Overall Food Service Noise Bathrooms Value

a(MUSE.)

/ Updated on June 15, 2017
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a(MUSE.), at 44 Baltimore Ave., is certainly one of the most unusual restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, and probably for many miles around. (Click here to make reservations thru OpenTable.com.) Owner and Chef Hari Cameron has proven that truly serious diners in Rehoboth are ready for his daring, small/large plate adventure through all sorts of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and if the crowds at our recent five visits are any indication (not to mention his nomination by the James Beard Foundation for the Rising Star Chef, and his being awarded Delaware Restaurateur of the Year in 2013), he’s hit the jackpot.

Warning! If you’re looking for a 3 pound lamb shank wrapped in crisp bacon on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes covered in sausage gravy, or a dozen braised shortribs on a disc of polenta the size of a CD (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), this is not the place for you. Cameron also features a tasting menu affording a sample of his signature dishes. See the sample tasting menu by clicking here.

And the good news is that the cost of a tasting extravaganza will set you back no further than if you’d eaten a full meal and dessert at any of the other fine-dining joints in town.

So, there’s the disclaimer. Are we on the same page, and are you ready to walk on the wild side with Chef Cameron — dinner-wise, that is?

UPDATE! Chef Hari has expanded the menu to include larger portion dishes that still feature the high-quality goodies that go into the small plates. So if you’re not a lover of small plates, you can still enjoy a(MUSE.)’s creative goodies and the friendly atmosphere. Since this original article was written, Chef Hari has completely revamped the menu, replacing the numbered sections with a simple “Firsts,” “Seconds,” “Sweets,” and “Tastings.”

Firsts contains his legendary small-plate works of art, including a Poached Lobster dish with carrot puree, lacto-fermented and shattered carrots (yup, you read it right. It involves liquid nitrogen!), lobster roe, bibb hearts and foraged rose hips. This is an amazing dish and a must-get for those who love lobster. Another plate worthy of MOMA is the Potato Cream Soup decorated with hen o’ the woods mushrooms, pine nut crumbs (there’s that nitrogen again!) charred & pickled onions and locally foraged pine salt. It is as soothing as it is beautiful to look at. We went to the Seconds menu for our last course, ordering the Dogfish Ale Pâte à Choux Gnocchi with caramelized brussels sprouts, roasted, raw and pureed turnips, crispy sage in sage brown butter and shaved Granny Smiths drizzled with paprika honey. The gnocchi are like nothing I have ever had that is called gnocchi. Made with Pâte à Choux dough, they are like tiny creampuff shells redolent of hops and grain. The slight chewiness of the gnocchi against the crisp tartness of the apples is like a party in your mouth.

Just in case you didn’t get it the first time: The menu at a(MUSE.) changes regularly. Cameron is sensitive to the seasons and the local ingredients that accompany them. I have, however, left the older reviews intact (removing references to the old menu layout where I can) below so you can use it as a guide. But keep in mind that many of these items may be rotated off the menu until their particular season returns.

We now return you to our regular programming re small plates:

I love the Jar of Pickles. Cool & crunchy veggie sticks are pickled to a bright and bracing acidity, then presented in a glass jar accompanied by a schmear of mustard, a dollop of crème fraîche and sourdough crostini. Last night I started with the Toad In The Hole. This dish pays tribute to every kid’s memory of comfort food, but with a couple of wonderfully non-kid-friendly surprises. A farm egg is nested in the proverbial hole in a delightfully buttery round of toast. Mustard greens create yet another nest, and pickled onion and a touch of Old Bay round it out. I would never have combined these things, and I’m so glad Cameron did. My one gripe is that I’d like the white of the egg cooked a little firmer. I suspect it was steamed, and I’d love it if Hari would leave it in just a little longer; like the quail eggs that crown the bastirma crostini at AlMayass on E. 21st St. in NYC. A simple fix, and the dish works perfectly.

Cool Hand Fluke is a thin-as-air slice of fluke crudo, surrounded by beets, tiny potatoes and cool watercress. If you like sushi, you’ll love this one. It tastes like the ocean — but with potatoes. Chips & dip have always been the Perfect Snack, and are served on a plank where an off-centered ramekin holds spring onion dip — in name only. The light taste of leeks and crème fraîche replaces any strong onion flavor, and the crispy chips (slices of toasted lavasch, perhaps?) are delicious. The only bad thing is that they eventually run out. Drats.

