The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar
A welcoming approach to old-world hospitality with an urban vibe and new-
world flair. The Hamilton will take you back to the days of the public house, where both locals and visitors gathered for a heartwarming, good meal, great conversation and flowing libations.
The Hamilton will showcase seasonal American cuisine, featuring takes on regional classics from around the country and the family dinner table.
Horrible. Should have listened to friends and skipped this place. I’ve been a few times before and had horrible service at the bar. I hoped to have a better experience seated in the restaurant as, truly, it’s such a lovely space. Our poor server did his best but couldn’t make up for the lukewarm coffee, canned crabmeat in the also not terribly warm crab cake and general sense that the place was deserted. I guess there’s a reason we were one of maybe 6 tables in the entire restaurant at 8pm on a Saturday evening.
Such a shame.
My wife and I went there on Saturday evening around 6:30. PPL center had nothing going on, so it was quiet. Our server friendly, informative, and accurate with our orders. Everything we had was terrific. Drinks are expensive, 2 drinks each amounted to roughly 30-40% of our bill. The largest drawback for me had nothing to do with the restaurant itself. I don't like going to center city Allentown in my downtime. I don't find it relaxing.
The room was empty, the food was way overdone or did not have any flavor, and the advertised wine by the glass turned out to be incorrect. Rather than accommodate our bill to reflect the overdone salmon the waiter offered to provide a free desert. In addition the manager never bothered to stop by and apologize. This will be our last visit to The Hamilton.
Great vibe with excellent food and wine choices. We had been meaning to try this for awhile when we visit Allentown and it was worth the wait. We will be back a lot!
Use to be my favorite brunch spot in Lehigh valley, the brunch menu struck and when we got our food it wasn’t worth what we paid for it.
Bottomeline: We'd recommend somewhere else. We've been going to The Hamilton for years. Their Brunch service WAS one of the best in the area. We were there this morning, and the experience was disappointing, to put it mildly. The servers seem nice enough but are either too new, untrained or unwilling to focus on enabling good service for their patrons. If you're going for what were previously "bottomless" Mimosa's-They dont exist (Not a deal breaker but was a nice feature). But instead: You can order a "pitcher" of Mimosa's. Their version of a pitcher consists of a cheap bottle of bubbly combined with a glass (seriously...a glass) of OJ for you to pour and mix into a dishwasher-spotted Champaign glass. (Ever pour liquid from one glass to another without making a mess? Good times). When ordering, it was our experience that staff preferred you follow up with them 2-3 times before having the item delivered to you. Be prepared to seek your server out-They will rarely come to check on you. Be satisfied with one cup of coffee for a while-Refills seem to be too much trouble. Food is par to sub par, at best. We then learned ownership had changed...Then it all made sense. Take the drive to The Shelby (Which is owned by the previous owner of The Hamilton) or Bolete. You'll have a better experience to match the price point all around. I feel bad for the prior owners of The Hamilton, as I wouldn't want my name associated with what The Hamilton has become. (We shared our dissatisfaction with our server-It was pretty clear she could not have cared less).
Food was tasty and presentation was delightful. Our waitress was very attentive.
We enjoy The Hamilton when we are going to Symphony Hall because it's so convenient. We are always happy with the food and the service. The servers are really, really friendly, nice, and professional. Viary was delightful!
Shared apps before our Symphony Hall event. The "no filler" crab cake was plated nicely atop frisee & avacado slices. It was the perfect size for the two of us to share.
The meat & cheese board offered a lot: 2 cheeses & 3 thinly sliced meats, grainy mustard & house-made pickles, pickled shallots, & unique pickled cherries. We asked for beead & were served popovers made with gruyere cheese, chives, duck fat. Their tastiness & crispness made them a perfect accompaniment to the meats & cheeses.
Our server (Sydney) was far above par. She knew the menu, made spot on suggestions, visited us often and made us feel very welcomed and pampered. Our meals were perfectly prepared and the timing was spot on. We WILL be back.
Kelsey was our server and she was delightful, professional, and helpful. She entertained us every time she came to our table. We totally enjoyed dining and we'll always go to The Hamilton when we are going to an event in Allentown.
We specifically went to dinner on a non-PPL Center event evening to avoid a crowd. The hostess and waiter (Austin) were very polite and helpful. Every part of dinner for two was excellent. The starter, entrees and desserts were better than we expected. Of course, the restaurant is a beautiful place as well.
Yes, if service improves. Waiter needed to be reminded twice on several requests and entered order wrong causing delays for food to be served.
Meeting our son & daughter-in-law with our granddaughter for brunch (they’re from Plymouth Meeting) was a very special occasion. The staff was lovely, even cutting a plate full of strawberries for the baby and not minding at all the mess she made of the floor, table, & everything in her vicinity! Our waitress was very attentive, and the food was excellent. We’ll be back!
The service was awesome. The food was not as good this time as before. There was a cook change. The food was ok but lacked seasoning.
Great for a bite before a show or sporting event! Great atmosphere, live music outside and intimate dining inside.
Hamilton is under new ownership since last time my wife and I ate there. I agreed to go this past weekend (grudgingly since the food quality and presentation had gone down in the last two years or so). However, this most recent meal was the best we've had there since Hamilton opened under former ownership in 2014.
We started with the Mushroom Toast (could use more of the egg yolk drizzle, but delicious anyway). For main courses, we had the Wood Oven Chicken and Jail Island Salmon. Both were nicely prepared and delivered to our table at the right temperature. The herb spaetzle paired with the latter dish did not interest me, with its cranberry and mint leaf garnish (?). But it was actually shocking good and was definitely a refreshing summer side dish.
Waiter Andres is excellent--polite and attentive but not overbearing. He was also professional and not overly casual. We sat inside the bar area by a window. While relatively empty inside, the patio had a good number of people eating at tables and drinking at the outdoor bar while waiting for live music to start.
The restaurant space itself is very appealing and should be packed on a normal basis. Hopefully the new owner and staff keep the service and quality control on the higher-end of the spectrum. This is a challenge for many of the establishments in Downtown Allentown, but once you give in on food quality and staff training, you're just biding time until your core base of customers is alienated and you lose good word of mouth.
Based on this experience, we will dine there again soon.
Having only five tables seated at 7 PM on Friday night should’ve been a hint that the Hamilton has suffered since it’s change of ownership. No surprise we were seated right away and our service was exceptional since I think we were the only table our waiter had. Of course you have the choice of six different types of wine which are all served “on tap“. That’s a fancy way of saying overpriced boxed wine. The bread service was this interesting crusty stuff that didn’t really resemble bread but was none the less tasty. We got the pirogi appetizer which was just OK. My wife had the special which was halibut, which honestly was exceptionally well prepared. I got the Pennsylvania strip steak, Which was just a flat iron steak sliced. It was not very juicy and would had no flavor at all if it wasn’t for the horseradish cream that they poured all over it. That’s part of the meal was the crispy red potatoes. For dessert, my wife is a huge fan of lemon meringue pie. They make a interesting version that was again just OK. Fortunately, I had a $100 gift card for dinner. Otherwise this place is not worth $160 for two people. They’re trying to make a marginally successful attempt to be in place for foodies, but this is Allentown, not Manhattan. 1There are plenty of other places in town that can provide much better food at a much better value.
This was our first visit to the Hamilton since it is under new management. Give that we were there a 6 pm and there were only two other tables occupied in the dinning room, I sense that an outstanding restaurant is on its way out of the downtown scene. The wait staff is all new and needs training in the fundamental watering skills. Our food was edible, but not outstanding as with the previous owners. Drink prices are too high ($14.00 for Irish whiskey over ice, come on!). The previos owner provided for valet parking after 5 PM, which is no longer provided, need to park in the PPL Center parking garage to get a voucher toward parking.
