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Rat's Restaurant, Hamilton, NJ: A Dining Review

Rat's Restaurant, Hamilton, NJ

Rat's Restaurant is one of the top romantic restaurants in Central NJ.
If you are looking for that special place where ambiance & decor are stunning and you want to impress.... this is it.

Rat's Restaurant
16 Fairgrounds Rd.
Hamilton, NJ

Rat's:  Restaurant Highlights

Fare: French

Very Expensive

Food Quality:
Excellent. Well executed, artfully presented, and prepared using seasonal, fresh ingredients.

Professional, attentive, though a bit pretentious

Outstanding. Located on the grounds that resemble a small European village. The dining rooms are adorned with original artwork, rustic fireplaces, and a mixture of Old World elegance and New World color.

Overall Rating:
3 stars

Four star Rating System from 1/2 Star = poor to Four stars = Best in Class

Noise Level: Moderate

Dress: Upscale Casual

Recommended For: Diners who enjoy well prepared food with out of the ordinary, stunning decor, and are willing to pay more for a special dining experience

Not Recommended For: Budget minded diners and young families who prefer more casual dining with lower menu prices and larger food portions.

Recommended dishes: When available, The seared scallops with corn risotto, chanterelles and herb; The Strip loin of free range veal with truffled leek pierogies, chanterelles, pea puree and chived fromage blac; and the vegetarian selection of wild mushroom pie.

Liquor: Excellent wine list and specialty cocktails.

Restaurant Review

Rat's is one of the top romantic restaurants in Central New Jersey. An ideal place for celebrating special occasions, a romantic dining experience and for a family Sunday brunch, especially on Easter Sunday and Mother's Day.

This is a fine dining restaurant without the "stuffiness" that typically comes with traditional fine dining.

Named after the character in Kenneth Graham's children's classic, The Wind in the Willows, Rat's Restaurant is designed to give visitors the sense they have stepped into a village reminiscent of the impressionist painter Claude Monet's beloved town of Giverny.

Owned by noted sculptor and pharmaceutical heir J. Seward Johnson, Jr., Rats restaurant was created, at least in part, as an added inducement to visit Mr. Johnson's magnificent Grounds for Sculpture, the adjoining 22-acre sculpture park located on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds.

The grounds are attractively developed along the lines a small European village. The interior has five dining rooms adorned with original artwork, fireplaces and a mixture of Old-World elegance and New World color. They also have views of the surrounding sculpture park, Grounds for Sculpture, and the misty water lily pond, bridge, and ethereal garden.

The tables are generously spaced, for intimate conversation.

In the warmer months there is outdoor patio dining at the edge of a pond, overlooking the gardens.

In the cooler months there is a cozy, rustic fireplace to warm up to and enjoy a soothing cocktail.

Although some of the menu selections are pricey, the food at Rats Restaurant is well prepared with fresh ingredients.

Prepare for an unrushed dining experience and don't miss a walk through the grounds. It's impressive.

They can accommodate private dining for corporate and special occasions.

* Description of Restaurant Classification - Chef-Inspired Fine Dining:

  • "Old World" with sophisticated and romantic décor.
  • Priced higher than other upscale restaurants to cover the cost of the added amenities.
  • They are chef driven by chefs with impressive credentials including formal culinary education and skills honed at award winning restaurants.
  • Committed to high quality food ingredients such as imported items not available in the supermarket, with emphasis on local seasonal farm-to-table produce, wild caught seafood, & meats without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.
  • The wait staff is rigorously trained --- professional, knowledgeable, and attentive. Has an alcohol menu with high end wines and specialty cocktails and with a staff knowledgeable in wine pairings.
  • Additional amenities include linen and fine China table settings, carpeted flooring, chandeliers, and complimentary sorbets, dessert chocolates, etc.
  • Patrons tend to be older, more formally dressed, with high incomes.

The most popular upscale restaurants in New Jersey, classified into three categories; Chef-Inspired Fine Dining, Chef-Inspired Casual Dining, and Contemporary Casual.
learn more about the three types of upscale restaurants and how reviews are created.

(updated: December 2020)