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Little Bites of Delight Before the Meal Begins. Rick Tramonto with Mary Goodbody. Photographs by Tim Turner. Amuse: To entertain or occupy in a light, playful, or pleasant manner; to appeal to the sense of humor; to supply amusement or diversion by specially prepared or contrived methods. Amuse-Bouche: Little bites of food to amuse the mouth, invigorate the palate, whet the appetite, as served in fine restaurants. Amuse-Gueule: Casual little bites to whet the appetite before a meal, typically served in a bistro or brasserie. Amuse-Bouche (pronounced ah-myuz boosh) are today what hors d'oeuvres were to America in the 1950s: a relatively unknown feature of French culinary tradition that, once introduced, immediately became standard fare. Chefs at many fine restaurants offer guests an amuse-bouche, a bite-sized treat that excites the tongue and delights the eye, before the meal is served. Nobody does it better than the celebrated executive chef/partner of Chicago's Tru, Rick Tramonto. Amuse-Bouche are a favorite of diners at Tru, many of whom come expressly to enjoy the grand amuse - an assortment of four different taste sensations. Amuse-Bouche offers an array of recipes, from elegant and sophisticated to casual and surprising - but always exquisite - that will inspire home cooks to share these culinary jewels with their guests. From Black Mission Figs with Mascarpone Foam and Prosciutto di Parma to Curried Three-Bean Salad, from Soft Polenta with Forest Mushrooms to Blue Foam with Port Wine Reduction, Tramonto's creations will embolden the novice and the experienced cook alike to experiment with unfamiliar ingredients and techniques. Organized by type of amuse and season of the year, the book also includes a directory of sources for specialty products. With more than a hundred recipes and with fifty-two full-page color photographs by James Beard Award-winning photographer Tim Turner, Amuse-Bouche enchants the eyes as mush as an amuse pleases the palate. Printed in China.
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