duo of duck
I suppose the exclamation mark in the name should have told me something.
You would think a restaurant that draws heavily from French influences might suffer from using too much butter or too much salt. Midtown’s Amuse! breaks the mold and instead suffers from a severe lack of flavor in general.
One of the owners comes from Anis Cafe & Bistro, and so it was reasonable to have, in the least, satisfying exceptions for Amuse! The first few steps into Amuse! are unusual, if not blatantly awkward — to our right, a vast, empty lounge and bar area and to our left a hallway of tables leading into a more suitable dining room. For a Saturday night, the crowd was thin.
While service was appropriate, food was consistently under-seasoned. A watery French Onion Soup that lacked warmth, richness and depth and a fairly average charcuterie plate started the meal.
charcuterie plate. the pate is gritty and dry.
For entrees, a sauteed South Carolina Trout with a lemon butter sauce needed much more lemon and much more butter. And it was not the freshest of trouts I’ve tasted in recent memory. Liz ordered a duo of duck, which was the best dish of the night (not saying much considering the context). The duck breast was tender, although the sauce could have used more … salt. The accompanying potatoes were purposely burnt and bland, possibly a good idea had the sauce also not been so reserved. There must be extremes before any balancing can occur.
The Awkward Dish Awards go to the Beef Tenderloin Au Poivre and the Fisherman’s Stew. The former, while cooked a wonderful rare medium-rare, was doused in something best described as a glorified A-1 steak sauce. As for the stew, my disappointed friend repeatedly compared it to Listerine.
Amuse! should be much better than it is. When it first opened, the kitchen was perhaps more adventurous than it was skilled. Now, the food is straightforward French and yet every dish we tried was lacking in edge. Maybe if all of our dishes came with giant exclamation marks on the side the food would not have been so boring.
560 Dutch Valley Rd
Atlanta, GA 30324