by Charlottesville29

hamiltons-at-first-main101 West Main Street . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 295-6649

Why Hamiltons’?

Some find a visit to Hamiltons’ is like a time warp to a “New American” restaurant of the 1980s or 1990s –  with its steady soundtrack of light jazz, brightly colored walls, and margaritas served in martini glasses. The menu includes standards like crabcakes and crème brûlée, and the signature blue plate special is even served on a blue, glossy plate.

But, it’s not just superficial similarities that Hamiltons’ shares with restaurants of the New American renaissance. It’s also the sense of professionalism and attention to detail that the era brought. And so, the butter with your bread is always room temperature, as it should be. And, the bread, itself, is warm, salty, yeasty, and perfect every time – the kind that seems to make you hungrier as it fills you up. Most importantly, the cooking is excellent. Owners Kate and Bill Hamilton know good food, and have always had a talented Chef de Cuisine, from Gail Hobbs-Page, to Jeanette Peabody, to Curtis Shaver, the former Duner’s sous chef who took over the kitchen in 2013 and was promptly named one of Charlottesville’s rising stars.

What to Order

Below is a list of our suggestions, the chef’s favorites, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named a Hamiltons’ dish as one of the best in town. Our corned beef hash pick is from menu for Sunday brunch, which is a particularly good time to enjoy Hamiltons’.

Our Picks

  • Vegetarian Blue Plate Special
  • Crispy Cornmeal Dusted Calamari Salad
  • Carolina Shrimp Poached in Chardonnay and Lemon with Woodson’s Mill Creamy Grits
  • Pan Roasted Jumbo Lump Crabcake
  • Housemade Wagyu Corned Beef Hash
  • Sandwich Lab Sandwiches

Chef’s Picks

  • Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad
  • Chopped Romaine and Radicchio Salad with Fried Oysters
  • Housemade Pappardelle with Tomato Braised Lamb Ragu
  • Grilled Double H Farm Pork Chop
  • Arctic Char with Edamame Mash, sautéed Sharondale Farms Mushrooms, Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, and Charred Lemon Vinaigrette

Five Finds on Friday Picks