Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Beautiful Evening in Ashland: Dinner at Amuse

When me and Dolly-girl go down to Ashland to see the plays by that Bard guy (hey, did you see old Jack was mentioned in the Ashland Daily Tidings, down near the bottom...) she likes to cozy up at a feed trough called Amuse. I don't get the name myself. It doesn't seem that funny to me. The feedbags are pretty upscale, the missys don't sing or do tricks or bring you cakes with those candles you can't blow out, and you don't hear people laughing any more than any other joints. Go figure. What's in a name?

Anyhoo, Dolly-girl likes it and I got to admit, when it's time to put fork to mouth in Ashland, there are some fine spots, but Amuse hits our spots, spot on. Follow? Plus the place is easy on the eyes and they sure seem to have more missys per I'm-tying-the-bib-ons than most places you go looking for a plateful. Oh, and Dolly-girl likes the day-cor. They got a bunch of looking-walls in the place and little lights that hang around all around. Plus they got themselves an outside picnic area, but me and Dolly-girl opted for the ant-free digs.

The missys are right there to say how-de-doo when you come through the doors and they pretty much stick to you until you walk out. It's not like they're sitting on your lap or anything, but they keep their peepers peeled and when something needs brought, filled, or taken away, there they are. They move around like ships in the fog--they're there, but they're not. I think it's what Dolly-girl would call "attentive service" or some such thing that she picked up at that charm school she went to.

So we settled in, parked our bee-hinds, and ordered up some skid-row. Rosso for me, bianco for Senorina Bianchi...not that I'm saying Amuse is an eh-talian joint, cause it's not that. But whaddayaknow, before missy came by to ask us about the whaddayawant, she brought some little treats. A shot of soup--it was red-eyes with basil for me, and a little pice of whaddayacallit for Dolly-girl. Some sort of squashed thing, I think she said. Whatever, 'cause it was good so we said our over the teeths and away it went.

Missy asked us for our what'll-it-bes and we sent her to get a bowl of what's-in-the-pot for me and a stack of cowfeed for Dolly-girl. Mine was a blondy murphies and plumbers with celery oil in little green dots. Who knew celery had oil--sure as hell not me. I'm here to tell you that if that was the soup they were dishing up in Stumptown, I'd be in line. The cowfeed put the smile on Dolly-girls face and got me the first look through the wave. I knew this spot was hitting her spot and taking me off the spot. With me?

We didn't have to sit for long, just long enough to do a do-it-again on the skid row and have a gander around the place to see who else was coming in. We were early because of the fact that we were going to see what Dolly-girl kept calling "The Scottish Play." I figured it was some deal that she got on tickets but when I asked her about it all I got was a shot through the wave that told me that as far as she was concerned that gumshoe school I went to in order to get my ticket missed a thing or two in my upbringing.

The feedbags arrived and I was ready to tie it on. I had a piece of the tenderest dogie that ever did roam the range and, as you can see, I was so excited that when I took a snap of Dolly-girl's fin-flipper I couldn't even be still enough to get it without a blur. Mine came with a pile of rapini that was just about as good as a green gets to be, and they added a stack of murphy sticks that made you want to book a ticket to the Emerald Isle. Dolly-girl's flipper swam in on what Yogi's back in Plymouth, Pennsylvania would call a "patata pancake", but it had some we-want-to-be-pickles sliced into strings and warmed up. Never had them before, but I'm telling you, I wouldn't mind having them again.

I was not in the mood for the tempt-ya, but Dolly-girl had them bring it on along with a winking blond. Missy brought some sort of fruity pie that would make your head spin. I'm not much for that sort of thing, but I'm here to tell you that you should wish you were there.

I still don't get the Amuse thing, but there's no doubt that it's a first-class joint with feedbags that would put any place in Stumptown up against the wall. It doesn't come cheap--The General shook hands with Poor Richard to get us out of there, but if you want to do it and do it right in Ashland, set your brake at Amuse.

No comments: