a(MUSE.)ed –and Amazed (vegetarian review)

/ Updated on May 30, 2014

This is a very interesting review to write because eating at a(MUSE.) is not like going out to dinner… it’s more like an event. Plus, I was privileged to dine there with none other than our illustrious Foodie, so the experience was magnified tenfold. Dining with the Foodie is like being out with restaurant royalty. Wait staff become amazingly attentive. Bartenders leap from behind the bar and hand-deliver intriguing potions specially designed just for him. The chef cruises by the table several times over the course of the evening offering tastings of things not found on the menu. It’s truly an amazing experience to dine with the author of this website.

Eating at a(MUSE.) was like being a guest on Top Chef. If you’ve watched the show you know that unusual combinations are given high praise and presentation is everything. Such is the case here. Small plates with names like Toad in the Hole and Cool Hand Fluke hint that you’re in for an interesting ride. It is important to note, however, that chef/owner Hari Cameron changes the menu as often as he changes his glasses frames. And that’s a lot. So many of these little gems might or might not be on the menu when you go.

There are a number of vegetarian selections here, each one more unique than the last. (Allow me to digress and say that the Strawberry Mojito or the Blueberry Vodka Lemonade are both excellent ways to start the evening.) I began with the Chips ‘N Dip which I enjoyed very much. The “dip” was a cream base flavored with leeks and spring onions served with crisps that were so delicious I wanted to take a bag home. And as I write that I realize that it doesn’t begin to do the dish justice. I’ve never tasted any dip quite like it. Everything about it, texture, taste, smell, was new and different. And nothing here is served in conventional serving dishes. Every bowl, every plate, has a unique shape and color, and in fact, one amuse bouche that was brought to the table came in exquisitely carved pieces of exotic woods in the shape of primitive spoons. They were hand-hewn specifically for the restaurant. Chef Hari Cameron is not just a culinary genius, he’s an artist and designer as well, and every dish gives you a glimpse of his incredible talents.

My next small plate was called Textures of the Field and contained petite servings of quinoa, barley, and soy, all prepared in unique and interesting ways. I also tried the Earth & Surf which was a combination of king oyster mushrooms, hen o’ the woods mushrooms, sea lettuce, celery root and Parmesan. For dessert I had the Strawberry Shortcake, which I’m sure you realize by now, was nothing like you’d expect and not easy to describe, I must say.

I have friends who are basically meat and potato type folks who wouldn’t be caught dead in a Sushi Bar or a Thai restaurant. I mock them every chance I get! But the tables were turned on me at a(MUSE.) because Hari has created something so different, so out-of-the-box, that I was totally intimidated when I sat down and studied the menu. If you’re a fearless foodie and eager for a new culinary adventure, go. Don’t be intimidated like me, and don’t miss a thing that happens along the way. You’ll be glad you did.

a(MUSE.) is at 44 Baltimore Avenue. You can reserve a table by opening your Rehoboth In My Pocket app and going to “Open Table Reservations”. See a recent menu here.

Deb Griffin

About the Author

has been a vegetarian for 45 years. "I have been very pleased to see restaurants offering more and more options for meatless dining. We've gone from one vegetarian item on most menus (the faithful grilled cheese) to restaurants whose entire menu is vegetarian. Together we'll explore all that the beaches have to offer." View all articles written by Deb Griffin

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