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Amadeus: Slightly Off-Key


It's Saturday, and I am desperate to find a place to have brunch. It's unusual for me to not have eaten by this time in the morning, so my blood sugar is low and I'm feeling a little cranky. My first initial thought is to rush over to the Bagel (285 College St.), but alas - it is closed on Saturdays! I am also misguided in thinking that the Free Times Cafe has their famous brunch buffet on Saturdays, as well as Sundays. (No food = Mind muddle.)

So we work our way down Augusta and end up at Amadeus. My companion reminisces about how Amadeus was a youth-hood haunt for him where he and his friends often went to indulge in the drink. Awww, the good ol' days. After a quick look at the posted menu (soups, sandwiches and etc.), we enter the door. A server quickly suggests we go to the dining room next door. Thinking it's an additional dining room for the same menu, we follow his suggestion.

My first impression is that this room appears to be much for subdued than the room we just came from. As we are handed the menus, it dawns on us both that this is not the same menu at all. We have entered a Portuguese seafood restaurant!

Not exactly what we had in mind in terms of brunch, but I love seafood, so we decide to go with the flow.

The sight of the Seafood Rice for Two ($40) has me very excited. But any way I look at it, I can't justify something so pricey on an impromtu lunch.

A further scan of the menu, and I find that this is not going to be inexpensive whatever we decide to order. The least expensive item from the mains is the Grilled Sardines ($12). From that price point, there's the Grilled Chicken Breast and the Pork Alentejana Style ($16 each) all the way up to Steak Amadeus Style ($24).

Amongst the few "to share" dishes, we decide on the Amadeus Revolution ($30). If anything, the name of the dish is intriguing. It is essential a mixed seafood plate, consisting of lobsters, mussels, clams, calamari and "fruits of the sea". I ask the server if it is accompanied by any rice or vegetables, to which I am told, "It can be." Already mindful of the budgetary spending of this meal, I quickly respond that I would only like the rice or veggies ONLY if it is already included with the Revolution. I receive a non-descript acknowledgement.

After waiting for over 20 minutes, I am about to start gnawing on the table. Noticing the other tables around us with bread, I ask the server if we can have bread. She apologizes for not getting us some sooner and returns with a basket. More time passes - in fact, our bread basket is now empty. Our platter finally arrives.

The variety is impressive. But after waiting so long, we are impatient and want to dig right in - but the many shellfish in the dish slows us down considerably. I also sense that this is not the freshest assortment of seafood, either. A dish of rice and broccoli promptly arrives at the table.

After what seems like a whole day of waiting and then eating, we begin to crave daylight.

I ask for the bill, and wouldn't you know it: The rice, broccoli AND bread have been tallied up. Too stuffed to make a deal of it, I decide to suck it up. Oh well, eat and learn.


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