Chef Paul Parker is Back(ish), and I Couldn’t Be More Pleased

Folks, here’s an event you will not want to miss.  Not only will you be privy to a great meal, you’ll also get to participate an event that we were not sure would ever happen.  I’m really looking forward to the evening, and to the stories and fond memories that will arise.

Chef Paul Parker of the legendary Chez Sophie and Rare Earth Wine Bar will be making his long-anticipated return to the kitchen after surviving a serious bout with cancer.  It is an extreme privilege to work with him once again, and our recent conversations about food and cooking have inspired some fresh ideas that I will be able to use my work moving forward.

Paul and I will be collaborating on Mediterranean inspired tasting menu that will give diners a tour of the region’s flavors, with some clear influences from Paul’s French pedigree.

Amuse is located at 420 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, in the walkway between Kilwins and Cantina.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday February 5th.  We will be seating from 5:00-8:30  Reservations can be made through Open Table (link on or by calling 518-421-4254 during our regular business hours.

Reservations for the chef’s counter can only be made by calling, and only 5, 5:30, 6, 8, and 8:30

Since Amuse is a very small restaurant, and we’ll have a short dinner service (we’re not going to overwork Paul yet), please make your reservations quickly, and do your best to avoid 7-7:30.  If Open Table is closed out, call me as we can sometimes get a table or two in.

The cost is $85 per person plus tax, gratuity, and beverages.

The menu is as follows and should not be altered.  If there are any issues with an actual allergy, please let us know at the time reservations are made as it may be impossible to address during dinner service.

rabbit liver | frisee | warm raspberry vinaigrette

country pâté | mustards | tarragon pickles

potato torta | shaved chorizo | smoked romesco

sardines en escabeche | warm lentil salad | pickled onions

clams | gigante beans | harissa broth

lamb sweetbreads | goat’s milk butter | capers | lemon

lebanese 7-spice and honey glazed quail | butternut squash puree


Get Along

Authenticity.  What does it even mean?

I do not make authentic dishes of any one cuisine or country of the Mediterranean region, but I am inspired by many cuisines and flavors of that region.  I use the spice profiles, the methods, and many of the ingredients used by the cultures that make up the area.

For every region in Mexico, for every neighborhood, and every household in fact there is a different way of making mole.  All are authentic.

My food is authentic.  Authentically mine and that’s all I claim.

Enough about that.

The number of restaurant consultants I’ve met since starting amuse on broadway is interesting.  The nice thing is that they’re willing to offer their advice and expertise at no charge and without prompting.

Imagine if all the consultants were customers.

To Hell with the NCAA.  The exist simply to maintain their own existence. That’s just a general “to Hell with,” nothing specific.

While I’m certainly aware of Italy’s contribution to Mediterranean cuisine, I have tried to avoid Italian food at amuse, sticking to North African and Eastern Mediterranean flavors, as well as a few inspirations from Spain.

If one more food critic uses the phrase “plenty of crusty bread for mopping up……..”  I’m going to increase my dislike for food critics.

It was Marco Pierre White who lamented about critics saying, “we’re being judged by those who know less than we do.”

Take money and religion out of the equation and I’m thinking we’ll have peace.

Let me now understand this. Trump kills an Iranian general, then Americans that have bald eagles with flags behind them as their profile pictures that have never served in the military and love the idea of “kicking ass” around the world post what they think are funny memes about our president assassinating another nation’s military leader.  That nation goes on high alert and started firing missiles at our military base in Iraq, and finally shot down a commercial jet that would have normally been free to fly to its destination.  Now, many families around the world, including our Canadian neighbors are without their dads, moms, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends…………

The memes just aren’t funny, but they do say how our population has become desensitized to war and its results.

The US has had a total of 16 years without military conflict in its history.

Not supporting the bombing of Iran does not mean I’m a Liberal, a Democrat, or a snowflake.  It does not mean I’m anti-American or that I sympathize with terrorists.  What it means is that I’m simply tired of our nation being at war in some form or another, I’m tired of our service men and women dying and being injured, I’m tired of innocent civilians in other countries being killed, and I’m certainly sick of wealthy people profiting from our aggressive and warring nature.

Who created terrorists?

When I was in middle school there was a kid who was not like most other kids, he seemed odd and kept to himself.  I was immature and  would sometimes poke him with teasing then fault him for his response.  As it turns out, the kid’s father used to smack him around. I eventually started eating lunch with him on occasion.  One day I forgot my lunch and he gave me a ham sandwich with brown mustard on oat bread.  I still remember the taste of that sandwich.

Usually understanding one another helps us get along.

Yet another reminder, bruschetta is not chopped tomatoes with garlic and basil.  Bruschetta is grilled or charred bread served warm typically with a rub of garlic, perhaps some olive oil.  Upon that toast can be one of hundreds of toppings, one of them could be chopped tomatoes with garlic and basil.  It could also be mushrooms, chicken liver mousse, eggplant, blue cheese with honey, goat cheese, ricotta, cured salmon, olives, egg salad, pesto, hummus, robiola with fig…..

I’m not sure my Moroccan themed Christmas dinner was received with great enthusiasm.

I don’t mind instant coffee that much.  I prefer good coffee, but I’m not that picky.

My proposed new food trend for 2020 is for people to stop following trends.