The server will warn you that the Senators Love Soup is not the big ol’chunky bowl of bean soup you might be used to. If anyone can deconstruct soup, it’s got to be Cameron. The smoked ham and Berkshire pork beg to be eaten on the same fork with a couple of tasty white beans and pieces of celery and parsnip. A comforting broth is decanted tableside.

The American Classic shrimp cocktail must be seen and tasted to be believed. The man serves it with chips of ice, for goodness’ sake! Cool horseradish, capers and lemon are like a dessert, fresh from an episode of Chopped. (I can see it now: Shrimp: Not just for dessert any more!).

A Taste of Spring is our veggie writer’s favorite; a cool, crunchy tangle of asparagus, cattail (!), buttermilk and mixed greens.

Substantial savories and unexpected textural twists and turns brings us to Have You Any Wool? … just had to be about lamb (get it?), and the slice of lamb belly (think of lamb bacon) is quite good. It shares the plate with a hint of absinthe (!, again), coffee and little lambs’-tail lettuce.

Come Out of Your Shell Soft Crab might very well be the star of the show (at least at the moment) at a(MUSE.). Fried to a crunchy finish, it is accompanied by a polite green onion, pasta mixed with mild roe, and .. wait for it … green almond! A soft, almost buttery glaze on the pasta softens the naturally bitter taste of the almonds. But be aware that this luscious, fuzzy pleasure is only available ’til about June, and knowing Cameron’s penchant for freshness, the crab dish might soon find another accompaniment.

Textures of the Field is that mouth-feel roller-coaster to which I alluded: Another veggie delight (dish is pictured in the veggie review of a(MUSE.) See link below.) with toasty quinoa, barley, soy and wheat grass. I hate wheat grass. This was delicious! Who knew?

[Larger, more traditional portions replace the small-plate versions of the following items] Introducing the heavy-hitters, including Yard Bird where organic chicken teams up with chard, peas and smoked potatoes in a softly delicious reduction. Veggies-heads will love Earth and Surf; a medley of mushrooms combined with sea lettuce (a very strong taste — get ready!) celery root and a bit of Parmesan. By Ocean, By Air is replaced by School is Out: Grilled Tuna, potatoes, onions and wine. New additions include A New Family Tradition: Hickman’s steak with zucchini, peaches and onion, and Virginia is for Lovers, consisting of Snapper in black garlic with local clams. Post your comments below.

Lavender Fields pays homage to the Lavender Ladies up in Milton with lavender chocolate and lavender honey. A strip of dark chocolate is as dramatic as it is tasty.

The star of the dessert show is certainly The Beach. In the picture (lit only with a birthday candle, and Photoshopd to death just so you can see it), a sandy shore of toasted grain gives way to a faux ocean of salted caramel in which bouys of shattered grape and … wait for it .. lemon salt water taffy … float. I love it.

Hari may give me “that look” for writing this, but a(MUSE.) is not your typical restaurant, and I do not suggest bringing the kids unless they have exhibited (1) early signs of foodieness, (2) an ability and desire to try new things, and. (3) behaving themselves.

a(MUSE.) has a very lively bar, overseen by none other than that leopard-spotted mixologist himself, David Engel (Renegade/La La Land/Nage/Espuma). The late-night crowd includes chefs, other restaurateurs, servers and those who love them. Everyone in-the-know (and those who do not take themselves too seriously) are drawn to David’s snarky commentary and deadpan repartee as he mixes, slices, dices, blends, dishes, shakes, mulls and pours. Check out the late night menu by clicking here.

Why not a(MUSE.) yourself by experiencing this one-of-a-kind eatery by going to 44 Baltimore Ave. There’s outdoor seating, and the recent Solé renovation moved the front door to … the front! So no more threading your way through al fresco diners in order to get in.

Wait ’til you see the bathrooms! Both sinks are custom cast. Pictured below is the already-famous horseshoe crab sink. Out of almost 200 reviews, this is the first rating of  5 stars ever awarded to a bathroom.

Click here to take a look at the vegetarian point-of-view from Deb Griffin, our very own tree bark nibbler.

a(MUSE.) is on Baltimore Ave.; be sure to call if you are bringing in a big party 302-227-7107. Click here to see the dinner menu. (D., Bar) Price range: Expensive -.

