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“A big disappointment”
Review of Amuse - CLOSED

Amuse
Price range: $20 - $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.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

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.

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 reviewResponded January 7, 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.
Reviews (57)
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6 - 10 of 57 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 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

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 reviewResponded November 28, 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

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Reviewed October 30, 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.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
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 reviewResponded October 31, 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

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Reviewed October 8, 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!

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 reviewResponded October 9, 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

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Reviewed October 7, 2013

Amuse is housed in the Essex...a lovely set of buildings. If the cuisine could match the setting then we would be in for a treat. However, nothing quite reached those high expectations. The dining room was not special, the photos of fresh foods on the walls mundane and the noise level higher than it should be for a fine dining experience. The tasting menu looked promising but the execution was lacking especially considering this was a culinary resort. The touches of molecular gastronomy on several dishes was just that - touches without having a valuable impact on the dish itself. Maybe we hit the place on an off night? I always give a restaurant a second chance.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EssexResort-VT, Manager at Amuse, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2013

Dear James L

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay at the resort. I am however, disappointed to hear of your less than positive restaurant experience. You mentioned that you would be willing to give Amuse another try and I am happy to hear that as I am certain we can provide the experience you were hoping for.
I highly recommend our Chef's Table offering. Available Wednesday through Saturday evening at 7pm. The Chef’s Table is an intimate, limited seating opportunity at our open kitchen. You will watch as a Chef prepares an 11 course meal right in front of your eyes. Each course is prepared with precision while using local ingredients as the Chef explains his innovative cooking techniques along the way. It is a highly enjoyable and we get rave reviews form diners nightly.
Please contact me personally prior to your next visit and I will personally handle the details of your reservation.

Mary Ingrisano
Restaurant General Manager
maryi@vtculinaryresort.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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