The Hamilton in DC

I will always have a special place in my heart for Alexander Hamilton considering I graduated from Alexander Hamilton Senior High School in Los Angeles. On their website, when I saw their Hamilton logo wearing sunglasses, I figured this was the place for me to try.  Their website states that: The Hamilton was designed to capture DC’s creative renaissance and a food-savvy audience that draws influence from every corner of the planet. It delivers a contemporary dining experience that’s as eclectic as the talent in the music hall.  I found it funny that key staff were also wearing sunglasses on the website similar to the Hamilton logo in sunglasses. Check it out here: http://www.thehamiltondc.com/about

hamilton_promo_facadeI met up with a friend in DC after work who was working off the Orange Line and me off the Red line so we met at the Metro Center stop where it was convenient for the both of us. I am not very good with transfers so I decided to keep it simple. The Hamilton is located just a block away from the Metro Center on the corner at 600 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. This is just a few blocks away from the White House which is also pretty neat. When I arrived at the location around 5:15pm for my 5:45pm reservation, I was shocked by how big the restaurant was. I entered through the corner entrance, that did not have an area for waiting, but was basically in the bar area of the restaurant. The host recommended that I wait in an area where a couch was available at a different entrance off “F” Street. One cool thing I noticed on the way to the sitting area was that they had booths that were basically private with little doors you could close for privacy. It was really neat (see below).

restaurant1She arrived shortly after me and we were seated right away in the 3rd dining room in the back of the restaurant. This was a larger room with all the others. There was several servers that were standing around waiting on people. It felt very fancy.  The more classic and fancy décor of the restaurant did not quite match the coolness of the restaurant but it was very nice none the less. My friend and I both looked over the menu before we visited the restaurant so we had an idea of what we wanted. What I appreciated on the website was that it include the prices on the menu so you could determine early how much you wanted to spend.

IMAG1056She ordered the French 14th ($12.50) which included a smooth Ambler Greenbrier gin, swirled with fresh lemon juice, a touch of sweetness, and a Prosecco spark.  It came in a cute cocktail glass similar to that you would expect at a Great Gatsby party. She very much enjoyed her cocktail. I decided to save my calories for my food and stuck to my usual sparkling water with lime.

We noticed that there was a sushi happy hour from 4-6pm what included half off prices on the entrée sushi menu. I did not find the full sushi menu on the website but when I just did a search, somehow it popped up. Anyway, I decided to order sushi as an appetizer to take advantage of the discount. I have a rule based on prior experience that I do not order sushi from places that are not sushi restaurant. Just like I try not to order anything but steak at steakhouses. But I went against my rule and again revalidated my point.  I ordered the Dynamite ($7/$14 regular), which included the tempura calamari, spicy scallop, spicy lump crab, habañero tobiko, and soybean wrap, and the Oyster Riot ($7/$14 regular), which included a tempura oyster, yellowtail, crispy taro root, and jalapeño dressing. My friend ordered the Spider Roll ($6/12 regular), which included tempera soft shell crab, asparagus, and habañero tobiko. Sounds like this would all be good right?

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When the rolls arrived, they looked very different than how I expected them too. My friend’s order was definitely more traditional though I found the asparagus addition not all that great. My orders had this strange soybean wrap around them and one of the rolls had this green salad thing on top and an orange colored salad on the other. If I was not as big of a sushi lover as I am, I would have been really been turned off. My friend’s Spider Roll was definitely better than mine. It typically do not order a spider roll and I think I may try it at a more traditional sushi restaurant. I usually love Dynamite roll but this was disappointing. It was just alright but definitely nothing like a traditional roll. The oyster riot roll was just ok. Nothing spectacular, I almost forgot there was oysters in the roll.

IMAG1060We decided to order appetizers from the regular menu because it felt like it was going to be too much & food. I got a recommendation from a coworker to order the District Wings ($11) with the mumbo sauce (mumbo sauce is basically a sweet and sour sauce very popular in the DC/DMV area).  My friend ordered the Mussels & Fries ($14) which included chorizo, tomato, Devils Backbone Vienna Lager, and garlic aioli. Her order was my second choose but I did not want fries. But my plan backfired when my wings were basically fried chicken wings drizzled with the mumbo sauce and French fries. The plate was reasonable but not really worth the price. The wings were just ok but nothing spectacular. Needless to say, I will not be ordering that again nor will I be taking recommendations from that coworker. Another person told me that this restaurant was just ok, and his recommendations has been on point so far.

IMAG1059_1My friend’s Mussels and Fries order was huge. It arrived in a large bowl with mussels and French fries right in the middle. I am used to French bread slices to sop up the sauce but this fries addition was interesting. My friend was used to them being served on the side so this was new for her as well. However, the broth, the fries, and the mussels were quite good. I would definitely go back and order that again. I’m not obsessing over it but if I ever ended at Hamilton again, I would order this again for myself.

During our dining experience, there were a lot of waiters around but my specific waiters, we had two, seemed to disappear a lot.  A lot of the people standing around were not able to answer questions which was weird. Maybe they were in training? But I was more annoyed that my waiters were hard to find considering that there were 2 of them. Once we finished our meal, one of the waiters came with the check. He did not ask us how we enjoyed our meal or even saved room for dessert. It made us feel rushed like he just wanted to get us out of there. I was interested to at least see what the dessert menu consisted of but I did not argue and just paid. Our total was $63.25 which was pretty reasonable for all the food we ordered, but would had been more if the sushi was not half priced.  We decided to split that down the middle with an individual total of $31.63 and a tip to a final amount of $36.63. After we closed out our bill, we made a quick visit to the bathroom which was fairly clean and walked back to the train station.

Overall, it had a mediocre experience at The Hamilton. It was not horrible but it was not great. The décor was grand and fancy but the service was lacking. Portion sizes were generous but some of the dishes left more to be desired. I would visit here again but it would not be on the top of my list. Great to see my friend though and catch up! The following is my Seven Mac Score for the restaurant:

The Hamilton

Criteria Scale Score
Accessibility 1-10 7
Customer Service 1-20 15
Cleanliness 1-10 10
Food Presentation 1-10 9
Price Value 1-10 8
Taste of Food 1-30 20
Overall Experience 1-10 7
TOTAL: 76/100

 

Please look out for my next post as I review another DC restaurant and share my week in Jackson, Mississippi in my Jackson, Mississippi Food Diaries! Also, you can find me on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to finediningdiva@gmail.com.

And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!

 

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