When their restaurant Menagerie wasn't faring as well as they'd hoped, Craig Fass and Mandy Franklin went back to the drawing board and emerged with Cooper's, a neighborhood eatery that's big on portions, huge on taste and welcoming to the max. Everything but the bread is made in-house, with a menu that ranges from Cajun-spiced pork loin with whiskey sauce to truffled mushroom pizza to buffalo chicken ravioli.
Under it's own heading on the menu is the Broodwich, a massive beast of a sandwich, with layer upon layer of ham, salami, turkey, provolone, white cheddar, lettuce, shaved red onion, pickle, mayo and Dijon (go on, you might as well opt to add the bacon). It's quite possibly the best sandwich you'll have in recent memory, though do yourself a favor and split it with a friend so you'll have room to order an appetizer and dessert. The duck confit mac and cheese (a hold over from the old Menagerie menu) is made with creamy white cheddar and noodles and dotted with mouth-watering bits of crunchy onion and savory duck. Appetizers run $6-$9; entrees $9-$17.
During nice weather the full front windows open to lend a breezy air to the whole space. Score a high table near the front, an espresso-color table near the back or hop onto a stool at the wide, elegant bar, the back wall of which is lined with high-end liquor bottles. No matter your seat, make sure you indulge in one of the 50+ domestic and international beers. Join the beer club to have your sense of adventure (and love of beer) rewarded with free appetizers and entrees. Live music Thursday and Saturday evenings.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood