Dinner in Historic Hamilton

The Colgate Inn, in Hamilton, NY, was built in 1925 to replace a pre-existing hotel on the same site that stood for more than a century. So when you step onto the property, you can feel the weight of history and the hush of hallowed ground despite updated, gracious interiors and young patrons.

Big Hunry Melinda, who you know well if you've been reading for any length of time, is getting married to her dashing BLD next year, and the female side of their wedding party had the occasion to pass through Hamilton after a day of dress shopping in Utica recently. A celebratory dinner at The Colgate Inn after a very girly day, indeed, seemed in order.

And how do fine, young (heh!) ladies kick off a proper meal in a notable locale? Why, with a platter of meats and cheeses, of course!

That gorgeous tower of bread in the top left was outstanding, really. It was crunchy with enough give to avoid shredding the inside of your mouth like Freddy Krugar in a wallpaper factory - a major feat in the world of crostini. The little pyramid of speck (think really good prosciutto) allowed you to peel off shreds of the peppery, buttery meat and let it melt in your mouth. The fat roll of wild boar summer sausage trying to hide behind the bread  was like a salt lover's passionate embrace - intensely porky, with a warming, peppery finish and the slightest whisper of sweetness. 

The balsamic jam laced with blueberries was sweet, pungent perfection with the mild Cayuga blue cheese, leaving tart, creamy, sweet and syrupy notes on the tongue. The Jewett's cheddar was milky and wholesome, with the tangy mouth feel of cheddar but not too much sharpness. Basically, the entire platter was a feast for the senses, and we devoured it. Properly, of course.

I enjoyed the Yankee pot roast I ordered as my entree, but I also kind of wish I'd stuck to the sandwiches and salads. The meat was tender, flavored with wine, and I quite liked the tiny pearl onions that dotted the plate. However, more of the utterly delicious, rich gravy would have been welcome. The parsnips in the veggies mixture were the highlights of the whole dish - just shy of cooked through all the way and working the spicy carrot angle all the way.

K ordered the Reuben, and while I didn't taste it, I did sample her German potato salad, which was legit. It was creamier and less stringent with vinegar than other versions I've tasted. I adored the tiny specks of salty bacon sprinkled though out, natch. I would order this as a side dish on a repeat visit.

The best looking dish, which I now wish I had hatched a plan to bogart, was the shaved roast beef and cheddar panini that B scarfed up. It came equipped with caramelized onions and cheddar cheese - trigger words for me that I should have been smart enough to hone in on. B said the house roasted beef was tender,mand those fries, which I did sample, we're done right - fresh cut and well seasoned. Sandwich, you will be mine next time. Mark my words!

Less successful, to our disappointment, was Melinda's lobster Mac and cheese. The dish's linguica sausage competed with the delicate lobster and peas, and the ratio of breadcrumbs to tastier ingredients was overwhelming.

You know what can totally redeem a clunker of a dish? Fabulous desserts and naughty Girl Scouts. Not in a gross way! In a liquid way:

Desserts stand-outs included the to-die-for strawberries atop the shortcake - bursting with summer sweetness they had no right holding on to this late in the year.

Also, the fantastic coconut cheese cake which was not actually cheesecake, but actually tender, vanilla cake flecked with coconut, topped with cream cheese frosting and glorious bits of lime zest.

Our waitress for this meal was a little flaky, but she was also a billion months pregnant, so we cut her as much slack as possible. The other oddity was the high ratio of college students rather raucously sharing the dining room with us - this is fancy place for hipsters. Melinda's Mom posited that Colgate students can use their dining cards here, so mystery solved. 

We liked most of our food here quite a lot, but there were some low points of the meal, as well. The best part of eating here may be the classic ambiance and the cool little design vignettes around the inn. I give The Colgate Inn a seven on the BHS Scale, and I'd be happy to hang out here in the future, to scarf some dessert and artisanal meats. I mean, who wouldn't? 

Check back in tomorrow for an exciting Big Hungry Announcement! My personality is big; my hunger is bigger!

Colgate Inn on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps we'll have yummy desserts for my bridal shower! also, the wine was good.