Word Of The Day: Amuse-Bouche

They come on crackers and cucumber slices, in flat-bottomed soup spoons and atop barely-there wisps of pastry. They're amuse-bouches (AH-moos BOOSH), single, highly appetizing bites and tokens of the chef's gratitude that you've put your dining experience in his skilled hands. Literally translated as "entertain the mouth," this little nibble, served gratis, is a good indicator that you're about to have a great meal (and likely drop some serious change). Popular amuse-bouches are shotglasses of chilled, creamy soup, a spoon of beef or fish tartare, a pre-twisted forkful of pasta and mini croquettes.