Last April we pigged out at Hamilton Pork in Jersey City and had such a delicious experience that we wanted to try Hamilton Inn, which is also owned by Michael Gondevas. The restaurant has a hip atmosphere, where you can see man buns and lots of tats. If you dine there early also expect to see families with children.
Named for Hamilton (not the play) the restaurant is located in a turn-of-the-century building with brick walls, a wood floor, charming vintage decorations and TVs over the bar. The wood pedestal tables, set with cloth napkins, are small with French café chairs. Waiters who wear dungarees and blue shirts provide efficient service.
Water in a milk bottle was placed on the table when seated. Goat cheese and potato oozed from the large homemade pirogues served with truffled sour cream and caramelized onions; a well-matched combination of flavors. Lamb burger was a stomach stuffer with tzatziki, crumbled feta and pickled red onions on a brioche. We opted for the salad, instead of fries, which contained greens, cucumbers, shredded carrots and scallions with a light dressing.
“Who is Tata?” I asked when I saw Tata’s fish stew with lobster— calamari and mussels in a spicy marinara sauce, served over spaghetti—on the menu. It turns out she is the owner’s aunt and she must be one great Tata because this fish stew was stunning. It was filled with so much lobster meat, more than you would get in a lobster roll, that I was willing to share some with Lowell. The sauce had just enough kick without being overpowering.
The menu has many comfort food items such as nachos, steamed mussels, chicken wings, corned beef sandwich, burger, steak frites and chicken parm. A children’s menu offers chicken fingers, buttered pasta, and grilled cheese.
Three desserts, all made daily in house, were offered and our warm flourless chocolate cake, which reminded us of a fudgy brownie, came with unsweetened housemade whipped cream and was topped with a high-quality scoop of vanilla ice cream; scrumptious. The other options were banana cream pie and vanilla ice cream.
The wine list is small with 4 bubblies, 5 whites and 9 reds. On Wine Down Sunday bottles of house wines are half off. Draught beer, bottles and cans as well as cocktails are offered.
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Brunch is available Saturdays, Sundays and every Monday that is a holiday. Take note that free parking is available on the corner of 12th and Jersey.
708 Jersey Avenue
Hamilton Inn lamb burger
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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