Had dinner at Amuse, a bar/restaurant in Chelsea on Friday night around 8:30. Although the place was bustling, we were able to walk in and snag a table for two (all the way in the back, but last-minute walk-ins can't be choosers).
We split two small-ish plates and two large-ish plates from the sharing/sampling portion of the menu. The menu has changed slightly from the one on the website and on menupages, so the dishes we had aren't listed on the menu that's up there.
1st -- pequillo pepper gazpacho and beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios. Both perfectly fine -- although the soup was slightly awkward to share, and startlingly spicy. The beet salad was pretty much as expected, although I would have liked more cheese.
2nd -- the standout dish, by far, was the cumin-spiced pulled pork sandwiches on cheddar cheese biscuits with tomatillo(?) relish on the side. The portion is two decent-sized sandwiches. Amazing. I will go back and order these again. Flavorful but not spicy, moist but not runny. I don't consider myself a BBQ expert (I'm only the barest novice), but this was some really good pulled pork. (My boyfriend agreed.) This dish used to be served in a tortilla and was quite good, but this was even better. This course also brought a dish of cavatelli pasta with braised duck. A slightly small portion, perfectly fine, but a real anti-climax after the pork.
We split one dessert, a blueberry and peach? cobbler -- again perfectly fine but not a revelation.
Bread was nice warm, salty focaccia.
Tab: about $85 after tax and tip including one glass of wine. (Don't have the precise number, but thereabouts). Filled us up fine.
Verdict: Handy to have a place like this in the neighborhood where you can walk in at the last minute on a Friday night but not feel you're in a ghost town. Very stylish, but they didn't bat an eye at the non-stylish couple we are. Price is really up to you -- I think you could load up on the cheaper items on the menu and do fine for not much money. Just order the pulled pork, whatever you do.
108 W 18th St (bet. 6th and 7th)