By Jacob SIngleton
Restaurant of the Month is a new, monthly segment comprised of local Champaign-Urbana restaurants. For our inaugural month, WPGU picked Hamilton Walkers!
Nestled in the heart of downtown Champaign, Hamilton Walker’s offers lunch, dinner and brunch along with happy hour specials on appetizers and drinks from 3p.m.-6p.m. Monday through Friday and a 3-course Sunday Supper Club dinner. Boasting an art deco modern decor, the front entrance has an intimate seating area and a full bar with a vast selection of spirits and wine.
The main dining area is posh, yet warm and inviting. Elevated circular booths line two walls of the dining area with ample seating space and great views of the tastefully decorated room.
On my visit to Hamilton Walker’s I tried their 5-course tasting menu. The menu is carefully cultivated to provide a variety of their menu staples.
My meal started off with a rich, velvety Lobster & Crab Bisque followed by a large crab cake loaded with real lump crab meat and red peppers paired with a gentle remoulade.
The salad was a fresh and savory spinach salad tossed with a warm bacon dressing and topped with sliced radish, red onion, egg and garlic croutons. It is the perfect size and the thick pieces of bacon really made this salad amazing.
The main course of Filet medallions with Port Wine Mushroom Sauce was divine. Just the right portion of steak, these medallions were tender and flavorful. Hamilton Walker’s uses locally sourced beef from within a 150-mile radius of Tama, Iowa. The farmers follow sustainable practices and you simply cannot find better beef. Their garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus rounded out the plate.
Last but not least, I had Baked Alaska. I have not seen this decadent dessert on any other menu in the area but this curiously named dessert is a combination of vanilla cake, topped with a layer of “Chocolate Shoppe” premium strawberry ice cream, covered with a light cocoon of toasted meringue served atop a thick Belgian chocolate sauce. The cake, ice cream and toasted meringue create a taste sensation that will compel you to have just one more bite.
Reservations are not required but recommended, especially on weekends and holidays. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10a.m.-2p.m. You can enroll in Hamilton Walker’s Loyalty Club to earn points for discounts and learn about special promotions and events. Delivery options through Grubhub and DoorDash are also available but the food this delicious is best enjoyed in the restaurant.