ribs were the servers favorite and happened to be the dish that I ordered. They were a touch fatty, but in a dish like short ribs, I really don’t mind because that’s part of what makes it rich and delicious. I actually went with the waiter’s recommendation of the Shiraz instead of the suggested pairing, and it went well. I’m less of a red drinker, so have less of a pallet for it, but I enjoyed it. Now is a good time to note that all of the dishes have suggested bin numbers for the wine so the menu is definitely designed with food pairings in mind! Most people (except the drivers) got wine or cocktails and really seemed to enjoy their food.
The red wine risotto was also a definite try-again. I only had a bite, but it was that amazing rich, delicious risotto that I wanted it to be. It was a huge portion and despite my college roommate E’s best attempts, she couldn’t even get through it all and ended up boxing it up to take home.
Long story short, I’m super excited to go back! For both the winery and the food, it’s a little bit of a trek out into the suburbs from us, but it’s not too far from the Dulles airport, and it was a hefty 4.5 out of 5 chips (read: stars).
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant Website
19870 Belmont Chase Drive
Ashburn, VA 20147