Hamilton Grill Room, Lambertville NJ
I haven't been in about a year, but my experience was OK. The food was very good, the service was OK. We sat outside, which was my request, but turned out to be a mistake as they have plastic tables and chairs. I would definitely not sit outside again unless they have upgraded that area. But, I can't complain about the food... it was cooked well and tasted great.
Quite frankly, I've never understood the appeal of this restaurant. I stopped going a couple of years ago because there are just too many other good places in the surrounding area. The food at Hamilton Grill was always acceptable, but never memorable, and the service tended to be slow. On a number of occasions, the servers just seemed disinterested.
Perhaps it's time to try them again. On the other hand, I'm afraid I'll wish I hadn't!
I agree with ambrose. Hamilton's Grill has jumped the shark. It's got everything going for it including a canal side setting at the end of a cozy alley, a great historic building, a cool bar (the Boathouse) across it's courtyard, al fresco dining in season, it's BYOB and has a steady stream of locals plus tourists to fill it's tables yearround.
Problem here is the food is average at best, and forgetable by the time you walk out of the alley and turn the corner.
We've been there on at least five occasions over as many years, weeknights and weekends, but for the life of me, I can't recall one thing that wowed me or that I even remember.
Mr. Hamilton is getting up in years and has been there since opening in 1988. That may or may not have something to do with it. I wish I had gone there 15 years ago to experience it in it's prime, for comparison.
Sit at the grill and interact with Chef Mark Miller. He'll do a fine job on your order.
What comes from the kitchen, however, is subject to mediocrity.
Mark buys his fish from the best fishmonger in the region, so it's going to be fresh.
Like so many other restaurants fighting higher prices for provisions, most entrees are now priced at $30 or more. BYO cushions that blow, however.
On a very recent visit, I'm happy to report that everything we ordered was consistently good.
Mark, manning the grill, did a fine job on a whole branzino which was served with a curry sauce. The real star of the meal were the beets: provisioned from one of the best growers in Bucks County, they were gently roasted and topped with a pesto sauce made from the beet greens. These are being seasonally offered as a side dish ($6) and are not to be missed.
Service was attentive and outstanding. We also enjoyed six oysters from Cape Cod, which were outstanding ($2.50 per).
In our opinion, as 20 year customers of the Grill Room, it remains one of the area's top choices.