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Amuse--Beware the bar! ( a bit long)


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Restaurants & Bars

Amuse--Beware the bar! ( a bit long)

Foodfool | Apr 10, 2003 01:02 PM

I stopped into Amuse over the weekend to have a drink and a bite to eat only to be slackjawed in disappointment. The food itself was good but the bartender did not know how to even begin to make a drink. And I don't mean how to make MY drink, she didn't know how to make ANY drink properly.

I ordered a sidecar and watched in amazement as she crisscrossed the bar several times trying to find the ingredients, then poured them into a rocks glass over ice, asked me if I wanted lime juice or fresh lime juice. I chose fresh lime juice so she squeezed part of a lime into glass, held it up and asked if I would like it on the rocks or straight up! Dumbfounded, I said I would like it straight up. I can't even describe the confusion that brought on: remixing, trying to fill the martini glass. Oh, and at no point did she shake this drink, when I found it undrinkable and asked her to add simple syrup (apparently it was the fresh lime juice that she deduced was too sour, not a lack of sugar) she "swirled" the drink in a bar glass and dumped it back into the glass. And THEN she asked me if I would like it garnished and what with.
I know I am a picky drinker and particular about how I like my drinks but this was absolutely ridiculous for a bar that in it's previous incarnation as the Tonic had some of the best bartenders and drinks in the city. This bartender didn't even know her bar or how to even begin to mix a drink. She had obviously never been behind a bar before and had almost no training.

Now for the food, it was actually quite tasty but again, ridiculous service. When my friend asked what kind of olive oil they used for dipping, her response was "Extra virgin", we then asked the floor manager, who gave us the same answer but added, "it's from Italy". We then asked him if he could check the bottle or ask the chef. He came back to us and said the bottle didn't have a label so he didn't know what it was and he felt that was an adequate response.

When the chef walked by a few minutes later we snagged him and asked about the olive oil. Finally, he told us the name and that it was from a friends fields in Umbria. The chef was delighted to answer the question and without a hint of pretension or attitude. I only hope this trickles down to the rest of the staff and that they begin their training very soon.

As for what we ate: I don't remember the exact names but it was the cheese filled puff pastries, the mushroom soup, and french fries. All of these were absolutely delicious. For dessert we had the deep dish creme brulee which was good but they put a huge dollop of cream on top, completely covering the crust what fun is that? We also got the apple beignet which was also good.

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