HAMILTON’S GRILL ROOM, LAMBERTVILLE
Hamilton’s Grill Room has been open for 26 years and is still an impressive venue. To get there, we walked down a quaint alley and found a garden courtyard for al fresco dining, weather permitting. Upon entering the restaurant, the Delaware Raritan canal is visible through the windows. There is an open kitchen, where executive chef Mark Miller—who has been there for 17 years—is busy cooking on a charcoal grill and in an adobe oven. Owner Jim Hamilton recently held a dinner to introduce the press to items from the new menu, which he told us had not been significantly changed since he opened the restaurant.
The focus is now on seafood and steak with local grass-fed, grain-finished premium Black Angus beef, East and West Coast oysters and lobsters as well as shellfish. While 80 percent of the menu has changed, Hamilton told us that old favorites such as the Griggstown chicken, Berkshire pork chop and grilled jumbo shrimp are still available, but with a new twist or presentation. Wood-fired king crab legs are now offered for two rather than a single portion.
A variety of raw oysters.
We started with a variety of oysters: raw, fire-roasted with shallots and Pernod butter, baked with spinach, bacon and Parmesan and fried, served atop of deviled eggs. All tasted exceedingly fresh; we slurped them into our mouths with pleasure. Two salads were next: a small variety of romaine called Little Gem with candied walnuts, Roquefort, red beets and a house vinaigrette and a refreshing chopped salad created with watercress, iceberg, avocado, tomato, hard-boiled eggs and a citrus vinaigrette. Alaskan king crab cakes had a sriracha mayonnaise giving them an invigorating kick. Crispy duck confit with figs, port wine and honey were comforting. Next came the steaks: a porterhouse; a blackened bone-in rib eye and a NY strip. All prime, all tender, all recommended. Jumbo Alaskan King crab legs were light and would also be a perfect appetizer. Thank goodness we were not served bread and had room for dessert. The grappa torta comprised of an almond-butter shortbread sprinkled with confectioners sugar and served with raspberries and blackberries was rich enough as well as light enough to be savored after this wonderful dinner.
Hamilton Grill Room is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Lunch on Saturday and Sunday will begin again in April.
Executive chef Mark Miller
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
Hamilton’s Grill Room
8 Coryell Street
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