Special Event
Gerry Hayden
Gerry Hayden
Gilat Bennett
Gilat Bennett
Gerry Hayden
Pastry Chef Gilat Bennett
Amuse | NYC

Thursday, April 15, 7:00 pm
Members $90, guests $115

At restaurants do you:
a) Decide that your companion’s dish looks better than yours when your plates reach the table?
b) Eat an appetizer for a first course, an appetizer as a side dish, and an appetizer for dinner?
c) Poke at everyone else’s dinner, hyperactive fork in hand, incurring “do-that-again-and-I’ll-kill-you” looks from your friends?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’ll enjoy Gerry Hayden’s sleek Chelsea eatery, Amuse, where the entire menu encourages you to sample and share. Short for amuse-bouche, Amuse has been delighting Manhattanites with its lively contemporary American food since it opened its doors last year.

Hayden, a CIA graduate who previously worked at The River Café, Aureole, and Tribeca Grill, has designed an eclectic selection of small plates sized to promote “plenty of taste sensations in one meal,” as Tanya Wenman Steel reported in Bon Appétit. Agreed New York Times writer William Grimes: “Mr. Hayden puts on quite a show.” In characteristic prose, Gael Greene confessed in New York that she was “seduced by the chef’s vibrant ways.” Writing in the same publication, Adam Platt observed that “Amuse, rewired into a kind of kinetic, hyperglamorous, Sex and the City style, is scenier and better than ever.” He included it on his Best Places to Eat 2004 list, singling out Hayden’s “consistently inventive cooking.”

What amused the critics? Sylvia Carter of Newsday found the butter-poached lobster with coconut-curry broth “irresistible.” Greene adored the chef’s “luscious” porcini-stuffed arancini. And The Observer’s Moira Hodgson liked a “lovely tart filled with fresh chanterelles and topped with feta and baked tomato.”

Pastry chef Gilat Bennett, a native of Israel, worked as pastry sous-chef at a renowned restaurant in Jerusalem before coming to New York. She enrolled in the bread-baking program of The French Culinary Institute, and after graduating took a job at Bouley Bakery under Bill Yosses. At her next post, at Aureole, she met Hayden. When he opened Amuse, he brought Bennett on board as pastry chef. She’s now serving up “sheer perfection” (according to Carter) in the form of a dulce de leche sundae. Hodgson swore by the “dark, moist and treacly…wonderful” caramelized pear toffee cake, and Grimes noted that all desserts “come through with distinction.” That’s why, for him (and for us), “Amuse, true to its name, really does amuse.”

Creamy Gruyère and Smoked Ham Gougère

Porcini and Pecorino Arancini

Marinated White Anchovy and Yellowfin Tuna

Alain Paret Pastourou Viognier 2002

Charred Kobe Beef and Spicy Green Papaya Salad with Peanut, Thai Basil, and Lime

Dr. Loosen Riesling 2002

Butter-Poached Lobster with Sweet Pea Leaf Ravioli

Talley Vineyards Chardonnay 2001

Peppered Long Island Duck Breast with Endive Marmalade, Black Mission Fig Reduction, and Lavender Sea Salt

Fiddlehead Cellars Pinot Noir 1999

Roasted Spring Lamb with Greenmarket Vegetable Pistou

Cape Mentelle Shiraz 2000

Ruby Red Granita with Honey-Bathed Grapefruit and Rosemary Sabayon

Mas Amiel Muscat de Rivesaltes 2002

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