Get your glam on and go to dinner.

Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant is described on its own website as "an upscale casual restaurant," which means anything goes. You can show up for fine dining in your jeans. You can show up to sip wine in your Sunday best. You can show up to toast a special occasion in your evening attire. That's what I love about it!

(I mean, other than the super-amazing food!)

They don't shortchange anything at Cooper's Hawk. The restaurant is located on the upper level of the Annapolis Towne Center, which has the vibe of a city all on its own. The Towne Center has everything -- groceries, shopping, condos, and a fine place to dine. Cooper's has a cozy, romantic feel with dim lighting, black cloth napkins, and fancy carafes of deep red wine brought right to your table. But the pretzel bread is perfect for the whole family. It's hot, it's endless, and it comes with a side of whipped butter that melts as you spread it. Who knew a soft pretzel could feel so classy?

pretzel bread

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

My recommendation: order a flight of wine. (If you're old enough, of course! Sorry, kids!) That way you can try several from their winery. You can't find this stuff in any stores other than their own tasting room below the restaurant.

Cooper's Hawk Tasting Room

Tasting room. Photo courtesy of

Want to taste something first? No problem! Cooper's offers a wide array of wines -- dessert, mulled, dry red, dry white, sweet, and sparkling. Their cabernet savignon from their lux line is the best I've ever tasted. It manages to somehow be rich and dry at the same time, pairing well with a filet mignon. But I drank it with their chicken madeira, which according to their menu pairs best with their Barbera red, which just shows good wine can go with anything. Their almond sparkling is the perfect finish to any meal, though. I haven't found almond wine anywhere else, and the nose of this one really does smell like an almond cookie! Delicious, refreshing, and sweet enough to stand in for dessert!

Not that you'll want to skip out on dessert here. Their dessert list is long and delicious. After a long deliberation, I tried the Reese's ice cream cookie because I couldn't resist the idea of vanilla ice cream melting on top of a warm chocolate, peanut butter cookie.

Cooper's Hawk dessert

Courtesy of Yelp

But let's talk about the chicken madeira.

Oh. My. God.

Courtesy of Cooper's Hawk's Twitter

Cooked to perfection, the chicken didn't even need to be cut with a knife. I'm not a mushroom person, but since I was splitting this meal with my husband (who is), I thought I could just push the mushrooms over to the side. Nope. Didn't have to. Delicious, mushrooms and all. And half the entree felt like a whole entree at any other restaurant. We were almost too full for dessert. The fontina cheese was melted and creamy. And you could tell the potatoes had been whipped with cream -- very smooth, very rich.

Cooper's Hawk is amazing from start to finish. Come on out for happy hour with your work buddies, dinner with your beau, or lunch with the family. It seriously goes with everything!

Cooper's is located at 1906 Towne Centre Blvd., Annapolis, MD 21401. Visit their website here

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