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“Aced every course”

Hamiltons' at First & Main
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $33
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Located in the heart of Charlottesville's Downtown district, Hamiltons' is the perfect spot for a delicious afternoon lunch or a romantic evening dinner. A cheerful, cozy atmosphere and attentive service ensure our guests enjoy an outstanding dining experience, be they Charlottesville natives, out-of-town visitors, or University students and staff. We also feature outdoor patio seating seasonally, providing our guests the opportunity to dine amidst the bustle of the Downtown Mall. Our Staff Kate and Bill Hamilton opened the restaurant's doors in February 1996. Today, talented Chef de Cuisine Curtis Shaver brings a distinctive flare to the exciting, contemporary American cuisine for which Hamiltons' is known. In addition to overseeing Hamiltons' award winning wine list, General Manager and Partner Daniel Page directs a staff renowned for its congeniality and professionalism. Music at Hamiltons' Every Saturday and Wednesday night from about 7-10 p.m, Hamiltons' hosts the live jazz stylings of guitarist Peter Richardson. Peter's album with clarinetist Dave Kannensohn titled "Saturday Nights at Hamiltons'" features American and Latin jazz favorites.
Level Contributor
136 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Aced every course”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

My boyfriend and I were here for dinner during a birthday getaway in VA. We had the soup of the day (rustic tomato and beans, with great bread on the side) for starters, the duck and the tenderloin dishes for entrees (perfectly cooked, with flavorful sides) and the pouched pear for desert (twist on the classic apple crumble), accompanied by a local red wine named Octagon, which was pretty good. It's rare to find a restaurant that doesn't disappoint with at least one bad dish, but Hamilton's pulled it off beautifully. The place could definitely use a major renovation though, the decor is painfully bad. We would definitely recommend for anyone visiting Charlottesville.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank SupernovaSurvivor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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545 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great spot”
Reviewed March 29, 2014 via mobile

Restaurant is located in the walking mall area and has both indoor and outdoor seating. Innovative cocktails and excellent food preparation. We ate outside for lunch and the service was good as well. The meatballs were exceptional.

Thank CorTra_vel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Good food, nice atmosphere and excellent service. Try the smoked pork belly with quail egg, it's awesome. Also the mixed starter plate is fantastic. Entree wash okayish (tenderloin).

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank aightgenosse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
137 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Hamilton's is a Charlottesville classic. This restaurant has been around forever, and you can always count on a good meal.

Visited February 2014
Thank Cville12369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
214 reviews
184 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Every aspect of this restaurant shines…”
Reviewed March 23, 2014

Based on a friend’s recommendation, my daughter and I had dinner here during our college visit to UVA, and I am so glad that we did. The entire experience was outstanding.

The atmosphere is one of casual elegance. It is open and airy with a high ceiling, a very inviting mix of bright and warm colors, and an obvious attention to detail. I particularly liked the effect of the white pergola over the small bar area. The soft sounds of a live jazz guitarist added to the relaxed feel (clear enough to enjoy as background without impeding quiet conversation). Finally, the staff was professional and polished while still being very friendly and helpful.

Then came the food. The presentation of our meals was wonderful, again with a creative flair and attention to detail. And food itself was delicious. I had the Carolina Jumbo Shrimp which were perfectly done, and their Chardonnay lemon sauce paired nicely with the subtle smokiness of the creamy grits and tomato confit that accompanied them. My daughter’s vegetarian “Blue Plate Special” came with an impressive variety of items, all of which she thoroughly enjoyed. One item that my daughter let me try from her meal (a crunch pastry with a sweet potato filling and spicy sweet glaze over the top) was particularly memorable.

The wine and cocktail lists were impressive and the desserts looked great as well (but unfortunately we were too full to try dessert).

The ONLY negative thing that I can find to say about Hamiltons’ is that it is too far from my home.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Raymond R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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