Monday, December 19, 2011

The Hamilton - Revisited

The Hamilton
600 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
12/18 and 12/20/2011

You've seen my posts about this place before.  It is a monster. Lots of seats and a music venue.  Open 24X7.  Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sushi!  The picture above is of their stairs leading down to the music venue.  I hadn't seen these lit up before.  Very cool.  Strangely enough, it doesn't have a cavernous vibe as you might expect in something this big.  They broke this restaurant into many small sections and bars in order to keep it feeling intimate.

The sign isn't lit, but you really can't miss it.  It covers half the block and is where the old Border's was.

So, to move onto my favorite part:  the food.  These are some cheesy potatoes that one of my fellow diners had.  I didn't dig into her dish, but it looked good.

I went with the Sushi/Sashimi combo.  All of the fish was prepared nicely and was extremely fresh.  They offer fresh-grated horse radish, but you have to ask for it.  It's worth the upcharge.  I love that stuff. 
Artful and tasty.

This was a nice touch...fresh jumbo-lump crab in the California Rolls.

Everyone likes happy chefs!  David Moran and his crew found a very talented sushi crew.  Looking around, it seemed like every table in the restaurant had sushi of some sort on it, but they have a full menu of  regional items as well.  The sushi is going to be popular as there isn't a good sushi place within several blocks.

Nice variety of fish at the sushi bar.

Huge, glossy scallops.

This is the crudo.

I just happened to be snapping pix when this came out.  Not my food, but it looked good.

I'm pretty sure this was a firecracker roll in front and something spicy behind it...

On the 20th I went back with my wife and son so I could try some of the turf, as opposed to just the surf. 
The Hamilton is following a local trend here that I love:  house still and sparkling water at no extra charge.  I love sparkling water with dinner, but hate being charged $10.00 per bottle as I've seen in some restaurants.  This is also much more environmentally friendly as the bottles are washable and reusable.  No wasting plastic and space in a landfill. 
I got the Dancing Manhattan.  Balanced and well made.  Here is a link to the Drink Menu.
The bread is served with a cube of butter topped with what appears to by Maldon Sea Salt, which as you may or may not know is what I smoke a lot of for gifts this time of year.  Tender and crisp.  Interested in a bottle of hand-crafted, Smoked Maldon Sea Salt from Pleasures of the Table?  Let me know.
Let me show you how deftly I handle my chop stix!  Alex is a sushi fiend and has been since he was about three. 
This plate was actually enough to keep him from asking for dessert.  Amazing.
As before, the fish was tremendous.  I'm sure they are burning through their inventory on a daily basis here, so no worries about freshness.  Here is a link to the Sushi Menu.
Cheryl got the crab cakes.  I had her get the double because I knew I'd want one.  Jumbo lump, just enough filler to hold it together, and that's it.  This was sweet and well prepared. 
This was the Pork Chop.  One of the better ones I've had in a restaurant.  It was big.  Nicely crisped on the outside/tender and juicy on the inside.  Just hot enough to get past pink.  Speaking of hot, my wife and I both noticed that the food came out together, and everything was hot.  That may not seem like a huge feat in a diner, but in a restaurant of this size pulling food from different stations with different cooking times, it can be a challenge to get everything out at the right temp and cooked properly.  If you'd like a glimpse of the magic behind that, look at this link.

I'll post again when I've had a chance to try the music venue, the late night menu, and the breakfast menu.
Keep in mind when you're viewing the menus that this is a new restaurant, so they may change.

In summary, I feel that this place is going to rock.  They have the formula down from many years of experience, and they have a very well-seasoned management staff to keep things rolling.
I will be back to cycle the everything they have to offer over the next few months, so stay tuned.
Thanks for reading.  Questions or comments?  Let me know!  Thanks.

The Hamilton on Urbanspoon

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