I guess this is another downtown Allentown location that is removed from my list of places to dine.
The last time I was at the Hamilton for lunch it was delicious. That was about 3-4 months ago and that's why we went back. This time, not so much. Not much on menu and expensive. Probably won't go back in the near future.
Always a pleasure, great staff, great food. Good vegetarian options.
The noise level was actually the WORST part of our dinner. It also took close to 10 minutes for our server to acknowledge us after the hostess sat us. But, back to the noise level. Not only was there a festival right outside the restaurant, which, is not the restaurant problem, in hindsight, but we should also have asked to be placed away from the main entrance. I wish the restaurant had the insight as well to sit the patrons far away from such a noisy area though. Once we got over that, the bar was so loud and the noise is so poorly handled in the interior design, we could clearly hear a conversation a small party was having (granted--they were shouting). We brought up this concern to the server and he dismissed it. The food was great as always as well as the cocktails. I'd come back, of course, but certainly away from the bar and the entrance.
Well, after reading reviews before I booked my reservation I was a bit hesitant. However, being a local (born and raised in this city) I decided to give it a go. I understood that there was a recent change in ownership/management and have visited & dined here before the changes and was always very happy. Unfortunately things in the kitchen are not working out. We were seated upon arrival, 15 min before our 6:30 reservation time. I was very happy as we were attending an event at the PPL Center at 7:30P. The server was very attentive. We ordered drinks and were served them within just a few minutes after being seated. We ordered our dinners at 6:20 and were still waiting at 7:05 for our meals! Upon surveying the rest of the restaurant it seemed that most tables were experiencing the same waits. Our server checked on us many times and eventually told us that she would have the manager come see us. Our meals arrived at about 7:15 and they honestly were quite average. My daughter ordered the crab cake and house salad. I had the zucchini noodles with salmon. Not complicated dishes and definitely not needing an hour to prepare. The manager did approach us after we ate. I explained what occurred and she just nodded her head in agreement and apologized and did take care of taking care of our meals. I appreciated it and really do hope they can improve. I will give them another try in about a month and truly hope they can turn things around. This is a beautiful restaurant in the heart of a revitalized downtown Allentown
I was disappointed with the BALT sandwich I ordered. Bacon/Avocado/Lettuce/Tomato. I was expecting a big ole sandwich on fun chunky bread, but what I got was a thin white bread sandwich with a sliver of tomato, sliver of avocado, sliver of lettuce and one slice of bacon. I left still hungry.
Hate to be negative, but: Four of us were there for over an hour, and only got our food 5 minutes before we had to leave. We'd told them of the concert across the street. There was only a limited menu (due to the concert crowd?), so we thought that would speed things up. The food was OK but bland. The waitress was friendly (not her fault). She said the kitchen was having some kind of problem.
We went to this restaurant prior to attending a concert across the street. We expected it to be busy. We did not expect to not get drinks, appetizers, salad, or our entrees for an hour.
Server was not very attentive. Had to flag her down for drink refills and bread. We were seated 55 minutes before food arrived. It was noticeable that items were waiting awhile before being brought to the table, as the gravy on the chicken and dumplings was congealed and the burger was barely warm. The quality of the food was just mediocre, certainly not worth the price. When we were able to flag the server down to ask when our food was coming, she stated "soon" and the kitchen was crazy busy. As it is across from the PPL Center and an evening when there was a concert for which we had tickets, I would have thought that the staffing should have been beefed up to accommodate the rush of diners with tickets to the concert.
