Hamilton’s Top 5 date-night restaurants
Published September 13, 2019 at 5:59 pm
Love is in the air and apparently in the food in Hamilton.
Whether getting away from your busy day-to-day with your life partner or heading out to get to know your new love interest, there is no shortage of special places that will create that atmosphere of intimacy while you connect over delicious food.
Thankfully, for those of you who don’t have the time to head out to all of these places, we’ve taken the opportunity to narrow it down to what we think are the Top 5 date-night restaurants.
5. The Ship
Our first date was at the Stowaway, a pub on James Street North that closed shortly after that magical night. Much of our courtship took place in pubs all over Hamilton. We love that kind of atmosphere and lately, when we’ve had time to escape the hustle and bustle of our life with kids, we find ourselves at The Ship.
While The Ship doesn’t necessarily ooze romance, this cosy little pub features an impressive selection of beer and cocktails and the food is reliably delicious.
We appreciate having a familiar place to roll up to in jeans and a T-shirt where we know we can find some unique and yummy burgers, appetizers, and brews. We’ve been known to sit quietly working on word puzzles together in a corner of the pub or on the patio munching on crab poutine or duck wings.
For a casual, relaxed date, this is a perfect spot.
Photo courtesy The Innsville Facebook.
I’ve mentioned before that this a favourite date spot of ours but it bears repeating. We love this place.
We keep going back year after year to celebrate the anniversary of our first date because the atmosphere, service and the food just come together to create an experience that is romantic, familiar and intoxicating.
The dining room is cosy and elegant, the staff is welcoming, friendly, efficient and unobtrusive and the food is — and always has been — fresh and delicious. They have a rather lengthy and impressive wine list — heavy on the VQAs and a pretty standard cocktail list.
My husband is a big fan of the lamb shank and I’m a prime rib lover. Their sticky toffee pudding, for me anyway, is the crown jewel (I’m a dessert person). It’s so rich but light and ooey gooey and just all the things that make a dessert magical.
There’s something about the seclusion of this restaurant, though, that I find enchanting. It’s not in the middle of nowhere but it’s certainly out of the way in the country.
Take a little drive the heart of Dundas and you will not be disappointed when you arrive at Quatrefoil Restaurant.
As you walk into the house-turned-restaurant you are greeted with a smile and the curtain opens into the dining room. This place, while being fine dining, features modern décor and a very inviting atmosphere with modern house music in the background.
We had the house smoked salmon which was a perfectstart the night as it was light and was smoked to perfection. Our mains consisted of Grilled Seafood dish that came with Atlantic swordfish, Ontario shrimp, Humboldt squid, spiced chickpea, red pepper, eggplant jam, coconut curry sauce and the second dish was the Chassagne Farm Chicken which was one of the juiciest pieces of chicken I have ever had.
It’s definitely worth the drive to Dundas for Quatrefoil.
Located in the heart of downtown Hamilton is a lovely spot called Berkeley North. As you walk in from King William you can’t help but notice the energy of this place: it’s so alive being.
The decor is really modern with exposed brick on one side and the bar and kitchen at the back. Berkley North serves tapas-style dishes, so it’s a great place to share delicious food with your significant other.
Their menu is very innovative with choices like grilled chicken meatballs on a skewer with bonito flakes to classics like Ribeye Steak Cumbrae’s 30-day Dry-Aged with Fries. You can’t miss out on the Duck Pate that comes with charred sourdough and House Pickles and the Arctic Char dish with Cauliflower and Brown Butter (as seen on top in the cover shot of the article).
This is definitely a great place to cozy up with your loved one and experience a unique Hamilton destination!
1. The Heather
This restaurant (I don’t think I can even call it that — it’s an experience) is a very special place. This was my first chef’s table experience and I have to say, it was simply magical. Chef Matt is a delight and his food is just breathtaking.
We were so wrapped up in the experience that neither of us can remember exactly what it was that we ate — we both remember fish, asparagus, a gazpacho and wine, lots and lots of wine — all I know is that I’ve never tasted anything like it. My taste buds danced like never before and we were swept off our feet by the textures and flavours we’d never before experienced.
Chef Matt plays a big role in making this journey unforgettable. He brought a room full of complete strangers together. We laughed together, oohed and awed together and just celebrated the joy that is food. By the end of the night, we were all hugging goodbye and adding each other to our social media feeds. On the way home, we both agreed that The Heather was a truly magical and singular experience.
The Heather only has one seating of six a day so one needs to book well in advance but the effort and the wait are so very worth it.
What’s your favourites date-night restaurant in Hamilton?
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