We first discovered Lake Road Restaurant while on a food crawl of Hamilton. Our group of 20 something spent a day discovering the best of what Hamilton has to offer. One of our last stops was a visit to Lake Road, where we entered to discover that the chef had prepared a range of appetizers for our group, which we eagerly sampled as the bartender prepared a bourbon based cocktail for those looking to sample a beverage (most of us). That the stop occurred near the end of the tour, with most in the group too stuffed to eat much, was fortuitous for me. One of the dishes, Cod Fritters, was a delectable seafood dish mixed with saffron aïoli, kale chips, smoked pepper coulis, and fried jalapeños. These fritters were exactly what this spice loving, East Coaster needed. I ate four of them by the time we needed to leave, and I was the last out the door. Nothing I tasted that day had been so good.
After the experience, Lake Road Restaurant was at the top of our to-do list during on our recent family trip to Hamilton. On the first night we arrived, we quickly settled into our hotel room and headed out the door, rushing, as usual, because of our two lackadaisical kids, to make our reservation at the James Street North hot spot. We arrived 10 minutes late, but the staff was very courteous amidst the restaurant’s bustling atmosphere, and we were able to settle in quickly. Our table was located in the charming front section of the restaurant, which looks to have been the garage of an old house. The kids settled nicely into the corner seats to play with their selection of toys while we struggled through the menu, trying to decide on 4 to 5 dishes out of a dozen options I would happily have tried.
Disclosure : Our visit was in partnership with Tourism Hamilton but, as always, opinions are TOTALLY ours!
We started with drinks of course, and I was happy to find a beer unknown to me, from Shawn & Ed Brewing Co., located in Dundas, Ontario. The beer was the first from their Barrelshed Series, which features craft beer aged in wine barrels. This one, the appropriately named Barrelshed No. 1, was a keeper. Yashy, remembering how great the cocktail was on our first visit, went with the Moscow Mule, a vodka based drink with lime and house made ginger beer. We were both happy to find that Lake Road puts as much care into their drink list as they do for their exquisite menu.
When we were ready to order, I was happy to find the Cod Fritters still listed on the menu, so those were an easy choice, and we also started with the Grilled Octopus, a dish that has since been removed from the menu, though I suspect it will return. Lake Road switches up menu items regularly (to ensure the items they serve are in season and fresh!), and this is exciting news to anyone lucky enough to make regular visits to the restaurant. The opportunity to try something new will always keeps us coming back. For our main dishes, we ordered the Moroccan Hen as well as the nightly special, roasted curry-scented Lamb (they do lamb REALLY nicely here), and decided on the Flank Steak for the kids, which they slowly devoured. This was one of many recent indications that our kids love steak. Combined with their growing distaste for chicken, our grocery budget is on the rise.
After polishing off the Eton Mess, a berry and coconut based dessert, we were properly stuffed. As with our first visit to Lake Road, this meal was an absolute pleasure. We have since learned that the restaurant’s co-owners, Chef Dan Megna and Laurie Lilliman are well known in Hamilton. The duo’s previous venture, Twisted Lemon Restaurant, is a very popular restaurant in the area and one we hope to visit in the near future.
Lake Road is a dining experience that rates amongst the finest we have had anywhere. If you are in the Hamilton area, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a fine beverage and a very tasty meal. We’ll be going back at every opportunity. Click here to check out where to dine with kids and be sure to visit this site for more ideas on where to dine in Hamilton!