Cooper’s Hawk

April 9, 2010

510 Village Center Dr., Burr Ridge, IL 60527

Lunch, dinner, & wine tasting ($40/ person)

http://www.coopershawkwiner.com

Let me begin by saying the pretzel bread they bring out before dinner is fantastic! I would come just for a glass of wine and the pretzel bread! Anyways on with the show… We will be the first to tell you some wines are decent and were not so great (keep in mind we have gotten to try some really good wines recently), but to the average diner they make for a great evening and definitely make dinner that much more enjoyable. On to the food! We ordered the Tuna Sliders as our starter which was absolutely wonderful! The tuna wad cooked perfectly, just kissed the pan, and had an amazing spice rub that was salty with just the right amount of spice! Next, we ordered our entrees. The Sea Scallops, which were also cooked to perfection, were served with white rice and asparagus, but it was the wine butter sauce that made it irresistible. Similarly, we also tried the Cashew Crusted Walleye  that was served with a mustard buerre blanc.  This may sound unusual, but it was fantastic. We were sopping it up with leftover pretzel bread. With the fish we swapped the Mary’s whipped potatoes for Betty’s hash brown cheese casserole, which was delicious! Cheap wine aside, Cooper’s Hawk is a great place if you’re looking for anything from burgers to seared tuna. Another perk is that while you wait for a table (we had an hour long wait) they have great wine tastings. They do a select 8 wines for $7, but if you want to try any of their wines be sure to ask, they offer complimentary samples.

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Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

April 6, 2010

131 West Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540

Lunch & Dinner  ($15/ person)

http://www.loumalnatis.com

Chances are that if you live in the Chicagoland area you have already been to Lou Malnati’s, or at least heard of it. We went there last Thursday on a beautiful, sunny day because we were looking for somewhere to eat where we could sit outside. The plus is that they do have outdoor seating (and we were lucky enough to walk up as someone was leaving), but the negative is that the outdoor seating is covered by a large canopy so you have to sit in just the right place to get some sun. We started off by Chris ordering a beer and I ordered a glass of wine. They weren’t serving any mixed drinks (a mojito sounded good while basking in the sun). We then ordered the Combination Platter, which was an assortment of toasted mozzarella sticks, cheddar cubes, breaded zucchini and mushrooms. It was very good, but too much food for only two people. By the time our medium deep dish pizza came we were no longer hungry (that didn’t stop us from each eating a slice though). The pizza was of course delicious.  Nikki usually doesn’t like deep dish pizza, but Lou Malnati’s is perfect. It is not too “deep”. We took the rest of the pizza and it made for a great lunch the next day!  If you have never been here you need to check it out. And if you are already familiar with Lou Malnati’s be sure to order a small pizza and maybe try out a salad, which we hear are fabulous!