BerksBarristerSpring2017 - 27

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An Off-Broadway
Culinary Hamilton Hit
By Susan N. Denaro, Esquire

T

here's a wonderful song in the
Broadway production of Hamilton
entitled The Room Where It
Happens. Aaron Burr, feuding with
Hamilton, raps that he wants to be in the
room where the monetary policy is debated
between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander
Hamilton, but he was shut out. He's
lamenting that, just like how no one knows
how sausage is made, only those present
know how monetary policies are decided.
There's a room you want to be
in: Hamilton's Grill Room, 8 Coryell
Street, Lambertville, NJ. Known for its
Mediterranean-inspired dishes, this little
gem of a BYOB is tucked away in what
feels like a quaint back alley. We tried it on
a recommendation from a family member,
despite seeing some mixed reviews on
social media, and were blown away by our
experience.
Our four-course meal began with a
white bean hummus that was perfectly
seasoned with chives and lemon. It was an
unexpected amuse bouche from the chef
that was a mesmerizing vibrant yellowgreen color. Its fresh flavors and texture
made it a delightful way to start our meal.
The lemon brightened the flavor of the
beans and the small drizzle of olive oil on
top gave it a great finish on the palate.
The first of our ordered dishes was a
very unique wedge salad - a large hunk
of steamed broccoli served chilled with
pickled julienned radishes and hard boiled
yolks eggs that were pushed through a very
fine sieve. I believe the dressing was made
with apple cider vinegar and it was dotted
with kosher salt that gave a nice crunch to
each bite.
My spouse ordered the beet salad,
which also featured butter lettuce,
radicchio, white cabbage, candied walnuts
and lemon vinaigrette. The beets got lost
in translation. It was my least favorite
dish of the night but its taste seemed to
improve with each bite.
To our surprise, the salt cellar on the

7

table contained kosher salt rather than
a traditional table salt. I prefer to cook
with kosher salt as it has less salinity
and is softer on the palate. Aside from
eating it on a soft pretzel or the rim of a
margarita, I couldn't recall ever enjoying
it uncooked, a mistake I won't make
again. This discovery, together with the
broccoli dish, made me realize we were
embarking on an exceptional culinary
expedition.
My entree did not disappoint. It
was an evening special the chef dubbed
"braciole" but it was actually a thick cut
flank steak slathered with the ingredients
traditionally found in braciole - hardboiled eggs and parmesan cheese. It
was rolled, braised and then sliced into
stunning rounds served over a creamy
polenta topped with snow peas. Tender
and succulent, it transcended all other
braciole I have experienced, including my
Italian grandmother's.
We ordered a side of the oven roasted
Brussel sprouts dotted with bacon. It
seems as though these little cabbage
heads have surged in popularity lately as
they are appearing on menus more often
than in years' past. Every time we see
them on a menu we order them and this
may have been the most perfect offering
we have enjoyed in a restaurant as they
were perfectly cooked and seasoned.
Dessert number one was a warm
brioche bread pudding crowned with

Grand Marnier steeped cherries. It
was a soul-satisfying offering. The only
disappointment was that the serving was
too small and I really wanted a Manhattan
made with those cherries. Dessert number
two was an almond confection the chef
called a cookie but it was more of a cross
between a scone and a cake; dusted with
powdered sugar, it was meant to be eaten
by hand. The small bunch of red grapes
garnishing the plate provided a great
balance to its almond flavor.
Since it's BYOB restaurant, those in
the know stop at Stockton Fine Wines,
17 Bridge Street, Stockton, NJ, to select a
bottle or two beforehand. It's worth the
short drive up the road from Lambertville
to take in its marvelous selection of wines
at prices better than you will find in any
PA State Store.
We were grateful that the romantic
dining room was not packed to capacity
(we were there on the Thursday night
just after Valentine's Day) as it meant
we received first-rate attention from our
server. Sadly, toward the end of our meal,
a late-arriving couple proceeded to have
a massive domestic squabble at the table
closest to ours. It was uncomfortable and
although they kept their voices fairly low,
they left nothing about their situation to
the imagination of those around them.
We feared that a duel similar to that of
Hamilton and Burr might erupt at any
moment, but fortunately their steak knives
stayed on the table. Despite this strange
turn of events, we were pleased to be in the
room where that fabulous meal happened
as the whole experience gave new meaning
to the term "dinner and a show."
Hamilton's Grill Room
8 Coryell Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530
606-397-4343
www.hamiltonsgrillroom.com
Tuesday-Thursday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sunday 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ms. Denaro is with the Wyomissing law
firm of Georgeaidis||Setley.
Spring/Summer 2017 | 27


http://www.berksbar.org/ http://www.hamiltonsgrillroom.com

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