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Finally had the roast chicken at Hamersley's

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NahantNative Jun 28, 2011 06:40 AM

So we finally got Hamersley's last night for my birthday. Obviously I had to order the roast chicken. It surely lived up to the expectations. It was perfectly cooked; moist and crispy skin and the sauce was to die for. I guess my only complaint is the lack of sides with the meal. It came with merely a wedge on onion (which was delish) and single wedge of potato. I order an extra side of roasted potato ($10) which was literally 5 fingerlings. All in all I'd go back and order it again in a heartbeat, but I think Gordon should be a little more generous with his portions. Now that I think about this chicken I am already craving it.

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  1. hounda RE: NahantNative Jul 16, 2011 02:58 PM

    Went last night for wifey's birthday..... and the roast chicken, both of us. Geez I did say 5 stars, but to nit-pick, I'm not crazy about the olives - in the drinks and the warm olive appetizer. I am not a fan of pitting olives in my mouth, but this is the way things have been and I guess that is how they will stay! I do love the bread, and the butter is good but could be better (go ahead and add some sea salt, or honey (Bergamot)). The service, the room, the vibe, and the chicken are fantastic and I plan to keep this place my special occasion go-to. Split the molten cake with ice cream for dessert with shaved chocolate and home made caramel sauce, and when I say split, I mean fought for every bite, next time I will order my own...

    1 Reply
    1. re: hounda
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      niedobra RE: hounda Jul 18, 2011 11:42 AM

      wifey?

    2. n
      nasilemak RE: NahantNative Jul 16, 2011 06:33 PM

      If you find it to be a bit too expensive, do consider trying the recipe at home. It's in Gordon's cookbook. It's not difficult at all and the results are just as satisfying.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nasilemak
        mjg0725 RE: nasilemak Jul 18, 2011 05:32 AM

        Or here:
        http://www.starchefs.com/GHamersley/h...

      2. opinionatedchef RE: NahantNative Jul 17, 2011 12:14 AM

        is this a misprint- TEN dollars for a side of potatoes??? as in P o t a t o e s ??

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef
          bgavin RE: opinionatedchef Aug 2, 2011 11:25 AM

          I love Hamersley's and it has been on the top of my favorite list for several years.
          But we went last autumn and we aghast at a tossed salad for $13. The salad was very good, not huge, and it did have a tablespoon of goat cheese on top of it. But $13? It just pissed me off.
          The roast chicken is $27 -- how could a few handfuls of greens cost half of that?

        2. w
          Wannabfoode RE: NahantNative Jul 18, 2011 12:36 PM

          that onion is to die for. It would be great if it was more than just two bites, but I guess that's the theory: always leave them wanting more!!

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            tamerlanenj RE: NahantNative Jul 19, 2011 06:13 AM

            I have very very few complaints ever about a meal at Hamersley's, but my knock on the place has always been that it is just too pricey for what is, in the end, bistro food. Yes, it is excellent, especially the chicken, but it is really hard to get out of there not feeling a bit soaked. However, since there are places as expensive and MORE expensive that are not nearly as good, I will continue to go back a couple of times a year at least.

            9 Replies
            1. re: tamerlanenj
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              chompie RE: tamerlanenj Jul 21, 2011 01:45 AM

              ok, please dont laugh at me but i am very curious as to how this chicken compares to regular non chow places suburban roast chicken. Wondering if there is really a big difference for the price or if theres a bit of emporers new clothes at work... I actually dont eat chicken but hubby does on occasion and i would love him to try the best so curious how it compares to ones he likes around here for 8 to 10 bucks with lots of big sides.. Has anyone tried the roast chicken at Brouthers Kouzina, Texas Roadhouse or the Century House in Danvers/Peabody area? They have all seemed very crispy, moist and flavorful so i really am very curious for comparison. Anyone willing to lower their restaurant standards to indulge my curiosity and experiment and compare? Either that or are there recommendations for other North of Boston, cheaper places that are similar to Hammersleys? thanks!

