( Reviewed by my “She Says ” editor – learads)
After overindulging on the traditional treats of Thanksgiving Day, by Saturday my boyfriend Donn and I were ready for some fresh air and lighter fare. We ventured out to browse the neighborhood of Manayunk, a few blocks of quaint upscale restaurants and shops, just north of center city Philadelphia.
We had dined at Jakeâ€™s several times in the past, but never had we experienced the more casual extension next door called Cooperâ€™s Wine Bar. What a great discovery!
Our friendly bartender, Jamie, was a superb server. It was obvious from the start that Jakeâ€™s & Cooperâ€™s train their staff well. Jamie suggested several â€œincredibleâ€ or â€œfabulousâ€ menu options, from drink specials to desserts, and we learned quickly that she was one to be trusted!
Donn started with a glass of J Vineyards Pinot Gris- just the right touch of acidity and light fruity aroma. We made a note to buy a few bottles to keep on hand at home.
I chose one of two featured cocktails â€“ the pumpkin-ginger martini was smooth and flavorful and I only wish I had jotted the ingredients.
Our appetites were slight so we opted for two small-plate choices. Donn selected a 3-cheese fire-grilled pizza, oozing with exquisite olive oil and topped with slightly crispy sage. The thin, crunchy crust was perfectly punctuated by pungent Fontina cheese.
I shared only a taste of my cold roasted beets topped with honey-caramelized almonds and crumbled Gorgonzola. I love the flavor of beets, and the glorious color reminded me of my childhood when my mom stood peeling the steamy, homegrown veggie with pink-stained fingers as she prepared beets from our garden for a family meal.
Much of the ingredients at Jakeâ€™s & Cooperâ€™s is locally grown we were told.
Jamie the bartender checked on us frequently. In fact, as we leisurely nibbled and sipped our drinks, we got to know her a bit and learned that she was recently engaged and that she has a twin sister.
When it was time for round 2, Jamie offered Donn a wine-tasting of 3 additional whites. After expanding his knowledge of Cooperâ€™s wine list, he opted to stick with the original J Vineyards Pinot. Feeling a bit adventurous, I decided to try the other featured cocktail â€“ a muddled beverage featuring cranberries, oranges and bourbon. Simply lip-smacking!
Now realizing that we had spent a relaxing 2 hours at Cooperâ€™s in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, we couldnâ€™t depart without trying a dessert; especially since Jamie had revealed they were homemade. We perused the dessert menu and selected the chocolate caramel tart to share. The chocolate-crusted torte was topped with smooth creamy caramel sauce covering a surprise spattering of sea salt. Mmmmmâ€¦like a chocolate covered pretzel, this sweet and savory treat was the perfect ending to a delightful afternoon dining discovery.
Regular Guy RatingÂ Â * * * *
Jakeâ€™s & Cooperâ€™s Wine Bar
4367 Main St., Manayunk, Philadelphia, PA