The Dish: Lamb sliders, Beignets.

The Place: Amuse Bouche

The Location: 17058 W Bell Rd., Suite 104, Surprise, AZ  (623) 322-8881

By:  Susan Pricco

Amuse Bouche (French for “a little bite that amuses or tantalizes the palate”) in Surprise is not where you should expect fancy-pants formality or a snotty French waiter, but you can expect “upscale, classically prepared American cuisine with European influence”.

Recently, what caught my eye on the menu was Lamb Sliders.  Shaved lamb with perfectly caramelized onions, peppery arugula with two condiments -a pesto and a harissa aioli. Served with our choice of sides – the absolute best French fries ever! Piping hot, salty, crispy outside, delicate inside.  To dip, you’ll crave the stellar house made ranch dressing bearing little resemblance to the stuff in a bottle.  Did I taste a soupçon of pickle juice? Whoa! Wow.

Perfect on a blazing hot Arizona day, the watermelon salad with its juicy red bites atop a bed of field greens, bathed in a stone fruit vinaigrette is speckled with fresh mozzarella cubes and sugar-kissed almond slivers.  My dairy-allergic friend, asked if we could have the cheese on the side (for me) and our smiling, bubbly server gleefully complied.

Classic Quiche Lorraine is a regular on bistro and brunch menus. Eggy and rich, it melts in your mouth. It pairs well with a chilled glass of Riesling from their thoughtful wine list.  Sunday brunch tempts you with a selection of savory and sweet crepes and benedicts (but get the upgrade to a croissant for the Benedict) and also a New Orleans staple, beignets.  Some consider them donuts, which is similar to describing the Mississippi River as a creek. Dusted with a generous blanket of powdered sugar, fluffy but chewy, I offer a word of warning: do order the beignets, but don’t wear black and sneeze – you will end up wearing a powdered sugar bib.

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