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“Foodies: Go for the four course tasting menu!”
Review of Amuse - CLOSED

Amuse
Price range: US$20 - US$40
Cuisines: American, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Amuse offers sophisticated dining in a casual restaurant atmosphere. Our menu draws inspiration from the finest local, seasonal ingredients, provided by the region's finest purveyors and harvested from our own organic gardens. We take great care in preparing your selection, to highlight the textures and flavors inherent to each element. Reservations are suggested.
Highland Mills, NY
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Foodies: Go for the four course tasting menu!”
Reviewed 26 February 2014

We dined at Amuse while staying at the Essex, and we are SO glad that we made this choice!

We started with a cocktail at our table. I got the cocktail that I usually order (one that takes a bit of skill to make well) and I have never had one that was made as well as this one. The bartender is clearly an expert! It appears that the bartender may have been in the tavern next door, because there is no bar area in Amuse, only dining tables.

There is a creative menu, with selections that you do not commonly see at other restaurants. It was hard to decide, so all of us got the four course tasting menu, and then we tasted each other selections for even more variety!

There is also an option to allow the chef to "amuse" you when ordering the tasting menu. You can state preferences (for example, seafood but no shrimp) and the chef prepares you something special!

The tasting menu was an excellent value for a fine dining restaurant, and it was portions were proper to pace oneself through an evening of fine dining. My daughter even took half of her entree back to our hotel room to enjoy the next day!

The service was very attentive, and each course arrived with perfect timing. Our server was clearly experienced, knowledgeable, well trained and had a great personality to boot!

Our dining experience was all we had planned for the evening. We were considering going out in Burlington for dinner, but it was a cold winter night, and we decided to eat at the hotel. If you enjoy fine dining, DO NOT miss going to Amuse! This is not your typical restaurant in a hotel, rather a destination restaurant that happens to be in a resort. Very worth dining at, even if you are not staying at the Essex!

(NOTE: I was with family, but adults. The Tavern next door is casual and more appropriate for families with younger children.)

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jenlevity63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EssexResort-VT, Director of Resort Operations at Amuse, responded to this review, 9 March 2014
Dear Jenlevity63,

Thank you for sharing the details of your experience. Our Director of Culinary Operations, Shawn Calley has taken care to design his menu using high quality local ingredients and is simply obsessed with preparing great food.

Naz Jenulevich
Director of Culinary Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

57 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    31
    10
    11
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New Hampshire
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A big disappointment”
Reviewed 6 January 2014 via mobile

A visit to the Amuse Restaurant turned into a big disappointment.

The first disappointment was my expectation and my misunderstanding. I mistakenly thought that the Amuse and the Essex Resort were still affiliated with the New England Culinary Institute and upon arrival we quickly realized it wasn't.

We had driven to Amuse for its Sunday brunch and when we arrived at noon and found the restaurant mostly empty it was very evident that the facility was no longer affiliated with the NECI.

The actual restaurant is best described as sterile and not in a good way. The staff were inexperienced, uncaring, or unmanaged and missing for most of the meal. Coffee was served warm and the sugar packet holder on the table apparently had not been refilled fully since the prior day. And the restaurant dining room didn't appear very clean.

Our brunch entrees were very good and helped make up for the poor service and bland setting and finally were able to get hot coffee.

Rather than let the disappointing brunch set the tone for our day, we quickly finished the meal, paid our bill and headed on to Burlington.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank DonP08861
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EssexResort-VT, Manager at Amuse, responded to this review, 7 January 2014
Dear DonP08861,

Thank you for choosing to visit us for Sunday Brunch. The Essex Resort & Spa was affiliated with NECI in years past. Many of our guests enjoyed this partnership and at that time NECI operated Butler's for dinner in the dining area now known as Amuse.
Amuse and our new identity as "Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa" were developed with the help and guidance of our Director of Food & Beverage, Arnd Sievers. He and his team of talented culinary artists have worked hard to develop a new image and reputation. Food is a fiercely personal preference and can generate great passions in people, both positive or negative. I am pleased to hear you found their offerings to be to your liking. Service issues, on the other hand, are not up for interpretations or preferences and I assure you Arnd and his team will use these critiques as an opportunity to learn from your perspective.

