44 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth, 227-7107, amuse-rehoboth.com
Potted chicken, organic chicken, fluke crudo
Small plates $5-$16, large plates $22-$26
People expect great things from a restaurant that plays with its name. But then owner-chef Hari Cameron likes to play with his food. Cameron, who cut his teeth at Nage, is comfortable on the cutting edge.
The restaurant launched in May with small plates. “That’s the way I enjoy eating,” Cameron says. Since my visit, he’s added entrée sizes. “We’re trying to listen to our customers. Some want more protein,” he acknowledges.
Small or large, making these dishes is a big deal. Consider fluke crudo, a gossamer fillet broken down on-site from whole fish. Polka-dotted with tiny slices of beets and crisped potatoes, the dish was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Inspired by pork rillettes, Cameron’s “potted chicken” is made with layers of shredded chicken, chicken liver mousse and foie gras, along with a splash of whiskey. It was decadently rich, and worth every bite.
Roast organic chicken from Green Branch Farms in Salisbury, Md., was cooked in a steam oven and finished on the grill to crisp the skin. The succulent meat came with traditional companions, English peas and carrots. The twist: sausage made with mousseline, house-cured lardon and chicken thighs.
The restaurant has an approachable atmosphere and service. Call it casually modern. Yet with ingredients like lamb belly, absinthe-laced sweet breads and bacon made with pig jowls, it’s definitely for open-minded foodies.
On my visit, it was also for people with patience. We ordered many plates, and dinner took nearly three hours. Cameron has since tackled the timing. Yet as they say, good things come to those who wait.