Hamilton’s Grill Room is set back from the street in a secluded courtyard in the charming town of Lambertville, New Jersey. The location, adjacent to a peaceful canal along the Delaware River, is private. In the spring and summer months, the lush plants and outdoor seating make you feel like you are in a special place.
Jim Hamilton’s knack of setting the scene is his passion as well as his profession. The Broadway set designer and restaurateur knows how to create a warm and romantic ambiance while serving the freshest local ingredients to make each evening, feel enchanted.
Location: Hamilton’s Grill Room, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, New Jersey
Menu: The menu at Hamilton’s Grill Room reflects seasonal, local foods, and changes daily. The restaurant is popular for its steaks but the cuisine is Mediterranean in focus.
Since the choices change regularly, you might not see the same items listed if you visit more than one time. You can guarantee that the starters will always include oysters on the half shell. When I dined there, we were offered enormous grilled shrimp in anchovy butter, salads with local cheese and seasonal plates of pasta.
The grill is a prominent part of the restaurant, and most entrees include preparation on the Royal Oak hardwood charcoal grill. There are grilled prime New York steaks with truffle butter, a large pork chop with braised leeks or chicken with herbs au jus. Fresh seafood is roasted and all served with tantalizing sides.
Thoughts: Hamilton’s Grill Room exudes rustic elegance. It feels upscale but also conveys a casual vibe that attracts a steady stream of repeat customers. The ambiance is warm and friendly. The servers are wonderful. Not only are they engaging, but the staff works diligently to provide a memorable experience for their guests.
The generous portions offer a lot for the price point, and the bonus of not having a liquor license allows diners to bring the beer or wine of their choice with no added corkage fee.
There are three different dining rooms inside, each with unique decor and personality. The outdoor seating is available in warmer months and is idyllic when the sun sets, and the candles glow in the yard. Once you are seated, there are a few specials to ponder, but any of the grilled items are always my first choice.
First, I started with the colossal grilled shrimp in anchovy butter. The freshness of the shellfish combined with the butter and the smokey grill flavor is incredible. My partner opted for a warmed goat cheese salad. The fresh local cheese and greens dressed in a light vinaigrette were delicate and delicious. I was grateful to share as both choices were fantastic.
I requested the steak for my entree because the grill imparts an oaky smoke that I love. I chose medium rare as my temperature and it was, as I hoped, perfectly prepared. My husband opted for the braised lamb ragout which was presented on top of a parmesan polenta. When I sampled the ragu with the polenta, I found the dish to be luscious and flavorful. It was, however, a warm evening and the richness of the dish felt heavy. My husband was addicted to the creamy, nutty polenta and found it hard to resist. He ultimately could not finish his plate but did not want to leave it behind and requested a take-home container. The portions are very generous.
Lastly, as a finish to the delicious meal, our server carried a silver tray to our table. Desserts are made in house and are displayed on the tray to tempt you. They are hard to resist. While our stomachs were full, we still opted for the warm berry crumble topped with house ice cream. It was hard to resist a homemade dessert that screamed summer, so we asked for two spoons.
Price Range: Appetizers are $10-16. Entrees range in price from $28 – 42. Oysters are market priced and desserts range in price starting from $10.