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Amuse-Cusine in Beach

Just noticed this little spot off Queen that looks like it may have some potential. Amuse-Cusine, has an opening soon sign out front advertising local, seasonal, ala minute food.
Looks interesting.....anybody have the full scoop?

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  1. Is that the place on Waverley, just south of Queen behind the Mr. Sub? I've been wondering about that too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ms. clicquot

      Yeah, I'm fascinated too - it would be so great to have a good restro. in the beach. I went to their website just now but it's just a placeholder - too bad. If anyone knows anything please tell...

      1. re: SharkfinSoup

        I go by there almost every day so I'll keep an eye out and give an update if there is any change.

        1. re: ms. clicquot

          yes please do....thanks! So far, it sounds very intriguing.

    2. Hey millygirl & Ms clicquot - Amuse-cuisine is now open.

      Their menu is posted on the board outside - looks very promising indeed!

      2 Replies
      1. re: SharkfinSoup

        I'm glad to hear that! Thanks for the update. I've been stuck inside with a nasty flu for the past week so I haven't been by in a while. I may take a stroll tomorrow to check it out. I'll report back as soon as I try some of their food. My fingers are crossed - we need something new and delicious in these parts!

        1. re: ms. clicquot

          Thanks sharkfinsoup. Sounds very intriguing....please report back if you are able to provide more details on menu, etc.

      2. Their website has the current menu posted -

        1975 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1J1, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: JamieK

          Thanks for posting JamieK. I tried searching but could not find anything.

          1. re: millygirl

            I can't believe they actually opened! Look forward to hearing the reviews if I don't make it there first.

            Is it possible that the unthinkable may happen? Good food in the Beach? I sure as heck hope so.

          2. re: JamieK

            Umm, it doesnt do anything when i click on menu... anyone know how to get the menu workin'?

            1. re: jennjen18

              after you click on menu, click on "Late Winter Menu" and a pdf opens up. It's working now.

          3. Has anyone heard of the chef? Robert Jamie White. He's not on chefdb

            6 Replies
            1. re: JamieK

              Interesting....how did you learn the chef's name? When I clicked on About us on their website it said coming soon.

              1. re: millygirl

                It's on the bottom of the downloadable menu. (Salivating from afar--I've been living in the States for nearly a year and hope a good local restaurant doesn't close before I get home to try it!)

                1. re: DylS

                  Ha, ha. Well if it's good, it won't close! Well, theoretically.

                  1. re: JamieK

                    Au contraire, JamieK. This is Toronto, where quality and success seem to be related inversely. (I'm getting way to cynical as the years fly by....)

                2. re: millygirl

                  Just an update. According to chefdb, the executive chef at Amuse is Mariano Rodriguez, ex-Spoke Club -

                3. re: JamieK

                  I think White was previously with Didier.

                  1. re: childofthestorm

                    Duh, that's it! At first glance I felt something wasn't quite right but couldn't put my finger on it. Very odd indeed.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      hey come on guys, it's their WINTER menu and they just opened, and for whatever it's worth, Harbord Room also gets its beef from Dingo Farms (hopefully no babies for the dingo's dinner)

                      1. re: JamieK

                        Come on now, it's not like only beef and fish are available from local suppliers in the winter. I'm all for giving restaurants a fair shake, and this one is close to home. I will try it for sure. But it's a weird menu.

                        1. re: childofthestorm

                          Sorry, didn't mean to come across as negative but I really am surprised they don't have a pasta or chicken dish on the menu. Having said that I hope it's a real gem and can't wait to hear more about it.

                          1. re: millygirl

                            no you are perfectly correct in your observation. childstorm was responding to me and I, in my turn, was being tongue in cheek, or at least trying to, unsuccessfully it seems.

                            In any event, I too am looking forward to trying a new resto in that neighbourhood.

                        2. re: JamieK

                          The beef is from the Harrison's farms, Dingo does their chickens.

                          1. re: grandjus

                            Sorry, I know this because I was chef #3

                              1. re: Beef Pattie

                                This is exactly right. The Harrison's own Dingo Farms.

                          2. re: millygirl

                            Looks like there is now chicken on the menu.

                              1. re: ashleyhauslaher

                                Dingo Farms no longer supplies Amuse, but they do supply many of the great restaurants that people return to for their savoury meat... Marben, Cowbell, Pie, My Place & Wine Bar to name a few. Seems like they work with a lot of quality high end chefs promoting the non GMO, healthy eating.

