The hottest ticket in town isn’t on Broadway, it’s in Brookline.
But at this version of Hamilton, it’s a lot easier to get a seat and something tasty to eat.
Located on Beacon Street in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, Hamilton Restaurant and Bar is the brainchild of owner Greg Johnston- an Irish guy who wanted to open an American restaurant.
“The whole concept is based around the founding fathers. Everyone keep son saying, why didn’t you open an Irish bar, but I’ve been living in America longer than I’ve lived in Ireland so I went with the American team and where better to start than the founding fathers.”
So he decked this cozy space out with a rich wooden bar, historic artwork, a table built with the same live oak used to make the USS Constitution and a bust of good ol’ Aaron Burr looking down upon it all.
And when it came to the menu, Greg brought on Executive Chef Paul Alphonse to cook up all of your favorites, and he loves every minute of it.
“There’s nothing more beneficial and makes me happy is when I send a plate out and I see the customer’s plate come back and it’s empty. That’s just a great feeling. It’s my little way of giving back to people and being able to help make their day. It makes me feel great. You know what I mean? That people will actually take the time in their busy schedule to stop here and eat. To me there’s nothing better.”
The appetizers at Hamilton are a feast for the senses. with options like these pink deviled eggs. Soaked in beet juice, these beauties are almost too pretty to eat.
“We try to get all the colors to pop so you get this bright pink, you get this bright yellow from the yolk. When we dress them up, we sprinkle the plate with a little paprika and parsley so you get all these bright colors. and send them out and I mean they fly. We sell a lot of deviled eggs.”
And your jaw will drop, if you order the oversized Fried Buffalo Turkey Leg.
“When you think of turkey leg, you think King Richard’s fare. It’s a brine and smoked turkey leg that we then deep fry to crisp up the skin and then we lather it in our house made honey buffalo sauce, a little blue cheese crumbles and some chopped scallions, out the door. It’s big. It’s overwhelming looking, but it’s one of those, you can either get right in, eat it with your hands or you can knife and fork it if you like.”
If you prefer to get your buffalo on more traditionally, there are addictive wings served with ranch, carrots and celery. The Guinness Braised Baby Back Ribs are brushed in a sweet molasses bbq sauce and served with jalapeno cornbread and Mussels are available two ways.
“One with Downeast cider with shallots and a little bit of herb butter and then the second one we do is we do it with Grey Lady Lager. We do it with some chopped shallots and chopped bacon and we saute that up with a little bit of herb butter and steam them. You get a toasted bread point piece of French baguette that we butter and then grill. Nine times out of 10 people ask for more. I mean they are both fantastic.”
The hand held options at Hamilton are hearty.
There’s the enormous Steak Bomb served with sauteed mushrooms, onions and peppers and lots and lots of cheese and a burger that’s a downright behemoth.
“We do a 10 ounce hand formed grass fed patty. We don’t do a lot to it, salt and pepper it and put it on the grill. I mean it’s thick, it’s juicy. We do a house made herb mayo with lettuce, tomato and then we make our own house pickles. People are wowed every time we send it out there because it is a big burger.”
Entrees at Hamilton range from this gorgeous New York Strip served with Yukon gold smashed potatoes and asparagus.
And a tasty 12 ounce porterhouse pork chop slathered in a bourbon brown sugar glaze.
“You get this nice, long bone. It’s chard and then we grill it and layer it in our own house made bourbon brown sugar glaze and it just caramelizes nicely over the top. We send it out with some roasted potatoes with peppers and onions with a little apple cider vinegar there just to get the tartness with the sweet. It’s a heck of a dish.”
But it’s the half roasted chicken that’s a must order, reminiscent of the home cooking you grew up on.
“It’s a comfort meal. You know what I mean? It is one of those, your mom or your grandma would of made back in the day. You get the boneless breast with the wing still attached and then the leg quarter and we pan fry it a little bit just to get the skin nice and crispy and we serve it with roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. It’s one of those meals that when you are done you want to nap.”
And while they don’t make their desserts in house, you should save room for one- because they come from neighboring baker, Party Favors.
“Obviously in Brookline they are well known, but they’ve been able to work with us and get us three desserts that kind of link into what they used back in the day or what they had available back in the day, so we have a seven layered chocolate cherry cake. We have a caramel apple cheese cake and we also have a green apple cranberry tart.”
So for a meal that’s as rich in flavor as it is in history, there’s no better place to dine than Hamilton.
Hamilton Restaurant & Bar
1366 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446