I was looking forward to eating here as I have heard so many wonderful things about it. However, not only was I disappointed, I didn't even get to try any of the food. A few friends, myself and my daughter went there before a concert at the PPL center. The concert started at 7:30pm and we had a reservation for 5:45pm. We were promptly seated as the restaurant looked busy but was not full. The waitress came and took our drink order. My daughter asked if they had lemonade and the waitress was unsure as they made it another night but didn't know if they had it that night. We gave our food order, we all ordered salads with chicken, I also got the tomato soup, and since they do not have a kids menu, my daughter ordered french fries and my friend's daughter ordered mozzarella sticks. Then we just waited. My friend used the restroom and there was no soap, so she went to the front to tell them and there was a guy behind her and he asked her if she was waiting for her food, at that point we were waiting probably 25 min, so no big deal. He had told her he had been waiting for an hour. We continued to wait longer, no it was 7:10 and we still didn't have food, the kids were hungry and the concert was starting in 20 min. My friend went to go find a manager and as she was gone, a woman walked up to our table and asked us how long we had been waiting, we told her quite a bit and she had said they had been there since 5, and still had not received food 2 hours later! The manager came over and said she would comp us all of our food and drinks and pack it up that they were still making the chicken??? We told her that we can't take the food into the PPL center so it was a waste to pack it up, and that we had to leave. She was apologetic, but also didn't have a reason as to why this happened. Like I said it was "busy" but not crowded, and there was also an event going on, so you think they would have been staffed properly. I was super disappointed.
The service was very poor and the wait time was extremely long. The food was good (once we got it) but had to rush to eat it to get to our concert on time. There were 5 of us and when the server finally brought the last 2 orders, she proceeded to tell me that she forgot to put in my order and now the kitchen was out of the special that I had ordered and suggested I look at the menu to choose something else. At this point we would not have had enough time to wait for them to cook me another order, even if they "rushed" it as she suggested. Everyone in the restaurant seemed to be experiencing long wait times that evening. Not sure what was going on but it was not a good experience.
We went there before a concert at PPL Center, early reservation. We weren't aware that the menu had been totally changed with fewer selections. Waiter was attentive. Drink was tasty but very small, half a small glass for $14! Likewise, the wine pour was skimpy for the prices. Tomato soup was tasty but crostini in bowl was impossible to break apart. Crab cake was good but sauce was forgotten to be put on plate. Lemon meringue pie wasn't good. Tough crust, runny lemon & soft meringue. Waiter immediately volunteered to take it off bill which was nice.
We'd been there many times and thought it was very good. This last visit, not so much sad to say.
Great food and service. There was live music on Friday evening so it was a bit challenging to talk at dinner. I recommend this place to anyone in the market for delicious and original food.
Food was terrible and while the server was nice enough, had apparently never been a server before. The only thing good about the meal was the martini.
Menu change is still a work in progress, with staples being removed and cheaper to make fare being added. Service was disjointed: dinner sides came out with appetizers and lack of understanding of drink options was on full display.
The Hamilton Bar & Grill is a lovely space and the server was friendly, but the service was crazy slow even though the restaurant was half empty and we had reservations! It took 10 minutes after being seated to flag down someone to give us the cocktail menu and 22 minutes before just our drink order was taken. When the server returned with our drinks (a good 10+ minutes later), she insisted on only taking our appetizer order. One person with the grain salad the the two people with tomato soup enjoyed those dishes, but the French Dip, pot roast, and other dishes were described as very disappointing. Also, it was noisy enough (half full) that we couldn't hear the person directly across the table from us. Overall, very disappointing.
2 seater tables so deep we felt like we were miles apart. Most recent menu is less inventive than in the past and meals were just ok. Cocktails were not chilled enough.
Service was awful - waiter thought he was making a speech and did not acknowledge us at all - his main objective was trying to build a huge tab. We ordered our food at 5:35 and it arrived at the table at 6:30.
Happy that i invited another couple and my wife and they enjoyed the entrees they otdered
3rd experience at Hamilton... decent place but over priced considering the quality of product delivered. Will likely spend my $ elsewhere
The food was delicious, the wait staff AWESOME and very knowledgeable. It was my daughter's first Mother's Day and she was very excited.