                                488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

                                My Place Restaurant
                                2 Main St W, Smiths Falls, ON K7A1M5, CA

                        3. Ok, so Mr. Clicquot and I took the plunge and went to Amuse on Friday night. It may be a little early to get a full sense of what it's going to ultimately be like once they're fully up and running (no liquor license yet and we were two of the four patrons there at 8 on a Friday) but here is some early info and my observations. Because it wasn't busy I was able to ask a lot of questions. (Sorry, it's a little long)

                          First to clear up some of the questions about the chef and concept of Amuse. The chef, Robert Jamie White, apparently trained at Stratford Chef's School, has worked at Jamie Kennedy ROM, with Mark McEwan at North 44 and was most recently at Didier. The restaurant, as you can see from the website, aims to use local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. There menu is constantly evolving, depending on ingredients and the season. Apparently the current menu is a bit heavier than they were intending for late March because the weather has remained much colder than normal. It's heavy on beef right now because they brought in a half-cow (sorry, I don't know the proper butcher terms). When I asked about the menu offering more interesting cuts, etc, they said they are hoping to do whole animal 'nose-to-tail' cooking with their meat as they get it if the "Beach is ready for it". (We'll see). There is no liquor license yet but they're hoping to have one in two to three weeks. I asked if it was going to be heavy on Ontario wines - yes, of course. The restaurant is very small but apparently will be expanding by another 30 or seats upstairs in the future. Apparently they are hoping to do farmer's and winemaker's dinners from time to time as well. That could be interesting.

                          On to the meal. As I mentioned, it was really only the two of us - another couple was just leaving as we sat down and another arrived before we had finished. (I think the lack of liquor license may partly be a factor). The service was very attentive and friendly, as it should have been. The server brought a couple of small buns from Brick Street Bakery to start - multi-grain and whole wheat. I found them a little dry so I didn't eat mine but they did come with a little crock of soft butter which was nice (I hate getting hard butter or worse, those plastic packets). Next up was an amuse of Berkshire pork belly/wild duck rillette with a drizzle of coriander oil, toast rounds, thinly sliced apple and a dollop of grainy mustard. Very nice. For our starters, I got the golden beet salad with tumeric dressing and my husband had the oysters. The salad was good - decently dressed with a tumeric/grainy mustard vinaigrette and the beets weren't overcooked. My husband enjoyed his oysters, which were from NB and are brought in by Oyster Boy. He didn't really like the pink peppercorn mignonette but that may just be a personal preference, as he likes his oysters plain and unadulterated. For mains, I had the striploin and Mr. C had the trout with brown butter. The striploin was grass-fed beef from Dingo Farms and was cooked exactly as ordered - medium-rare. It was a bit drier and slightly chewier than what I'm used to (but I don't normally eat Ontario grass fed striploin - it's quite different from say, a USDA filet or wagyu). It came on a bed of sauteed onions and mushrooms with potato gratin and some carrots with were cooked just past crisp. Nothing terribly exciting but decently executed. The trout was quite a large piece and very mild and tender. It came with fingerling potatoes and some brussel sprouts. The only complaint was that Mr. C felt there could have been a bit more of the butter sauce for the size of the trout but overall he enjoyed it. For dessert, we split a fennel creme brulee. It had a faint anise flavour from the fennel and had a decent custard. Again, nothing groundbreaking but decently done. We ended with a couple of espresso. The total bill, including tax (but excluding tip) was $102 (it would have been under $100 but we rather foolishly ordered bottled water ($7) which was unnessecary as they had plenty of iced tap water in pitchers).

                          So, although it's too early to tell if they'll be successful, it seems like it has potential. The staff are certainly enthusiastic. Once they get their liquor license, I would like to give it another try. Hopefully their menu will evolve and get a little more interesting as the seasons progress (it's pretty basic right now). I guess time will tell. I'll update after my next visit.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ms. clicquot

                            Had a similiar experience to Ms. C. Good service and lots of info from the owner/waiter. No Liscene at this time which was a bit of a shock. Would have liked to have been informed of it earlier.
                            Similiar experience with the food. Nice but unexciting apps (had the beets and the oysters and some others at our table of 6). The entree were more disappointing though for our party. The meat was over-cooked, in general. The flavours and the sauces were quite nice but it seemed like there was no vetting going on in the kitchen. It was very pricey for the quality of the food. We all agreed that we would go back and give it another try once it got through some of its growing pains and got a liquor liscense BUT we are only this forgiving since there is so little good food in the beach.

                          2. Newsflash! A-C have received their liquor licence.

                            Here's a copy of the e-mail I received from them not more than 1/2 hour ago....

                            We received our liquor license!

                            And here is the update on what is happening at Amuse:

                            • We are featuring two consignment finds, an Argentinean Torrentez and a lovely Merlot from Sonoma County, California.

                            • If the weather cooperates, we will began to serve fiddle heads and rhubarb harvested in Northern Ontario this Saturday.

                            • Began to organize the Amuse Wine School - a Monday evening event with great wines and lots of knowledge.

                            • Began to organize a cheese maker's night with our favourite cheese maker Ruth Klassen.

                            • Currently looking for local residents to grow herbs for us. Please let us know if you are interested. Kids' participation is most welcome.

