Thursday, May 30, 2013

THE HAMILTON – Ready to get your boogie on?

 Is it a bar, a restaurant or concert venue?  Surprise its all three and even more.  Its motto should be eat, drink and be happy because after walking in the front door and taking a seat that was just what I was “happy”.  No drinks to fill my belly yet just the warm inviting atmosphere.  The music venue has something for everyone from the amazing Paul Kelly to the Smithereens. Or better yet how about Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer and bandleader, Terri Lyne Carrington she will be spotlighting the venue on June 8, 2013.  June 24, 2013 gives way to Billy Cox Band of Gypsys Experience Featuring the original bassist of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.  You must remember who Jimi Hendrix was even if you were born yesterday.  This place has Sunday gospel brunch a fabulous event to indulge in food and music so start tapping your feet to the rhythm. 

I had passed by the Hamilton many times while in DC but I always thought I was underdressed.  The inside has beautiful wood and looks like a four star hotel definitely a place of yesteryear.  Once I walked in I noticed that there were young couples dressed in jeans and older couples dressed like a night at the opera.  It was interesting array of individuals and yet I did not know what exactly to make of it.  I was still estimating the price of the meal in my head and wondering if it was worth it.  I had already spent my allowance at the Palena a restaurant owned by Whitehouse Chefs so I did not have much change to spend on another meal.  So with interoperation I took a seat in the middle of a very grand and elegant hall.  Boy was I wrong!  This place had such an ecliptic group that it’s menu followed suit.  It not only served high class seafood but burgers, turkey melts, pasta and salads.  The lesson I learned never judge a book by its cover.  Burgers and sandwiches were modestly priced compared to what I am use to the average price was $11.00 yes I have had that $20.00 burger – never again!

So sit down and start with the Jumbo Soft Shell Crab it will make you wanting more.  It is served with spicy Asian baby greens, yuzu vinaigrette and spring garlic aioli the combination may seem a little odd at first but it totally works.  The first bite does not kick in till after so be causation the heat will eventually hit your taste buds and it is totally worth drinking all the extra water.  I myself do not like to eat something that looks like a tarantula but man it was done right.  Fried crispy and tender the crab was so sweet mixed with the spice that I just could not stop stuffing my face.   This place is also known for its District Wings with mumbo sauce but experiment a little even I tried something new.  There are many starters to choose from and price was reasonable.  The Soft Shell Crab was only $11.00 and the Crab Bisque was only $8.00.  So live a little.
The main course I stated way from my normal chicken and pasta and indulged in the Alaska Halibut.  It was served over a bed of pee wee potatoes, asparagus, artichokes and lemon caper relish yes I used the bread as a spoon for every drip of the sauce.  I was in heaven.  The Cape Cod Day Scallops are a sure bet also as they are perfectly seared.  The scallops are served with spring peas and shoots, pioppini mushrooms, scallions, and house smoked bacon lardoons.   I do not know why on Hell’s Kitchen it is so hard to get the scallops right, 3 minutes on each side people in a hot pan. That is all it takes to sear a scallop that even I can do it correctly.  Maybe I should try out for Hell’s Kitchen I just have one issue I do not like to be yelled at.   But I will admit when I was in London even when the Brits are rude they still come off nice, you got to love it.  I know I did.

Another thing I loved was the desserts at the Hamilton totally high calorie content but as I always say if it’s worth the calories “give me”.  The Hamilton is known for its Chocolate St. Louis Gooey Cake made with chewy warm moist chocolate cake, warm chocolate topping, a vanilla ice cream ball smothered in more chocolate and a chocolate ganache.  It was so rich I could only have a few bite but again that’s because I had two desserts!  Come on people if your going to do it to it right.  For my encore I had Salted Caramel Cheesecake a New York style salted caramel swirl cheese cake topped with cashew caramel popcorn and caramel sauce and you want to know why I came back from DC 10 pounds heavier. I blame the food and cupcakes!
Located at 600 14th Street NW, Washington DC near Metro Center this place a sure fire winner.  I give it Four Forks Up for food, service, atmosphere and pricing.  There was not anything I could say negative about the Hamilton and trust me there are many places that at least have one flaw but this place not yet from what I can see.  So the next time you are in DC give it shot you wouldn’t be sorry.  I do recommend a reservation especially if a good band is playing that night. 


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