‘Tis the season for endless shopping. And looking for that perfect gift can work up quite a hearty appetite. Luckily, The Gardens Mall has plenty of top-notch options.
The food court offers Let’s Talk Turkey and a full-service California Pizza Kitchen.
Half a mall away from the food court sits The Gardens’ newish Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant.
Buzzy as it can be, the spacious restaurant offers an escape from mall gridlock. The place is welcoming, the menu well varied and approachable. And it’s a terrific place for a glass of wine at the bar. (Wine, all carrying the Cooper’s Hawk label, is the centerpiece element here.
At the other end of the mall, a great treat is finding no line outside the Nordstrom Café Bistro, the cozy eatery located on the second floor of the department store. And even if there is a line, it’s worth the wait.
Soups here are rich and delicious. Salads are abundant and will not leave you hungry. (I love the salade nicoise with herbs and Dijon-roasted wild salmon, French green beans, potatoes, egg and capers.) And if you’re famished, you can slice into rib-sticking fare as well, such as the Bistro flatiron steak with herb butter, organic arugula, Kalamata olive aioli and crispy fries.
Other civilized dining options include Brio Tuscan Grille, where it’s always nice to start your meal with a platter of beef carpaccio and salad, or a spicy-creamy Pasta Fra Diavolo. Or sit at the bar on weekdays for delicious, low-priced bites during happy hour.
Coming soon: The folks at Park Avenue BBQ & Grille are busy renovating the former Counter location (near Sears) and already are accepting employment applications. That means it shouldn’t be too long before those sweet-spicy pickles and pulled pork platters come to The Gardens Mall.