                            We are in the process of developing our newsletter

                            Hmmmmm, yummy Monforte cheese.

                            I've also noticed that they have a new menu and that they're now open for Sunday Brunch...


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: SharkfinSoup

                              Thanks for the update! I may check them out again soon now that we can enjoy some wine with our meal. Nice to see they're starting to use some early Ontario produce as well.

                              1. re: SharkfinSoup

                                Is there a place on their site to sign up for email messages/newsletters? Or are you just in the loop. I couldn't find anything.

                                1. re: JamieK

                                  Hey JamieK, I don't think they have a place to sign up yet. I got hold of them by sending an e-mail through their site.

                                  The address that shows up on the messages I get from them is amuse@amuse-cuisine.com

                              2. My wife and I just had dinner here tonight for the first time. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the experience. Some wonderful flavour pairings that may sound odd but really do work. Everything was bang on. By far the best food we've had at any local restaurant in the 15 years we've lived in the area. Not cheap, but definitely worth it for special occasions. We found ourselves comparing the creative cuisine to Susur.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: gromit32767

                                  Welcome to Chiwhound gromit32767. What dishes did you order that made you compare the cuisine to Susur's?

                                  1. re: dragonflygrl

                                    Not much comment on this place for a while. I've been there a few times over the past few months and while its still one of the few fine places in the area that can claim "fine dining," its not been reliable. No disasters but rarely memorable. The visit last week however was spectacular. New chef whose name I don't recall but best food since they opened.

                                    1. re: gothlig

                                      I saw the sign change some time ago from "Local Cuisine" to "Bistro." Haven't checked it out for dinner in either case though. What did you have gothlig?

                                      1. re: futronic

                                        Futronic, I had the sweetbreads app -- as good as any I have had in the city -- and the trout: crispy skin, sweet and moist flesh. Served on white beans and carrots. Very good.

                                2. So new news for everyone. One of my favorite chefs has taken over at Amuse. Deron Emgbers (sp?) formerly of Mirabelle and more recently Veritas, started last Monday. My partner and i went in on Thursday, and we had a great meal. Deron says they have dropped their prices from what was there before, and that they will be moving in a more local oriented direction, a la what he was doing at veritas. Favorite dish on the menu, was a short rib chili. very very very delicious.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: crazyfoodlive

                                    Do they have a vegetarian option on the menu? This place is on our list of places to check out.

                                    1. re: kweenshaker

                                      they have a couple of salads to start wtih, and a couple of dishes that look like they can be modified to be vegetarian. For main courses they have a jerusalem artichoke gnocchi (sounds freaking fantastic), and it looks like they could maybe do a pasta as well (there is one on the menu with scallops, but i'm sure they could omit those).

                                      Hope this helps, let us know how you liked it!!!!!

                                      1. re: crazyfoodlive

                                        Thanks a lot! I'll definitely post once I've tried it out!

                                  2. I just made a post about this (sorry didn't see this thread) -- Pat Riley from Perigee is there now, and was looking to see if anyone had checked it out.

                                    New menu online too ... http://www.amusetoronto.com

                                    6 Replies
                                      1. re: childofthestorm

                                        I keep driving by there at least once a week...even stared at the menu they had posted outside. I was iffy about going, but Pat Riley does change that. I've only heard mediocre reviews though.

                                        1. re: stonedtoronto

                                          Great little spot with a really cute, intimate dining room. The bar seats (Pat's table?) look like a lotta fun as well. I believe Pat Riley was in the kitchen the night I went (Jul 24). Duck carpaccio 3 ways was a good app but not particularly mind-blowing. There were small touches like the roasted pumpkin seeds elevated the dish enough to set it apart from a regular duck carpaccio dish. The grilled calamari app was well done as well. Tender calamari and a unique olive tapenade made it memorable for me.

                                          The table had the lamb, shrimp and halibut courses off the current summer 2010 menu. I found the shrimp dish was fantastic. Tasting of the season and done perfectly. I thought the Uni sauce would be overwhelming but it brought the dish together. I didn't find the halibut or lamb particularly exciting but they were done really well as well.

                                          All in all I was not knocked off my feet but it's a very solid menu with a good wine list. The pricing is very reasonable, service great, and it's close to my house :) I will return for sure.

                                          Bill for 4 people was approx $230 with tax and tip included. Price includes 2 apps, 4 mains, a bodum of coffee, 1 teapot, two beers and two wines by the glass.

                                          1975 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1J1, CA

                                          1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                                            I wonder who the chef is, on the bottom of the online menu it says "Alex Tso" with no mention of Pat Riley.

                                            1. re: foodyDudey

                                              Pat Riley left a while ago. It was never meant to be a permanent thing for him. Shame though...the meal we had at the chef's table there was off the charts

                                              1. re: downtownfoodie

                                                Does anyone know where Pat Riley is now? He's still listed as being there on chefdb so I guess he didn't update that.