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Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

44 Baltimore Ave.
302-227-7107

OPEN TABLE logo copycrenh for specials
Sunday
Happy Hour 4-6
Bar & Patio: $5 and $10 specials!
Dinner 5-11
Monday
Happy Hour 4-6
Bar & Patio: $5 and $10 specials!
Dinner 5-11
Tuesday
Happy Hour 4-6
Bar & Patio: $5 and $10 specials!
Dinner 5-11
Wednesday
Happy Hour 4-6
Bar & Patio: $5 and $10 specials!
Dinner 5-11
Thursday
Happy Hour 4-6
Bar & Patio: $5 and $10 specials!
Dinner 5-11
Friday
Happy Hour 4-6
Bar & Patio: $5 and $10 specials!
Dinner 5-11
Saturday
Happy Hour 4-6
Bar & Patio: $5 and $10 specials!
Dinner 5-11
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Ron Bass says:

    Here is our most recent experience at Amuse restaurant in Rehoboth. We went with two ladies that we met on a cruise. Amuse now has a five dollar burger night on Thursdays. Unfortunately it took us about 45 minutes to get our burger. Five dollar burgers turned out not to be a very good value. Adding cheese to the burger cost four dollars for Cold (artisanal) cheese while two dollar melted cheese is available. Onions are not usually available or provided but could be purchased from those cooked for a different sandwich for an additional dollar. Mayonnaise costs an additional dollar. I got the five dollar burger with the two dollar cheese the one dollar mayonnaise and the one dollar onions. Three others got the more expensive burgers which start at $12-$14 before cheese, onions, mayo and a number of other possible additions were added. The Lamb burger was $14 +4 dollars worth of cheese one dollar worth of mayonnaise and one dollar worth of onions. Suddenly the five dollar burger night turned into a meal costing over $100 for the four of us.

    On top of this the burgers were undercooked and cold. We complained to the waiter and were told that we would receive free drinks at our next excursion to amuse. I think those drinks will be waiting for a while.

  2. Stephen says:

    (a)muse is our favorite restaurant in Rehoboth. Hari is a fantastic chef, the new manager is very knowledgeable about wine, and the wait staff are always friendly.
    We had the opportunity of eating at the bar one night, it was really enjoyable. David made wonderful drinks for my wife and I enjoyed my conversation with him. He made our night and I would gladly sit at the bar to eat the wonderful food.
    Can’t wait to go back.

  3. Bob says:

    We tried the tastings menu last night with the wine pairing. It was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had. I loved stating we had no dining restrictions and then the waiter brought us amazing dishes. We tried food we would never have ordered and everything was delicious. The wine choices were excellent as well. It was a truly exciting dining adventure.

  4. Teresa says:

    Hands down a(muse) is the finest dining in the area. I love to do the tasting menu for my birthday and anniversaries. Chef Hari is amazing, if he were in DC, we couldn’t get a table for months.

  5. Bob&Kathy Ackerman says:

    Recent first timers, we were stunned by this establishment in every regard. We tried a variety of selections — seafood and meats. The preparation of the tuna was the best I’d ever encountered. Service-impecable, right there when we wanted it, but not hovering. As I said to the owner/chef if this place was in Manhattan it would take 6 months to get a reservation. Bravo to the extraordinary Muse.

  6. Nancy Sakaduski says:

    If you are an adventurous eater and appreciate creative food, look no further. Hari Cameron is the most inventive, inspired chef around and he consistently surprises and delights.

  7. Gayle says:

    What an experience. Heard about it word of mouth, will pass it on. This is the place to go to have your “needs” met. I was so pleased by every aspect of our plate tasting. It is a warming feeling to share food with your friends and indulge in such unique Beverages. Off the scale, yes, I tip my hat to the Chef. Worldly and beyond knowledgable. One can learn to cook and pass it off as excellent. The food here comes straight from the heart and is filled to the brim with soul. What a perfect experience. My mouth left with a pleasing smile, anticipating my next visit. Hands down the utmost experience in dining pleasures…shhhhh…best kept secret!

  8. Tom Schwab says:

    Fantastic experience…every dish was seasoned perfectly. The chef’s combinations of flavor,texture,and visual presentation were outstanding. There was an explosion of tastes with each bite. The service was top notch…truly a wonderful dining adventure. Highly recommend for people who want a unique dining experience.

  9. Always Hungry says:

    The lavender fields dessert is special, one of the best in town. It’s a chocolate lover’s delight not to be missed, even more unique than just chocolate. As the Foodie says, this whole place is different but keep an open mind. I am (as my title suggests) always hungry, and I did not leave hungry after having one of each of the excellent courses. In fact, I might even cut it by one course next time. I was that full. The soft shell crab is one of the best I’ve ever had. An upscale place without the pretense. Definitely try it out. And they have secured the best bartender around!

