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Light bites

An amuse… what?

Light bites
An amuse… what?

An amuse bouche “is the prelude to the rest of the meal,” says Elijah Bowe, one of Nassau’s top chefs. For a chef, “it’s like putting your best foot forward…you want to introduce the evening with a bang.”

Amuse bouche (pronounced boosh) is a freely offered morsel that not only shows off the chef’s skill with flavours, but creates anticipation for the meal to come.

“It’s my gift to the diners,” says Bowe, executive chef at Graycliff Hotel, Restaurant and Cigar Company where he oversees the daily operations of two of the city’s hottest restaurants, Graycliff and Humidor Brasilian Steakhouse. “Restaurants that mean anything provide amuse bouche,” says Bowe.

From an escargot and mushroom combo to a refreshing watermelon with balsamic vinegar, the amuse bouche demands skill and inspiration.

“It’s the first thing that people place into their mouth,” says Bowe, and it has to be small. “As they say in France: ‘A woman should be able to eat an amuse bouche and not ruin her lipstick.’”

These tasty tidbits, like appetizers are an important part of the dining experience, say gastronomes. They are visually appealing as well as flavourful.

As Bowe says, the amuse bouche is a gift, so it’s free. Appetizers are not and some of them are meals in themselves. Diners often order appetizers to have something tasty to eat while waiting for the entrée.

Patrons at Brussels Bistro order appetizers to prolong and enhance the dining experience, says owner Heneliza Henry, who boasts that her eatery offers the largest array and most unusual appetizers in town.

There are, for example, items like frogs legs in garlic sauce, escargot in mushroom and garlic sauce and assiette de saumon fumé (smoked salmon served with white toast, capers, cocktail onions, fresh parsley and lemon).

At Aqua, the classy restaurant at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, appetizers include delicious lobster Rockefeller, crusted rock lobster chunks with black beans and cilantro salsa served with lemon and saffron aioli.

Connoisseurs may want to try lightly breaded and tender fried calamari at Lucianos of Chicago, or the black plate (quail with Thai spices, crab spring roll, shrimp satay, lobster daikon and tuna in rice paper) at Dune on Paradise Island–enough for two.

For those who prefer ample and tasty there’s Hard Rock Cafe’s hickory smoked chicken wings with a choice of classic rock, heavy metal, or tangy barbecue sauces.

Big on flavour are appetizers like Andros crab cakes at The Poop Deck and conch fritters or delicious and healthful conch salad at Twin Brothers.



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