Richard and I headed out last night to a new neighborhood restaurant: Amuse. This restaurant’s website states that they Amuse features “the finest seafood in addition to an array of hand-cut meats, and fresh sushi”. It’s in the Westside, on Mesa, and it’s so close to us we could actually walk to it (well, maybe we could when it gets below 100 degrees). Last night, we drove.
We had a 7pm reservation and found the restaurant to be very busy, from the time we entered until the time we left. It’s great to see so much support for a local restaurant right in our own neighborhood. Whoo whoo! The clientele included quite the age range, and we saw everyone from families with kids to young adult couples to middle age and older folks. Quite a mix!
There were few available tables when we arrived, and we were initially brought to a table in the front, in a high-traffic zone. Richard’s not picky about tables, but I am and that table was not my style. When I asked for another table, we were immediately taken to a nice, quiet corner booth. Yeah!
We were very quickly greeted by our server, Michelle B., who was a great server. Although very busy, she was quite attentive and personable.
The decor was beautiful. It was sleek and elegant, yet comfortable and relaxing. With so many guests, there was plenty of good vibe and conversation but Richard and I also were able to hear each other in conversation. This is one of those strip mall restaurants that really shines once you enter through the doorway!
We also were quickly brought a complimentary amuse (an hors d’oeuvre selected by the chef). On this night, it was a spoonful of a fresh pea and tomato mixture (along the lines of a chilled pea salad). It was lightly but nicely seasoned, and the freshness of the peas still shone through.
Richard knew he wanted the rib eye, and each entree has a suggested wine listed. We went with the Pascual Malbec which is the suggested accompaniment to the rib eye. Michelle immediately brought us out water but it took some time before our wine arrived. She apologized and explained they actually had to find a stepladder to get to the Malbec, which was stored in a high-up location. After we got out wine, we really enjoyed it.
Richard honed in on one appetizer: coconut shrimp (house made jumbo tiger coconut shrimp with jicama salad and sweet chili dipping sauce). He loved the hot ‘n spicy dipping sauce, and he said that this appetizer was just delicious. He said that the coconut shrimp were nice and crispy, and the sauce gave it a “great wang” (whatever that means…….it obviously is something positive, from the look on his face when he described it!). He sure scarfed it down fast! I’m not a shrimp fan, so it was all his.
Our entrees came out of the kitchen after just a little while longer. Richard’s rib eye was listed on the menu as the following: 14 oz. 1855 black angus wood grilled rib eye with tri-colored rosemary, fingerling potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, mushroom puree and brandy peppercorn sauce. He ordered it medium-rare (the only proper way to cook a steak, according to him), and he said it was perfectly cooked. He is not a ‘shroom fan so didn’t eat much of those, but he really enjoyed the potatoes and thought the brandy peppercorn sauce was delicious.
Amuse has a fish and seafood-heavy menu (with plenty of sushi offerings for sushi fans. We saw plenty of people opting for sushi). I’m not big on fish or seafood, and on this night I was craving a good burger. Amuse had one on the menu that caught my eye: Amuse burger (fresh ground angus patty, lettuce, tomato, house made bacon, red onioin, Swiss cheese, garlic aoli and spicy mustard). This was a good burger. It came on a nice-quality bun (I love that), and the house made bacon was yummy. The burger was served with fries. They weren’t crispy enough for Richard but I’m not as picky about my fries and I enjoyed them.
On to dessert! Richard spied the fried ice cream on the menu and knew that would be his choice. It’s described on the menu as lightly tempura battered vanilla ice cream in hand rolled pound cake, deep fried. It was very pretty on the plate and served with berries (a strawberry and blueberries, I believe). Richard devoured this dessert, exclaiming as he ate it that he loved how crispy it was on the outside and how light it tasted. No fan of “light” desserts, I opted for the caramel crumble (house made caramel apple crumble and vanilla ice cream). This was a homey, comfort food dessert. It was good and tasty and I licked the bowls clean (the crumble and ice cream came in separate bowls, which I liked. No already-melted ice cream when it arrived!).
When I asked for the check, Michelle promptly brought it out (yippee! I hate having to wait to pay!). She thanked us for coming in and said she hoped we’d return. We were thrilled to see how popular the restaurant is and hope it will continue to get such good business. We love that this restaurant is so close to where we live, and we’ll definitely be returning!