  10. S. Woody says:

    Foodie, you forgot to mention that the Lavender Fields dessert is also a fun take on the classic s’mores. There’s what I’m sure are house-made marshmallows on the plate, and some graham cracker, to go with the chocolate ganache and the honey ice cream. Delicious, and well-humored at the same time.

  11. Mia Malloy says:

    I am a forty something, well traveled and well fed self proclaimed epicure. I never would imagine that I would have the best meal of my life at the beach but that is exactly what happened at Rehobeth’s a(Muse.). I stopped there out of curiosity and a drink. As I was enjoying an incredibly refreshing basil cucumber margerita, I saw the food come out of the kitchen and had to order a bite, or an “amuse bouche”. I was hooked. I returned two days later with my family and we ate everything on the menu. I’m usually polite but dismissive when the chef visits the table but because these dishes were so perfectly executed, I hung on his every word. This restuarant is an experience that I wll be sure to return to next visit to Rehobeth. Thank you Hari. PSST……. Don’t tell my husband, the chef.

  12. Chuck & Terry says:

    You want him to fail because you waited for your food when he’s only been open a couple of weeks? Are you sure you don’t work at a competing restaurant?

  13. wayne hodge says:

    I have eaten at A(Muse) several times now and have had a great experience each time, the menu changes constantly so there is always a surprise for you to try. I have my favorites but will say try the soft crab while it is in season , the potted chicken and newly added Hickman steak are also great. ON a side note to comment on a review above, I have been at A(Muse) at least seven times since they opend seating in the dining room as well as the bar, trying everything from a small bite or two to a full five course dinner and never have I had to wait (this includes Memorial Day weekend). Sometimes things can go wrong for a number of reasons, it has happened to me in some of the best restaurants in NYC. I do not hold it against the restaurant for one bad experience, nor do I predict failure and regrets. Hari is trying a totally new dining experience for our little town of Rehoboth. I suggest everyone give it a try and experience something only a lucky few in NY or SF get to enjoy

  14. Billie Criswell says:

    My husband and I have been twice now. Recently we took in a party of 12 people and had a FABULOUS time! Chef Hari has impeccable skills in visiting his diners and being an executive chef. This restaurant is practicing a level of culinary expertise that is unmatched in this area. Not only will this restaurant be a great success, but it is a wonderful place to bring guests for a dining experience!
    The food is beautifully presented in a succinct tasting menu that is for sophisticated and adventurous diners. If you are looking for something to entice you, to inspire you and to play to your sense of culinary adventure, you MUST try a(MUSE.)
    Cutting edge. Fun. Playful. Full of love and heart, Hari Cameron is a great person and a wonderful chef destined for a career that inspires diners.

  15. T&T says:

    We came because of your review, but Chef Hari spent most of his time visiting tables while a couple of our courses took WAY too long. As a result my wife and I left hungry.
    Hari! Do what you do best. Be the boss and light a fire under your kitchen people!
    Schmooze AFTER the dinner rush, not during.

  16. picky patrick says:

    what a disaster !!!!
    went for a special anniversary dinner and nothing went right…had 7;45 resv on a friday after memorial day ..got visited by 3 different staff before we could actually order a drink..the wine showed up @ 8:30. our first course @ 9:00.the 2nd @ 9:30 and finally our main course @ 10:05. Hari was working the room instead of working the kitchen. the food…nothing special…cold soft shells..yuk !!! the only outstanding dish was the tile fish. after spending $150 we left hungry and pissed…went to royal treat for desert..yummy. l predict hari will close after this 1 summer and regret leaving nage

  17. Barbara Teal says:

    Had dinner at a(Muse) Thursday evening an loved everything. The Jar of Pickles was good, and the soft shell and lavender fields were wonderful. Good job, Hari.

  18. Barry and Jeanne K says:

    We ate there early this week and loved it. Stopped just for a snack at the bar, so the portions were perfect. We agree that a dish from each section would add up to be a satisfying meal. We’re taking frinnds back in there next week.

  19. FoodieFollower says:

    Great review! My husband and I have eaten here twice since they’ve opened and we just love it. I have enjoyed everything that I’ve tried……and have become mildly obsessed with the “Taste of Spring” and “Lavender Fields”. They also offer a late night menu at the bar. So if you like your small plates served up with a side of cutting wit (I sure do!), the late night bar menu will NOT disappoint! With all the yummy selections on the menu, I can’t WAIT to eat there again!

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