Food Offerings: Both the Dining Room and the Tap Room at the Inn have very similar, diverse menus. You can find everything on there from a Reuben sandwich, Caesar salad, and burgers, to sesame encrusted tuna, Yankee pot roast, and fish-n-chips.
Hours: The dining room is open for dinner from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Tuesday – Saturday; the Tap Room is open for lunch and dinner from daily from 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Delivery: No, but takeout is available.
Location: 1 Payne Street
Phone Number: 315-825-0225
Price Range: Lunch at the Tap Room is moderately cheap; Dinner at the Tap Room and at the Dining Room is moderate to expensive.
Quality of Food: Though the Dining Room and the Tap Room each have their own menu with a few slight variations, in my opinion the best things to order are featured on both. The Colgate Inn does traditional food best. My favorite thing to order is the Yankee pot roast, which is fork-tender and served with mashed potatoes, root vegetables, and gravy. This dish is the ultimate in comfort food – my dad needs to have this every time my parents come up to visit. There are various cuts of steak on both menus, all of which are very tasty – we are in cow country, now. However, the red wine sauce that comes with the filet is particularly good. If your preference is fish, then the fish-n-chips at the Inn are delectable. They use blue cod, battered and fried until golden and crisp, and served with French fries, lemon wedges, and tartar sauce. This is a no-frills fish-n-chips, but it doesn’t need anything else. On Friday nights, when fish fry is kind of a tradition in central New York, they will sometimes have a special variety of fish-n-chips. I’ve had it battered in black and tan ale, which adds an extra bit of flavor. If you happen to be down in the Tap Room on a Thursday night, waiting for Dollar Drafts (that’s right, $1 beers) to start when hunger strikes, you can order some very delicious shareable plates for your table to enjoy. Try a dozen wings with Buffalo sauce (mild, medium, or hot) and bleu cheese, the spinach and artichoke dip, or Georgia’s bank calamari, which is fried and served with hot cherry peppers and drizzled with red pepper vinaigrette and chive oil. And of course, no meal is complete without a slice of Tollhouse Pie. You really can’t leave Hamilton without trying this decadent dessert, which is essentially a soft, gooey chocolate chip cookie baked into a crispy crust. Delicious.
Décor: The Colgate Inn is often prospective students’ first view of Hamilton, as it also has 45 guest rooms and is the most convenient place to stay while visiting Colgate. This initial impression is important, and the Inn keeps its dining rooms in top shape. The Dining Room looks like an elegant old farmhouse with a big brick fireplace, exposed wooden beams, and cheerful wooden tables. Various paintings of old-time downtown Hamilton decorate the walls, interspersed with iron lanterns that provide nice accent lighting. The most important thing about the Dining Room is that it actually looks authentically, honestly quaint – there is no sense of annoying kitsch – and reignites that elusive feeling of contentment most Colgate students have about going to school in town like Hamilton. The Tap Room has a more casual feeling, but echoes the charm of the Dining Room with a large exposed brick wall and wooden tables and chairs, though these feature upholstered seat cushions. A few choice booths sit around the perimeter of the Tap Room, while murals of old bar scenes decorate the walls. The main feature of the Tap Room, though, is the large wooden bar that takes up nearly an entire wall of the space. This is a popular space to start off the night for both locals and students alike, but Thursday night Dollar Drafts is by far the liveliest day of the week.
Service: The service at the Colgate Inn is professional and courteous. This is one of the few restaurants in Hamilton that knows how to handle large crowds of people – particularly during Family and alumni weekends – and it can tend to be one of the busiest restaurants in the downtown area (a reservation at the Dining Room will ensure success, but the Tap Room does not take them – this can be both a blessing and a curse).