43 King William Street, Hamilton, ON
New on the scene, and brought to us from the Equal Parts Hospitality Group – who are behind Aberdeen Tavern, The French, Dundurn Market and Knollwood Golf Club – is The Diplomat on King William. I have been following this launch since it’s first inception, which you can read about on The Inlet, here. Located in the old Baltimore House space, the new restaurant has undergone some massive changes since it housed Baltimore.
The Diplomat will be opening for dinner service on Thursday Dec 7th, and still has some finishing touches in regarding to decor (co-owner Jason Cassis spoke of giant art pieces, chandeliers, bronze mesh and giant ferns…wow!), but luckily I was invited to a sneak peek of the restaurant yesterday!
The grand and high-ceilinged space is fitted with a beautiful, rich colour feature wall that houses the open kitchen (so you can see all the hard-working kitchen team preparing your meal as you’re sipping on a yummy cocktail), white tables and white brick walls, seating areas for awaiting your table and the comfiest, largest tub chairs you’ll ever sit in.
I started out trying their ‘Good Advice’ cocktail: Gordon’s Gin + St. Germain + fresh sage + lemon juice + prosecco. I’m not normally a huge cocktail person, but this was goooood. I could have had another for sure. The addition of fresh sage was right up my alley and it wasn’t overly strong-tasting.
For the meal, we shared out Warm Breadsticks with roasted garlic + parmesan, and Deviled Eggs with sweet & smoky mustard + sesame crunch. Both of these were amazing. I could easily just get orders and orders of these for my meal and be pleased as punch. The Deviled Eggs tasted like they might have had some of the Kozlik’s Smoky Mustard in it, which I am a huge fan of. The breadsticks were the perfect texture, not too dry, and didn’t need a dip of any sort. 5/5 stars.
For my main I tried the Cast Iron Chicken with smoked root veg + cipollini onions + sticky jus. This was a bigger portion than I was expecting. I especially loved the root veggies, I had no idea what they all were tbh since they were in the dark sticky jus, but I could tell you they were tasty and there were parsnips involved.
At the table, my dining partners also tried Hen of the Woods Pasta (bucatini + brown butter sauce + parmigiano), Ricotta Gnudi (brussels sprouts + pumpkin + toasted vanilla butter + pepitas pesto), 6oz Tenderloin Wellington County Beef (with black garlic bearnaise and celeriac gratin with blue cheese crust), 12oz Shoulder Chop Lamb (with mint & chili chimichurri), Beet Salad (smoky lentils + creme fraiche + spice + pomegranate), Endive Salad (blue cheese + nut granola + pear + apple vinaigrette), and Roasted Mushrooms (with toasted sesame + teriyaki).
Stand-outs were definitely the Beet Salad, Wellington County Beef (a bit of a larger ticket item), and the Ricotta Gnudi. Gnudi isn’t a dish you see often on a restaurant menu, because it’s so time-consuming for the kitchen to implement. Very impressed they pulled this off!
I will definitely be visiting again, once they open “for real” on Thursday and get all the snazzy extra decor into the restaurant. Stay tuned for more photos!
All the food during the sneak peek was 50% off. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Monday to Thursday – 11:30am to 10:30pm
Friday – 11:30am to 11:00pm
Saturday – 4:00pm to 11:00pm
Sunday – Closed (Full restaurant buyouts available)
PATIO OPEN, WEATHER PERMITTING