KENWOOD, Ohio - We are pleased to bring you this weekly feature from Julie Niesen Gosdin, the voice behind the food blog wine me, dine me. Julie serves up a "Pick of the Week," when she visits a local eatery and samples a signature menu item.
Thai Lettuce Wrap at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant
Location: 8080 Montgomery Road, Kenwood
Concept: Winery and upscale casual food
Price: $11.99 wrap; wines $6.25-$12 a glass
Cooper's Hawk is a very small chain, with locations in just a few states. I tend to avoid chains, because I like to keep my dollars local. But, I'd heard nothing but good things about Cooper’s Hawk, and when a friend wanted to try it for dinner, I was game.
They specialize in wine, and as you wait for your table you're permitted to try three different ones--a great way to kill time, and to figure out what you'd like to drink with dinner.
I ended up with the Lux Meritage ($12 a glass), a Cooper's Hawk-exclusive wine, which was a great complement to dinner--even if what I chose wasn't a traditional red wine pairing.
The dish that was a standout for me was the Thai lettuce wraps. These are not the ground chicken lettuce wraps that are pretty common; I'm sure you've had them at various places countless times.
Instead, the dish consists of poached chicken breast meat, with an array of condiments. I thought it would be a small portion, but it's enough to share with several people.
There are three sauces: one spicy, one peanut, and one a bit sweet--with lots of cilantro, pickled cucumbers, a squash and carrot slaw and crispy wonton strips.
If you omitted the won ton strips, this would be a light, filling meal that's fairly good for you. Of course, you can always sneak in a couple of those crispy strips. (I know I did.)
This is a wine me, dine me pick because: It's flavorful, fresh and a fun take on traditional lettuce wraps. You may not want to share!