Friday, Jun 23, 2017

Amuse

One of Ashland’s fine dining options, Amuse is also one of our favorite places for a special occasion meal. The ambiance is elegantly simple, with clean lines and surprisingly comfortable seating. The menu is, of course, seasonal and local, with a few items persisting through the year.

We began with the wood grilled white prawns, a succulently tender dish that is a perennial favorite. They have a particular seasoning blend that transforms a great dish into a work of art. The accompanying Romesco sauce is best eaten spread on bread rather than with the prawns themselves. I had the Salt Cod Brandade, a creamy and rich concoction that I’ve wanted to try for years. It was very good, with a bread crumb crust, accompanied by thin garlic toasts. The portion was too much, and I only had about 1/3 of it, leaving room for my main entree and dessert.

For our main, I had the (seasonal) Butternut Squash Ravioli which came served with wild mushrooms and a sage cream sauce. The ravioli were tender and plump, cooked perfectly. The sage cream was a delicate seasoning that brought out the sweetness of the squash and the mushrooms were sliced thin before being cooked, which made them flavorful without being spongy.

My partner had the Hanger Steak, another menu staple. Wood-fired and accompanied by the best creamed spinach we’d ever had and salt-roasted Yukon potatoes, this was a great dish marred only by it arriving rare instead of the requested medium. A return to the kitchen resulted in a steak that was closer to being medium, but not quite there. That was a rare event, and the wait staff were very apologetic about it. Mistakes happen, and we understand that so we didn’t throw a fit.

Dessert was the always-excellent-why-try-anything-else Beignets, served with crème anglaise and berry jam. Served fresh and hot, the three beignets are perfect to share, and disappeared quickly from the plate. We honestly try to choose other desserts, but the beignets are so good we have a hard time choosing anything else.

Throughout the meal I enjoyed a Lan Tempranillo, which I very much enjoyed. The service was excellent, well paced and appropriately solicitous. Amuse is a wonderful restaurant, you’ll always have a fabulous meal there!