Location: 191 James St. North

Order: Red Sangria, Diet Pepsi, Spicy Caesar, Bloody Mary, Bottle of Shiraz, Award-Winning Gumbo, Mussels, Salmon, Lamb, Chicken Supreme, Beef Tenderloin, a side of Risotto, and a slice of cheesecake (free)

Bill: $172

Website: Yes

Online Menu? Yes

**Apologies for the lack of pictures on this post, it was my Birthday dinner and I put more focus on spending time with my family and having a relaxing meal, and forgot to photograph most of the food items**

For my birthday dinner, my family asked me where I wanted to go to eat. For some reason, I had been craving mussels for a while so we decided to go to the Portugese restaurant, Acclimation, on James St North.

Acclamation - Bar SideWhen we got there, we had made a reservation for the bar side of the restaurant because there was a large party that had reserved most of the dining room. My boyfriend and I arrived first and went in, the bar wasn’t overly busy and they let us pick our table so we opted for a booth in the corner. While we waited, I got a red sangria and he got a diet pepsi, and we were left to browse the menu. As our drinks came the rest of the group showed up and ordered a Bloody Mary and a Spicy Caesar.

When our server came back with the drinks, she took our orders. Myself and one other person got appetizers, I got the mussels and they got the gumbo. For entrees, I ordered the Chicken Supreme, and the others I was with ordered the Lamb, Salmon, Beef Tenderloin, and a side of Risotto. Unfortunately, the server didn’t give us a choice of potato which caused one of the people I was with to get upset, but we didn’t want to worry until we got our food to see what we would get, and to be honest it didn’t bother me too much. We also ordered a bottle of wine, which the server brought over very quickly. It was quite good, but I’m a big fan of Shiraz (which is what we ordered).

After about ten minutes our apps arrived, along with a couple loaves of their amazing bread. This bread is so good, a tall loaf served with roasted garlic, oh so good. My mussels were fabulous to say the least. They were cooked with Chorizo sausage, onions, tomato, and a creamy white wine sauce. I could honestly eat two portions of this and will go back (repeatedly) probably just for these. The bread was great for soaking up the sauce, which there is lots of, and the mussles are piled high in a average size bowl. A good serving size too, it wasn’t stingy, but I could have eaten more. These are seriously some of the best mussels I’ve had in Hamilton, if you are a fan, you need to try them here. The other app that was ordered was the “Award Winning” gumbo. I didn’t try it, but it looked like more of a meal than an app and was piled high with mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp. I was told it was phenomenal, and since they order it every time they go here and it’s advertized as “award winning”, I’m going to say it’s probably pretty decent.

Once we were done our plates were cleared and it wasn’t long before our mains arrived. They all came with mashed potatoes, which was disappointing because we weren’t given a potato choice, and the menu suggests they be paired with fingerling potatoes. Besides that everything was quite good! I didn’t try the salmon which was crusted with pistachios and served with a beurre blanc sauce, but got a taste of all the other entrees.

Acclamation - Chicken SupremeMy chicken supreme was a leg stuffed with roasted red peppers and brie cheese and the wrapped in prosciutto.  The chicken was very tender, but the portion was small and there wasn’t a whole lot of “stuffing” inside of it. The prosciutto (obviously) made it pretty salty too. It was decent, but definitely not the best dish on the table and I didn’t finish it.

The tenderloin, on the other hand, was incredibly flavourful. It practically melted in your mouth and I wished I had ordered this dish instead even though the person who ordered it was not happy about the potato situation. The mashed potatoes, by the way, were nothing special and I personally prefer the ones I make at home. At least these were real mashed and not powdered, I guess that’s my silver lining.

Finally, the lamb was also tender, they don’t seem to dry out any of their proteins which is fantastic. The lamb was falling apart it was so perfectly cooked, and the flavour had a little kick because it was cooked with chorizo sausage. This plate was also the biggest portion of food out of the 4 dishes.

Acclamation - RisottoWe also got a side of mushroom risotto, I’m not really much of a risotto person, I’m not sure what the texture is suppose to be like, so I can’t comment on that, but the flavour itself was really quite good. It was a big portion for a side dish too, it would be a good lunch portion for me, the bowl was the same size as the one the mussels came in, and it was packed to the top!

After we ate and our plates were cleared, I was brought a piece of cheesecake for my birthday. It was a bit dense and I was so full I didn’t really finish it and had to auction the rest off. We didn’t get any coffee’s or anything, but were almost forgotten about as our bill didn’t come for almost 20 minutes after that and our server had seemed to completely disappear. When we finally tracked her down by asking another server for our bill, we paid and left.

Recommended? Service, thumbs down, food two thumbs up! Our server was not very good, but the food was. Next time I will probably sit on the dining room side so I have a less distracted server, but I will also order a double order of mussels because I am convinced they are the best in the city. Overall, the meal was enjoyable, I will go back for sure.

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