Aug 5, 2010

"Art that's fit to eat"

Amuzé at the FAC received two reviews this week. Both recognize the skill and flavors brought to the kitchen by Chef William Sherman and his team.

"Everything is expertly prepared and expertly designed with complimentary colors, flavors and textures," writes the Gazette's Nathaniel Glen:
Since the Fine Arts Center started regular dining, my reviews have bemoaned the fact that no chef has taken his cues from the brilliant and gorgeous architecture of the museum. The design by Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem combines ancient Pueblo designs with the modern sophistication of Art Deco. I always wished some chef would do the same.

Now, Sherman has. His luscious New Mexico chili crème brulée ($4), which is sweet and earthy, not fiery, is the perfect combination of southwestern tradition and French inspiration. It is a dish he brought with him from Palmer Lake, but let’s hope it is the start of a growing permanent collection of masterpieces.
Bryce Crawford of the Independent also reviewed the restaurant with slightly more reserve. His headline declares that Amuzé at the FAC is "A stroke away from genius" based on expectations for the original bistro.

At the FAC, what might "food as art" look like?

The beef carpaccio ($12): four thin slices of buttery filet mignon, covered in fried capers and a mustardy aioli, arrayed symmetrically around a powdery Parmesan-crisp full of guacamole. Sherman designed the dish's presentation to mimic the Zia sun symbol stamped into the terrace's ceiling, and the plate is an impressively cool tie-in to the Southwestern Art Deco architecture.