              -----
              Century House Restaurant
              235 Andover St, Peabody, MA 01960

              1. re: chompie
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                tamerlanenj RE: chompie Jul 21, 2011 04:15 AM

                You know, it's roasted chicken...it's not rocket science. I'm sure you could find a quite good one cheaper. All I can say is that Hamersley's is the best I've had, and that includes Paris. Whether it's worth the pricetag is something for any diner to decide for his or herself. I've had other good, slightly cheaper roasted birds at La Voile, Sel De La Terre, and I won't turn my nose up at a Shaw's supermarket chicken either. In any case, I am quite certain that what they serve at the Texas Roadhouse is not even on the same culinary planet as Hamersely's chicken.

                1. re: tamerlanenj
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                  NahantNative RE: tamerlanenj Jul 21, 2011 06:05 AM

                  Agreed. it's one of those things that you can't really put in words as to why it's so good, but it just is.

                  1. re: NahantNative
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                    kimfair1 RE: NahantNative Jul 21, 2011 07:22 AM

                    It's like when I finally tried Thomas Keller's recipe for roast chicken. I'd roasted many a chicken in my day, but when I did it like he suggested, it was much better than any other roast chicken I've made. Hammersly's is the best roast chicken that I've had in a restaurant (my wife ordered it, I have a hard time ordering chicken in a restaurant).

                    1. re: kimfair1
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                      DoubleMan RE: kimfair1 Jul 21, 2011 07:50 AM

                      For roast chickens I've had in restaurants, Hamersley's is #2 for me, behind Zuni Cafe's chicken (Craigie is #3). I have not had Keller's at any of his restaurants, but I've made his recipe at home and still prefer Zuni's recipe to his. Zuni's recipe is in their cookbook and all over the web - I highly recommend it if you haven't had it.

                2. re: chompie
                  BostonZest RE: chompie Jul 21, 2011 08:04 AM

                  It is the best chicken I've ever had. I make a mean roast chicken but I still crave the one from Hamersley's and order it regularly.

                  And, I can't tell you how many thanks I've received over the years for recommending that people order it. People don't take the time to reach out and thank you for something ordinary.

                  I think the high quality and consistency at Hamersley's is due to focus and pride. This is a place where the owners are only paying attention to making a small group of diners in one restaurant happy. They are doing all the small things you can to do to deliver a superior experience every time you put a plate in front of a customer.

                  It's remarkable that they never rest on their well-deserved laurels and never lose that focus.

                  Penny
                  http://www.bostonzest.com/

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                  Hamersley's Bistro
                  553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

                  1. re: BostonZest
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                    chompie RE: BostonZest Jul 31, 2011 09:03 PM

                    i still wonder if you can say that you are sure that something is from anothr culinary planet if you havent tried it... but alas noone wants to take up my dare to compare..so I will remain curious. I know the skin at the Coentury house with crackling crisp, but havent been there for a while..

                    1. re: chompie
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                      chompie RE: chompie Jul 31, 2011 09:36 PM

                      actually i just got more curious and googled the Texas Roadhouse recioe. Not saying it's the same as Hammersley, but with garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, butter, etc, those dont sound like another culinary planet to me...

                      1. re: chompie
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                        tamerlanenj RE: chompie Aug 2, 2011 12:54 PM

                        next time im Texas Roadhouse ( never) I'll give it a try.

              2. opinionatedchef RE: NahantNative Jul 31, 2011 09:44 PM

                While the legions of H's chicken lovers are expressing their love in this thread, I will stick out my onliest neck to mention, just for the record, that many years ago, after trying said chicken (and other dishes), twice, while dining out with chef friends and with Gordon on the line both nights, I never tasted anything remarkable or worthy of return. But i'm so glad that there are many of you that have had the opposite experience from me.
                I would really have enjoyed having a great roast chicken dish.

                1 Reply
                1. re: opinionatedchef
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                  trueblu RE: opinionatedchef Aug 2, 2011 05:44 PM

                  I'm with you on this one. I thought that the roast chicken was very good, but it was not the best I've ever had, or even top 2-3. Probably the best I've had in North America, however.

                  tb

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