Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Courtyard on Locke: Hamilton, Ontario

Berries & nuts salad
I think that one of Hamilton’s lesser known gems is the Courtyard on Locke. Yes, it is a bit more expensive than some of its neighbours, but the food and overall dining experience make it a worthwhile stop for any Hamilton foodie looking for a quiet, refined and delicious meal.

The Courtyard is one of those restaurants that fits somewhere between casual and fine dining. Would I wear jeans? No. That being said, the place nor the 
Lobster sliders
service feels stuffy or pretentious. The atmosphere is calm, modern and elegant. At night the restaurant offers a cozy, dimly lit intimate setting and during the summer, the courtyard in the back makes for a perfect outdoor brunch locale. A bonus feature is that they use Riedel wine glasses. While I am both too clumsy/too cheap to buy these for myself, I have to admit that using the right glass for the right type of wine truly makes a difference!*
Steak & frites
When I visited for dinner awhile back, I went with my mom and aunt who strongly recommended this restaurant. We started with appetizers and wine, ordered 3 different mains and left feeling very satisfied and full! While the menu has changed since my last visit, I hope this post offers you a small glimpse at the quality of their food and diversity of their menu.

We started with the 3 mini lobster sliders. The buns were fresh and the lobster was light and topped with an avocado purée. Since there were 3 of us, this was an easy and tasty way for us to begin our meal. We then shared the nuts and berries salad, which had a mix of fresh berries, walnuts and goat cheese and was topped with a light balsamic vinaigrette. 
Fresh pickerel with mash and beans

Primavera pasta
For our mains, my mom ordered a creamy primavera pasta. Full of peppers, asparagus and mushrooms. This pasta was served in a creamy white sauce and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. My aunt ordered the special - a beautifully grilled piece of pickerel, topped with tomatoes and onions and served with mashed potatoes and green beans. I would like to note here that the beans were perfect. I mean everything else was equally delicious, but the beans were right at that perfect stage of cooked-ness without losing their bright colour or being overly mushy. 

I opted for the steak & frites and was very happy with that decision. They use thick, juicy cuts of Canadian AAA striploin and serve it in a veal reduction. The frites are actually fingerling potatoes, cut in half and served perfectly crisp. I ate every last morsel on my plate. Dee-lish. 

While I couldn’t get dessert because I was too full (which, for those of you who know me, know that that is rare indeed), I feel pretty confident that it would have been equally delicious! Next date night? Check out the Courtyard.

*The Riedel Wine Test. Take any ol’ wine and match it with a regular wine glass. Now pour that same wine into the designated Riedel glass. BOOM. Totally different.  

No comments:

Post a Comment