This weekend will mark, not only the end of 2022, but also the end of the line for two popular Hunterdon County restaurants.
Hamilton’s Grill Room, located along the canal in Lambertville, N.J., and the Lovin’ Oven on Trenton Avenue in Frenchtown, N.J., both made their closing announcements this month.
Chef Brian Held thanked Hamilton’s Grill Room’s “beloved customers” for their patronage over its 30-year run. Founded by restaurateur and Lambertville institution Jim Hamilton, the BYOB boasted a menu of Mediterranean and seasonal dishes.
“Hamilton’s Grill Room will be closing its doors for good at the end of this year,” the brief statement on its website read. “Our final two dinner service dates are: Friday, December 30th, and Saturday, December 31st.”
On Wednesday the restaurant added an final seating for dinner Jan. 1, "due to overwhelming response to our recent announcement."
With “a heavy heart,” Julie Klein and “The Oven Crew” called it a “magnificent” 18 years in a Dec. 23 announcement on Facebook that indicated the farm-to-table restaurant’s last meal would be served on Jan. 1.
“The restaurant business has changed and it’s time to move on. Im (sic) going to pause to enjoy my family. I am manifesting a space where i (sic) can share a more intimate version of The Oven’s hospitality and yumminess. I can’t wait for what’s next!
“To every person who has supported, enjoyed and shared in the Lovin’ Oven i (sic) am so grateful. You have given me space to do what i (sic) cherish so much…feed people with love.”
The dual announcements prompted an outpouring of support and fond wishes for both establishments.
“Hamilton’s was my picky mom’s favorite restaurant growing up so we would make the trip 45 minutes to come down 1-2 times a year,” said one customer. “The shrimp in anchovy butter changed my life! I will miss the twinkly charm of this unmatched place. Thank you for the memories.”
Of Lovin’ Oven, one patron said “Thank you for being a refuge through all the first years of parenting. My early years of mothering in such a rural place were often lonely and overwhelming and coming down to Frenchtown to have breakfast together at Lovin’ Oven and ride bikes on the trail are some of my best memories.”