The Hamilton’s slogan is “Eat, Drink, Listen.” And the newly opened, refined, yet chic jazz house is the perfect place to do just that.
The five-week-old club never closes; offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night options all under one roof – a rarity in the District.
And this late-night food oasis has the best after-midnight menu I’ve ever seen.
From midnight to 6 a.m. hungry night owls can dine on sliders with grilled onions, pickles and American cheese ($12), milkshakes ($7), chicken and biscuits ($15) and “The Big Hot Weiner,” ($8) a hot dog slathered with chili, mustard and onions.
Our waitress told us that the restaurant, a member of the larger, well-established Clyde’s Restaurant Group, has been busier than expected for late-night dining, especially on weekends.
The restaurant layout also offers maximum entertainment value. The main floor of the restaurant seats 800 people and has two bars. The dining rooms are furnished with leather booths and wood paneling, accented with paintings and statues of birds everywhere. It sounds odd, but somehow it works to give The Hamilton an old-fashioned charm. And while our party was, at first, a bit skeptical about the fowl-themed paintings and bronze statues, but we were more than won over by the food.
There is also an extremely unique concert space on the first floor. The famous gospel singer Mavis Staples – the same singer who wowed folk legend Bob Dylan and even rejected his marriage proposal – already graced the stage Jan. 19. Later this month local blues band The Tommyhawks are scheduled to perform Jan. 27, as well as unique folk-pop-rock group The Dreamscapes Project Jan. 28 and big-band group The Natty Beaux Feb. 2.
Our three-person party started with the District Wings ($7), which have a mumbo sweet-and-sour sauce and come with delicious fries, the Maitake Tempura ($6), the Fire Cracker sushi rolls ($12) and spicy tuna rolls ($6). We followed our appetizers with the filet mignon ($19 5 oz./$25 8oz.) on the waitress’ recommendation, the Grass-Fed Piedmont Ridge Farm Beef Hamburger ($10) and the jumbo lump crab cakes ($17 single/$26 double).
Everything received rave reviews and we almost didn’t have room for dessert, but we opted to share the Chocolate St. Louis Gooey Cake ($8), which is a chocolate lover’s dream.
The dessert list has 12 items, including The Hamilton Split ($17), a banana split with candied bacon, and even a dessert beer. Keeping to the local, homemade theme, the restaurant even has its own Hamilton-blend coffee. Our waitress was friendly and knowledgeable, although it did seem that the entire staff was still getting used to maneuvering the 37,000 square-foot restaurant.
In total, the restaurant was a $24 million investment, our waitress explained. She also explained that the establishment prides itself on small craft drinks, local, grass-fed beef from Piedmont Ridge Farm in Maryland, organic pinot grigio, all natural, humanely raised meat and poultry, local draught beers and even Sidea water, which is made through an environmentally friendly Naturizzata purification system S.I.D.E.A. Italia – it tastes much better than regular tap water and is free.
With four bars, an awesome concert venue, three chefs, delicious food and a great drink list, not to mention the location and hours, I will definitely return to The Hamilton very soon.
The Hamilton is located at 600 14th St., NW.