When should an amuse bouche be served?
I've had at least two in recent memory served to me the moment I sat down, before I even looked at the wine list. Most I've had arrive at least after drinks have been served if not after the whole meal has been ordered (but preceding the arrival of the app, of course).
I find having food set before me the second I sit down a bit jarring & off-putting, but it occurs to me I don't really know what the protocol should be.
I think this is a valid question, personally I don't want any any small bites of food while I'm trying to decide what I'm going to order, which is going to be more food of course; I don't have a huge appetite, , I feel bad not eating the amuse bouche even if it's tiny ;
one restaurant brought them twice, it interrupts conversation,
( "the chef would like you to try this whale carpaccio")
One italian place we go to brings gnocci between the appetizer and main dish, now that I know, I tell them in advance to not bring them ; I know this is different, not an amuse bouche. Another french place we went to brought tiny amuse bouche twice, individually served, which made for a lot of hovering from the waiters, which I equate to popups on the computer screen, I did not request them.
Without any objection to your definition of these things as (basically) annoying.
This is the perfect example of why I'm amazed at people who can run a restaurant for any significant period of time. It is literally impossible to please everyone. For every person who feels as superbossmom does (and again, I have no objections to those feelings) there are those who will start a thread complaining that they didn't get an amuse bouche or the free gnocchi between courses.
My response to amuse bouche that are set down before I'm ready to eat is to leave it until I'm ready to eat it. The same response I have to the basket of chips at my favorite Mexican restaurant (the chips and salsa are set down along with water as the table is seated). Ditto for the bread baskets at some restaurants.
Everyone makes a valid point, I wait tables and we start with an amuse bouche, I do think it is best, to get cocktails out, take orders, clear menus and then do the amuse bouche.