Monday, January 19, 2015

Amuse Review

As Restaurant Week approaches, consider Amuse for your next dining adventure with your friends. Frankly, I was surprised at the quality of food from a restaurant housed within a hotel, regardless of whether it's Le Meridien.

So with a friend in tow, the GF and I stopped by. Spacious and well-designed, there's plenty of comfortable tables at Amuse

Rock Dove ($10)
Patron, grapefruit cordial, lime, soda

The GF and our friend went with the tequila-based tipple (go figure!). Smooth, with some subtle sweetness from the grapefruit cordial and some nice tartness from the lime, this was easy drinking.

Liberty Bell ($12)
Woodford Reserve, merlot, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice

I went with the bourbon-based drink, which was mellowed out by the merlot and the freshness of the lemon juice. 

Amuse Bouche
Pomegranate, apple, mint 

An amuse of pomegranates, apple, and mint offered a fresh bite to whet our palates for the meal.

Bread Service

Bread service featured a fresh baguette that was pre-cut, along with some perfectly room-temp Vermont butter with fleur de sel. Nice.

Foie Gras Torchon ($12)
Gingered apple puree, preserved pear, cranberry walnut bread

I had to order the foie a la carte, which was deliciously rich and creamy. The gingered apple puree and preserved pears helped to provide that countervailing element you're looking for. The cranberry walnut bread added texture and heft to withstand the richness of the foie.

 Harvest Greens 
Tea poached squash, etorki, fig vinaigrette 

To start off the RW meal, the GF and our friend went with the well-dressed harvest greens salad. The tea-poached squash was light and fragrant, with the Etorki cheese really coming through with each bite.

Sweetbreads ($6 supplement)
Chicken fried, frisee, salsify puree, marrow jus, horseradish froth

As a supplement, I opted for sweetbreads for my first course. These were executed nicely, with the chicken-fry offering great texture, reminiscent of cracklins. The sweetbreads themselves were tender within and the horseradish foam was surprisingly light, yet cut through some of the richness. The marrow jus had good essence as well.

Striped Bass 
Organic spelt, harvest squash, cider carrots

For the GF's main, she opted for the bass. The farro was a bit dry (to me, it always is), but the meaty fish was well-cooked and moist. The sweet cider carrots had nice acidity to brighten up each bite.

Steak Frites
Marinated black angus hanger, pommes frites, bernaise aioli, bordelaise sauce

I went with a medium-rare steak frites. Unfortunately, the steak must have been on the pass for awhile since it was served a bit cold, but the beef itself had decent marbling and was well-seasoned. The fries were crisp and also well-seasoned.

Strawberry Tart
Whipped sweet creme fraiche, compote, mint crystals 

To start off our desserts, we had the strawberry tart which was beautifully baked and had an abundance of macerated strawberries on top. The sweet creme fraiche had a light texture and the mint crystals offered some brightness. 

Illy Mocha Espresso Mousse 

The macaroons were fluffy, light, and pliant. It was paired well with a dark chocolate espresso mousse.


Our meal ended with mignardises - dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and a truffle mousse as well.

Our server Megan was friendly and informed. And for the most part, our meal was on point.  If you're a Starwoods Preferred Guest, you get 10% off as well, which makes the RW meal an even better deal! So while Amuse may not be on the tip of everyone's tongues for Philly's dining scene (likely because it's a hotel restaurant), I would definitely check it out and book a table on OpenTable.

Amuse on Urbanspoon

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