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“Weekly Customer”
Review of Hamilton Inn - CLOSED

Hamilton Inn
Price range: US$19 - US$36
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: Ideally located just near the historic village of Hamilton, NY beside scenic Lake Moraine, the Hamilton Inn boasts five first-class guest rooms complemented by modern farmstead fare highlighting local and seasonal ingredients in both our main dining room and our sun-filled pub space. Your dining and lounging experience will be rounded out by homemade desserts, original cocktails, an extensive wine list, a variety of local craft beers, a selection of carefully selected bourbons and whiskeys. Stay in and relax by one of our wood-burning fireplaces or venture out to explore the beautiful surrounding area. We’re just minutes from Colgate University, the Seven Oaks Golf Course and the heart of downtown Hamilton, offering a variety of dining, drinking and shopping options. We’ve designed every aspect of our new space to feel upscale but unpretentious, spacious but cozy, and innovative but classic. We can’t wait to provide you with a thoughtful and memorable experience.
Reviewed 23 June 2014

I came here every week when I went to Colgate! I just graduated and this really was the only fine dining restaurant within 20 miles of the university. The manager is the greatest guy in the world and Zachariah always does a great job waiting tables. I am not going to miss the food in Hamilton, but I will miss the Hamilton Inn. I suggest you get the tomato soup and then any of their meats, the short rib in particular.

Thank ACM11231991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (24)
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12 - 16 of 24 reviews

Reviewed 7 April 2014

Hadn't been back to the Hamilton Inn since our first visit years ago. Pretty much as I had remembered it. The food was good, and the service was fine. We appreciated the fact that the manager also came around a couple times to ask if everything was okay. We also appreciated that our waitress, noting our son was not feeling well, immediately offered to bring him tea. That was thoughtful. The bill was a bit higher than expected, but not out of line with other white-tablecloth restaurants.

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1  Thank unicorn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

The Hamilton Inn has held forth in a roomy old remodeled farmhouse for over 25 years now, and for many years it was our favorite in the Hamilton area. A few years ago the former owner closed the place down for a time; Colgate University stepped in and reopened the property, keeping the rustic ambiance and fine-dining aspirations. Since that time the place has been up and down; management and staffing have changed several times, it appears. For a short time they did lunch, then suddenly they didn't. The menu has become more pretentious over time, enough so that the kitchen's reach exceeds its grasp at times. Because it's not always clear what to expect, our visits have been less frequent over the past few years.

That sort of uneven experience was evident on a recent Saturday evening when my wife and I stopped in to celebrate a special occasion. The people side of the operation is just fine: the welcome was warm, and service was friendly and enthusiastic if slightly disorganized (it was, to be fair, a busy evening). It was a little strange to come into a restaurant where we've dined literally dozens of times over the years and not recognize a single person working in the place, but those things happen.

There was a strong sense that the establishment needs more careful management. Mainstream offerings on the wine list were unavailable; the wine cellar, we were told, had been depleted by the demands of Colgate's Parents' Weekend -- fair enough, except that Parents' Weekend had been a full week before. The advertised prime rib special ran out, with one of us getting the last slice; again, that happens, but for the advertised special to be gone by about 7:15 was a little disappointing. The menu is tempting in some ways, and in others seems to offer a lot of items on which the chef had decided to do one or two things too many.

The cooking itself was indifferent: a sweet-potato bisque had nice flavor but was far too thick in texture. The prime rib did not have much flavor, and gave the impression of having been re-warmed from a much earlier time (yes, restaurants routinely do roast prime rib part-way, and then finish servings to order, but it seemed as though a long time had elapsed). The pork chop I had was, again, not particularly tasty; it was accompanied by an odd fried-onion concoction that was oily and heavily over-seasoned with hot pepper, probably cayenne. I couldn't eat it, and if I had tried it would have killed off such taste as the pork chop had. I'm not sure what the thinking was, there. Our second-choice wine was good, and the setting was still pleasant, although noise levels (again, to be fair, on a busy Saturday night) were oppressive at times.

Overall, an anticipated big evening more or less ended with a dull thud. One thing that might bring us back, after a while, is that the Inn offers bring-your-own-wine nights on some Tuesdays, with a simplified (and therefore, often, more successful) menu -- that can be a pleasant and less expensive night out.

Hamilton Inn is located a mile or two NE of Hamilton, not far from Lake Moraine. It has a good-sized side porch that can be cool and pleasant in the summer, and offers a nice view. Here's hoping the current management can settle on a menu that it execute consistently and well.

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2  Thank Itinerant_scholar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meghan L, Manager at Hamilton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2013

Dear Itinerant_scholar,

Thank you for your review of the Hamilton Inn. I am sorry to hear that your recent experience was not what you had hoped for. Of course we strive to treat each of our guests to a special and memorable experience with warm, welcoming service, excellent wine and dinner menu choices, and a freshly prepared, delicious meal. A busy night is certainly no excuse for anything less than our best. I would like to personally invite you and your wife to return to the Hamilton Inn to have dinner on us. I am confident that you will be pleased with your next visit. Please contact me at jtubolino@thehamiltoninn.com or 315-824-1245 and I will be happy to send you a gift certificate.

John Tubolino
Executive Chef

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We're nearing the end of our second Colgate student's run and through the years the Hamilton Inn has been our favorite. The food is always good and consistent. Fish, red meat or any other meat -- it's always top notch and the preparations are not over-engineered. This time out we had prime rib (including end cut - YUM), scallops, and pork chops. The service and wine has also been good every time. They easily accommodate large parties (we always seem to be around 10 people). We've tried driving out to Cazenovia for the Brewster Inn, but the Hamilton Inn is just as good and right in Hamilton.

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Thank GPBucket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2013

We always enjoy going to the Hamilton Inn as it is a lovely landmark with an enjoyable atmosphere and great outdoor seating; the bar is also a notable highlight! However more than once we had at least one meal each time (out of a group of 4 guests dining) that was less than average. Either undercooked, ingredients that were not included on the menu (important for people with allergies) or just loosely prepared. Some of the staff (server) could also work on a smile here or there. I think that is something to pay attention to as everything else is truly wonderful.

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Thank Christine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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