Tuesday, 1 October 2013


291 Queenston Road, Hamilton

I've been intrigued by this new restaurant that's opened up in the downtown east end and had to come see for myself what its all about.  This catering company turned brick n mortar restaurant has some good and bad points to be noted for future diners.  The location on Queenston and Parkdale in a commercial building is less than appealing, although they did a nice job of the exterior entrance and décor.  The interior décor however needs an overhaul.  The dated floor tiles and drop ceiling add nothing to the space and the bar is less than impressive.  The table cloths and glassware were very nice, but flanked by old black banquet chairs and cheap cutlery made this place seem like it ran out of money for the finishing touches.  And the music being played was trendy top 40 pop music from the radio or Sirius I think, which didn't really fit the setting in anyway  It boasts itself as a casual fine dining restaurant but they definitely need more help in creating that setting and mood.

That being said the service was excellent.  We were warmly greeted and seated instantly and our server was very polite and prompt throughout our visit there.  I was pretty stoked they had a Niagara Riesling available by the glass and it was served perfectly chilled.  Our water glasses were also always tended too.

Complimentary Spring Rolls
The waitress came out with a small plate of 4 spring rolls with a sweet n sour type dipping sauce, compliments of the chef, and in lieu of the traditional bread basket.  That was a nice touch I must say and the spring rolls were crisp not greasy and fresh.  They were quite standard though and lacked any imagination or chef inspired twist. 

Mushroom Risotto Cheese Balls $5

Next came our Mushroom Risotto Cheese Balls $5.  These were panko crusted, deep fried and filled with gooey cheese, mushrooms and risotto, served with a marinara dipping sauce.  They were quite crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside and we gobbled them up.  They were pretty good but I wasn't jumping outta my seat for them.  The marinara sauce was mediocre, but definitely a good accompaniment to the risotto balls.

Oven Baked Salmon $16

I ordered the Oven Baked Salmon $16 in a soy maple glaze.  All the main entrees are served with roasted potatoes or rice and mixed veggies.  The salmon was cooked perfectly with a moist and tender center and crispy crust on the exterior.  The roast potatoes and veggies were also very fresh and cooked just right, although perhaps a little too much butter for me.  The soy maple glaze was ok.  It tasted out of a bottle and wasn't any kind of culinary breakthrough.  I very much enjoyed the plate of food and ate the whole thing, which was well portioned I must say...not too much and not too little.  But I just wasn't wowed by the food in any way.  I could've cooked the same plate at home for a fraction of the price.

Rib Eye $35
My husband ordered the Grilled Rib Eye $35 with mushroom and shallot red wine sauce.  I could tell the meat was fatty just from looking at it and he said he's had better steaks before.  Again, he ate the whole plate and enjoyed the food, but wasn't raving about it when we left.

We were there for an unusually early Saturday night dinner and I overheard the waitress say to the only other family dining in the place that the chef was leaving in the middle of the evening to go cater a party and then he was coming back. They essentially put the closed sign up after we were seated and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.  I do prefer to dine with other happy guests to create a vibrant buzzing experience.... the radio pop music just wasn't cutting it.
Food 3.0*, Value 2.5*, Service 5.0*, Décor/Ambiance 2.0*
Overall: 3.1*:  The overall experience was forgettable to say the least.  The food was tasty and filling but lacked imagination and the décor and ambiance was confusing and incomplete.  A little extra effort in those areas would help this place be so much more and bring it up to casual fine dining status. 

J Anthony Grille & Catering on Urbanspoon


  1. thanks for reviewing the place. i've heard some buzz but i've never actually read a full out review of the food.

    1. glad you had a chance to read my blog on this place. I wouldn't put it on the top of the list for places for you to review anytime soon.