When we walked into the Aberdeen Tavern on a Saturday night in late September, we had spent the previous 24 hours discovering some of the best food Hamilton has to offer. Entering to find a busy restaurant, we were thankful to have had a reservation. As the hostess seated us at a spacious table near the bar, the kids, perhaps a little tired after a long day, sat down peacefully while Yashy and I perused the menu. Confident that they were content with their trusty colouring books and array of small toys we had brought with us, we settled in and ordered a cocktail, which just seemed proper, given our proximity to the beautiful and elegant bar set-up along that back wall of the tavern. The Aberdeen had made a great first impression.
Disclosure : We were hosted by Tourism Hamilton but, as always, opinions are TOTALLY ours!
The appetizer menu featured a number of appealing options, including the Crab Cake, Braised Beef, and Buffalo Fried Cauliflower, but we were most intrigued by the Hamachi Crudo, a cold dish that included hamachi tuna, lo mein noodles, pickled kohlrabi, which is a type of cabbage, and a chilli rice wine vinaigrette. After a number of heavy meals over the weekend, this was a light, flavourful dish that allowed us to save our appetites for the main course.
I ordered the Arctic Char for my main. As a Maritimer, I am always weary when eating fish in Ontario, especially if the species is native to the waters of the North Atlantic, but I find that Arctic Char is often a good choice in this region. This dish was prepared with asparagus and roasted mushrooms on top of a tomato broth, and I ate it a little too quickly, afterwards regretting that I didn’t savour it more. Luckily, Yashy had enjoyed quite a bit at lunch, and so I was also able to sample a generous portion of the Smoked Ling Cod she had decided upon. Though cod is generally a fish I avoid in Ontario, this fish was relatively fresh and quite good. The base of this dish, which included sweet pea risotto, bacon, and aged balsamic was also very flavourful.
For the kids, we naturally could not pass up the Truffle Fries and Calamari. Both contained generous portions, enough for the whole table. The mix of fatigue from a busy day, toys, and these truffle fries kept both kids quiet and content for the whole meal, but we didn’t have to worry too much about noisy kids. The Aberdeen Tavern draws a social crowd, talkative, but not boisterous, making it a perfect place to enjoy a meal with the family, even with small children included in the party.
The Aberdeen Tavern was a great addition to our weekend trip to Hamilton. If you make it a point to check restaurant reviews before a visit, you’ll notice that the Aberdeen is one of the area’s highest rated restaurants. It is worthy of the accolades. An elegant dining area supports the great atmosphere inside, and its quaint location, in a residential area slightly southwest of the downtown core, provides a sense of discovery to those visiting for the first time. We had a great evening!