Naz Jenulevich
Director of Resort Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Can be great, can be mediocre-read on please...”
Reviewed 24 November 2013

"Amuse" is located in The Essex hotel/inn at Essex Junction, VT. It cosists of two totally different experiences-Amuse restaurant and the Chefs Table at Amuse.
As to the general restaurant, the experience is poor. Food choices are few and sometimes bizzare (Bone Marrow Salad), decor is sub par, service is acceptable, atmosphere is noisy, food quality is nothing spectacular, prices high.
Amuse replaced Buttlers restaurant at The Essex. What a shame. Buttlers was destination dinning and offered great selections, fine decor and a quite atmosphere. Amuse means find-another-destination-to-eat dining. After our first experience at Amuse, my wife and I wrote an extensive letter to the hotel management. They answered politely and passed the letter on to the directing Chef. His response showed lack of care over our concerns and was actually a little insulting. Oh well, we can explain the problems to him but we can't understand them for him.

This past October, 2013, we took the opportunity to revisit Amuse and to experience the Chef's Table at Amuse.

We ate breakfast twice at Amuse. Ya, whatever. There's a McDonald's up the street from the hotel.

We also ate dinner at the Chef's Table at Amuse. This is a fixed menu created, cooked and seved to you by one of their top chefs. This offering is only for a maximum of 12 people. A completely different experience from the general restaurant. It was a ten course meal and quite a nice time. Small samplings from so many courses fils you up quickly. Presentation was pretty and we took many pictures before diving in. We will definitely return to the Chefs Table. Resevations required. Little to no chance of walking in.

We still prefer the past Buttlers restaurant but what can you do.
So basically, Amuse restaurant-dissapointing.
The Chefs Table at Amuse, a winner. I would not waste this on children.
Reservations

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Joseph G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EssexResort-VT, Manager at Amuse, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
Dear Joseph G,

Thank you for your support of the Resort, restaurants and spa.

Our team of culinarians love when guests enjoy their food but also appreciate critiques such as yours. This is a valuable way to work at contiually improving the services and offerings provided.

Hopefully we can have the opportunity to see you at the Chef's Table the next time you visit.

Naz Jenulevich
Director of Resort Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harwich, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Outstanding Dinner at Amuse”
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We had dinner at the Amuse once and breakfast twice... We had a great meal, great service with a delightful waiter, a fairly quiet evening, the salmon was cooked perfectly which is a real treat.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Deb L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EssexResort-VT, Manager at Amuse, responded to this review, 31 October 2013
Dear Deb L

Thank you for posting this great review and for sharing your experiences. Our Restaurant General Manager, Mary Ingrisano, has done a great job leading and training our restaurant teams and it shows. Your positive comments will be shared with them as a tool to reinforce and encourage the superior levels of service provided to you.

Naz Jenulevich
Director of Resort Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Chef is Fickle”
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We wanted a minor modification to our dinner prep and breakfast. Both times we were told the chef prefers not to deviate from the menu. When I am drinking a $100 bottle of champagne, don't tell me my meal cannot have a slight modification because the chef prefers not!

At breakfast, I asked for ham instead of seafood for eggs benedict due to a seafood allergy and was told the chef does not like to deviate? Save yourself the trouble and eat in the Tavern!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank maria_egypt_2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EssexResort-VT, Manager at Amuse, responded to this review, 9 October 2013
Dear Maria_egypt_2010,
Thank you for taking the time to complete this review and especially for emailing me personally with your concerns. I am pleased you were able to have an enjoyable stay overall and your review of the Spa has been shared and celebrated with those associates. The resistance you encountered to menu alterations is not acceptable. If we have the ingredients, we will work with our guests to satisfy any individual preference or restrictions due to diet or allergies. With the help of our Food and Beverage Director, this has been investigated to determine what went wrong and I can assure you that appropriate measures will be taken to ensure this training opportunity is not missed. I am certain the next time you visit with us you will see a change for the better.

Naz Jenulevich
Director of Resort Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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