Hamilton Inn

Food Offerings: The Hamilton Inn website describes its food as “New England Style,” and a note from the chef acknowledges the influence that French, Italian, and Asian cuisines play on his menu. This can be displayed from the warm duck confit crepe, veal Salvatore, and Thai jumbo grilled shrimp with soy lime chili sauce.

Hours: Serving dinner seven days a week.

Delivery: No.

Location: 4480 East Lake Road

Phone Number: 315-824-1245

Price Range: Moderate to expensive

Website: www.thehamiltoninn.com

Quality of Food: The menu at the Hamilton Inn is upscale without being too pretentious. It is on the pricier side for a restaurant in Hamilton, NY, and some complain that the price tag is not worth the quality, particularly in recent years. I do not fully agree with this assessment though, and have had many delicious meals here. Generally speaking, any kind of steak is always good, particularly the 8-ounce filet mignon with cabernet au jus. The three regular salads offered are all good, and offer a consistent great start to any meal: the Caesar has tangy dressing and is topped with Parmesan crisps; the baby spinach salad, topped with strawberries, crispy pancetta and toasted almonds, is a nice update on a classic; and the mixed baby greens salad is both sweet and savory with the addition of grapes, pine nuts, and gorgonzola cheese. The Hamilton Inn remains most popular on Wednesday nights though, when students can order from a special menu with $10 entrees. With regular entrees priced at $20 and above, this is a great deal. Popular regulars on this menu are shrimp scampi, a New York strip steak with sautéed mushrooms and salmon topped with gorgonzola cheese. The salmon seems to be particularly popular, but one of my friends had a bad experience with a dried out filet and too much cheese. Typically, though, your server will ask you how you like your fish cooked.

Décor: The Hamilton Inn might be the most beautiful restaurant in Hamilton. There is no place cozier or more inviting, and the lighting is particularly flattering. Soft yellow walls, exposed wooden beams, and wooden tables compose the backdrop of this restaurant. In the winter months there is always a fire going in at least one of the restaurant’s fireplaces, and this remains the only restaurant that has Christmas decorations I actually like, anywhere. If I had wealthy relatives who had a New England farmhouse, it would look like the Hamilton Inn’s dining room. The Inn also has five guest rooms, though I do not know anyone whose parents have actually been able to snag one.

Service: The service at the Hamilton Inn is friendly, knowledgeable and patient. It can be easy to linger at the Hamilton Inn, especially when there is a fire roaring in the cozy fireplace, reflecting soft yellow light onto everything around you. The servers must realize this, and they will respect your sloth-like pace.