Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hamilton Street Grill

A couple Saturdays ago, B and I went to the Hamilton Street Grill with a few others for a friend's early birthday dinner. The Hamilton Street Grill is located on - you guessed it - Hamilton street. Don't let the near empty restaurant during dinner time fool you - it's all reserved. Without any reservations, we had to wait a rough thirty minutes for a table. So we put down our name and number and took a stroll around Yaletown. It was already around 8:00PM by then, and all the shops were closed except for a dollar store and Book Warehouse near-by, so we killed time there. In exactly about half an hour we received a call from the restaurant. Yay - because everyone was starving.

We got a booth. If you ever eat with me, you will soon come to realize that I hate sitting at open tables and avoid it at all costs. I rather wait. So when we got a cozy booth at the very back, I was ecstatic. Looking at the Hamilton Grill menu, the you can obviously tell that the restaurant's forte were steaks. Of course. With a name like Hamilton Grill, of course they would serve steaks. They even have a 20oz New York striploin. Birthday boy K, was really contemplating getting that but quickly changed his mind after seeing our server bring one out. It was about the size of a brick! In thickness and in length! After seeing that, K and his girlfriend decided to order the two 12oz New York steaks: Grilled (medium) and Blackened (medium-rare) instead and the Black and Blue Ahi Tuna as a starter. B and I also ordered the Grilled New York steak (medium-rare) and the Blackened New York steak (medium-rare) but with the Poutine as our appy. C can't eat beef, and although the majority of Hamilton Grill's menu is based on steak, there are other options like chicken, fish, and a few vegetarian items. C ended up picking the Stuffed Chicken. After placing our orders we were expecting complimentary bread because the other tables had bread baskets on their tables, however, our server never brought any to us. We assumed that the bread was probably a side order and never inquired about it. That was alright though, because we didn't have to wait long for our starters to arrive.

It was really dark in the restaurant, so I wasn't able to get as much pictures as I would have liked to, but K's Black and Blue Ahi Tuna was really nicely plated! I didn't get a chance to taste it, but they said that that was the best Ahi Tuna they ever had. K was so in love with the wasabi and ponzu sauce he almost wanted to lick the plate. Our Poutine was also very good - but to be honest, I would still prefer a KFC poutine. The fries were served separate from the demi-wine glace and were cut skinny and fried so that they were perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. What I wasn't a big fan of was the Gorgonzola cheese. The fries itself wasn't salted but the cheese made the whole thing too salty and it didn't melt enough even with the hot gravy. What I think to be a perfect poutine is crispy fries paired with gooey cheese and hot gravy. 

While we were still ordering, we were really curious to what the difference between a Blackened New York steak and Grilled New York steak was. Turns out that the Blackened New York is served with what I think is an onion sauce and deep fried onions/shallots and the Grilled was well, grilled. Both steaks were served with seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes. After the fries, I didn't feel like eating anything else fried, so I took the grilled and B took the blackened. In my opinion, my medium-rare was a bit more on the medium side and K's girlfriend's plate was a bit too rare for her tastes. Taste wise, it was a bit bland and I had to add a lot of fresh-ground pepper. I loved the mashed potatoes though, soft and creamy with a hint of garlic. B had no problems with the way his steak was cooked. The blackened steak had a more smokey flavour and with the sauce it was really tasty. I would steal a bit of his sauce every now and then because it was so good. Once again, B's food tasted better than mine. Why?! C's chicken was stuffed with brie, dried cherries and pecans and and then herb-crusted and finished off with a red wine sauce, his entree was also served with a side of mashed potatoes and vegetables. If I remember correctly, C didn't have anything negative to say about his chicken except for the small serving size.

K really loved the steak at Hamilton and said it was the best steak he has ever had. After all the steak places I have been to, I still prefer Joe Fortes - because for one, it's cheaper (including tips, B paid $90 for both of us at Hamilton) if you go during their early dinner special and it tastes better. Hamilton was good, but Joe Fortes was great. We all walked out with full bellies - all except for C. He went to McDonalds to grab a double Filet-O-Fish after. 

Hamilton Street Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. Yes.... The chicken hit my taste buds good but my tummy was not satisfied with the portion!

  2. Mmm... Double fish fillet.