Dine or Decline: Hamilton Inn



After a busy winter break filled with sleeping, watching television, hanging out with friends, family parties and skiing, my roommate’s mom helped me and a group of my friends ease back into life in the arctic tundra that is Hamilton, New York by treat­ing us to an elegant meal at the Hamilton Inn (4480 East Lake Rd, Hamilton). Hungry after our long jour­neys back to Colgate, we wasted no time when it came to examining the tempting menu.

The starters, which ranged from $5 to $10, includ­ed a medley of salads, soups and specialty items. One stand-out option that we regrettably did not sample was the Cherry Stilton in Phyllo, which the menu describes as a blend of creamy English White Stilton cheese and luscious dark red American cherries baked in flakey phyllo dough. This was accompanied by a pear-ginger chutney and sweet and spicy pecans. One of my roommates ordered the Greek salad special of the day without anchovies, but was disappointed to still find the salty little fish on top of the bed of spinach accented by crumbled feta, tomatoes and homemade Greek yogurt dressing. The waitress graciously offered to replace the salad, but my roommate declined as she prepared for the main course ahead of us.

Our group managed to sample a wide variety of the main course options ranging in price from $15 to $23. My friend’s mom enjoyed the bacon wrapped filet mignon without complaints. The filet was topped with a rich red wine demi-glaze and was served with a side of whipped Yukon gold potatoes and green beans.

My friend demonstrated their similar tastes when she ordered the veal Osso Bucco. This meal was also prepared with a red wine sauce and was accompanied by truffled mashed potatoes and green beans. Overall, she felt the meal was satisfying. Although the veal was tender, well cooked and flavored, my roommate found the meat a little too fatty. This may be attributed to the nature of the dish, rather than a critique of the specific cut.

Another attendee and I both ordered the Chicken Provencal. This dish included a pan-roasted chicken breast smothered in a tomato, white wine and Kalamata olive sauce. The menu states that the chicken was to be accompanied by a homemade soft polenta with goat cheese and the seasonal vegetables. However, to our surprise, the polenta was re­placed by mashed potatoes. Luckily the Irish woman in me has a strong affinity for potatoes of any kind. My friend, on the other hand, was looking forward to the polenta and was subsequently disappointed.

Despite this mishap, we found the dish enjoyable. The ample amount of goat cheese successfully fulfilled my natural draw towards rich, flavorful foods. Both my friend and I thought the chicken was cooked to perfection, but the sauce was too sweet for our tastes.

All of the dinner attendees were unable to even consider looking at the dessert menu after the rich and filling meal. Overall, we had an enjoyable dining experience de­spite the few minor mishaps. Each selection of meat was cooked to undeniable perfection. The only substantial critique we had was in regards to the redundant choice of side dishes. Despite the menu’s attempt to creatively elaborate on these aspects of the dishes, each of us appeared to receive a very slight if any variation of mashed potatoes and the seasonal vegetable, green beans. However, this by no means speaks to the quality of the sides, which our empty plate demonstrat­ed at the conclusion of the meal. The Hamilton Inn is a great choice if you are looking for an elegant leisurely meal with your parents, friends or significant other.