Hamilton is well known for its variety and quality of restaurants in what is a relatively rural area. One of those spots sometimes gets overlooked, because of its location about 2 miles out of the village. Taking the left hand turn off of Payne Street onto East Lake Road is well worth it to experience the cozy fine dining experience that is the Hamilton Inn.
If you follow the inn on Facebook it is hard not to be hungry as they post some of their nightly specials, or appetizers online in the afternoon. Recently we took the time to make the trip and enjoy some of the fine dining that chef John Tubolino has been plating all summer long.
The evening began with cocktails at the bar which is fully stocked with beer, wine and liquor. All of the beers are in bottles and they do feature some regional favorites such as Utica’s own Saranac. They also have some Finger Lakes favorites on the wine list as well.
Moving on to the dinner table we enjoyed an appetizer of Parmesan and Rosemary Fried Mozzarella. The large circles of mozzarella were perfectly breaded, and fried, giving them a nice crisp texture with the mozzarella perfectly melted and gooey. Served over a bed of marinara sauce, this appetizer was a great way to start out our meal and it set the tone for what was to follow the rest of the evening.
For one of our entrees we went the seafood route with the Herb Crusted Halibut. The fish was well prepared and served with olives and salsa verde on the plate. The fish had great flavor, especially when all of the elements on the plate were combined and tasted together as one. It was moist, flaky and the herb crust on the top was a unique addition that I had never seen before, but really enjoyed.
We decided to stay on the land for the next entree that we ordered enjoying a grilled 6 oz Beef Filet. We ordered the filet medium rare and it came as requested. It was served with Madiera Creamed Wild Mushrooms, Gorgonzola Fritters, and Wilted Spinach. The steak was very tender and had an amazing amount of flavor. The real winner of the dish was the Gorgonzola Fritters though. Like the fried mozzarella they were crispy on the outside but moist and flavorful on the inside. A very nice way for the chef to add a twist to a pretty standard dish for an American restaurant and a memorable addition at that.
We finished the evening with a bread pudding topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was drizzled with a caramel sauce and it was a very sweet way to end the meal.
Our visit to The Hamilton Inn more than lived up to the daily hype of their Facebook page. The crowd was light, and the dining room provided a very nice, quiet setting to enjoy good food, fine wine and even better conversation. Hats off to the chef and the wait staff. They are open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 5pm. Reservations are not required, but are recommended.