Perhaps you have seen or eaten in the Chicago-based restaurant and wine club, Cooper’s Hawk. Whether you have or not, you will want to try dining at Esquire by Cooper’s Hawk opening March 21st in Chicago’s Gold Coast. It has been designed to be a culinary destination, set to bring some of the world’s best food and wine experiences to Chicago.
Upon arrival, you immediately notice the Esquire sign. Built in 1938, the Esquire Theater facade and vertical sign have been retained and the restaurant in the three-level unique structure of nearly 24,000 square feet includes art deco inspired furnishings, and new wine collectables displayed throughout. After you arrive and check in at the host desk, go past the bar area to the highlight of the space – the 50 foot completely glass enclosed wine tower holding over 1,600 bottles of wine from around the world surrounded by the two large dining rooms and tasting bar. I thought it was a unique and stunning sight. The space also includes 5 private dining rooms and an outdoor terrace overlooking Oak Street. Guests and wine club members will have access to a wine pick up counter for those who are part of the wine club or are purchasing.
Executive Chef Nate Henssler (formerly of Tao, Portsmith, Bellagio, Sensi and Michael Mina) debuted an elevated menu based on Cooper’s Hawk favorites, in addition to happy hour and a weekend brunch. Esquire also has a Visiting Chef Series. It premiered with a 7-item menu from James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Top Chef Judge and Food Activist, Chef Tom Colicchio. Running through May 21, 2022, the menu is inspired by Chef Tom’s commitment to simple, seasonal cooking and features some of his favorite ingredients like Peekytoe Crab, Agnolotti & Rohan Duck. “Chicago has always been one of my favorite food towns. I’m thrilled to be the inaugural chef for the Cooper’s Hawk’s visiting Chef Series,” said Chef Colicchio. The dishes will be served with a wine pairing, curated by Cooper’s Hawk Master Sommelier, Emily Wines.
With many options on the menu, my guest and I started with the Colossal Shrimp and The Prime Meatball as our appetizers. Both were delicious and the meatball had the perfect amount of parm but we both favored the shrimp. It was buttery and a perfect salty with the bacon, it almost did not even need the guacamole it came with. For our entrees, I decided to go with one of the dishes from Chef Tom Colicchio’s menu, the Rohan Duck with orange, kumquat, licorice root, endive. My guest decided on the Trio of Prime Filet Medallions: parmesan-crusted, whipped root vegetable, asparagus, cooper’s hawk lux cabernet reduction. The duck was tender and tasty. I enjoyed the orange flavor. My guest enjoyed his filet medallions and the cabernet reduction added a great flavor to it.
Lets not forget about the wine, I decided to try the Luscious & Creamy Flight Pairing suggested for the Colossal Shrimp which included 3 tastes of STOLPMAN, Roussanne, Ballard Canyon 2015, COOPER’S HAWK, Unoaked Chardonnay, California NV, and SONOMA-CUTRER, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2016. I liked being able to try different wines and it is a great option if you cannot decide on just one. My guest tried a glass of the Cabernet Franc which he said was perfect with his medallions. Last, but not least was dessert and we went for the Seven-Layer Chocolate Cake. With hazelnut ganache, whipped Valrhona white chocolate, espresso meringue, dark chocolate sauce you cannot go wrong with this option. So moist and chocolatey, it is the perfect end to a meal.
A beautiful space with a welcoming and warm ambiance, dining at Esquire by Cooper’s Hawk is a must. The food is delicious and with a variety of wines, you cannot go wrong. I will be back.
About Cooper’s Hawk
Founded in 2005 by CEO Tim McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk was built upon the belief that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections. The portfolio currently includes 49 Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant locations, 545,000-member wine club and “by Cooper’s Hawk” concepts that showcase a curated selection of some of the best culinary and wine experiences. Cooper’s Hawk wines have won over 600 awards and are the Official Wines of the Screen Actors Guild® Awards. (www.chwinery.com)
Instagram: @esquirebyCH + @chwinery
Esquire by Cooper’s Hawk, 58 E Oak Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Thursday: 11AM – 9PM *(lunch begins Tuesday, March 22)
Friday & Saturday: 11AM – 10PM
All Photos by E.Juarez