So for about the 300th time, I went to Muse Restaurant last night. Let me start off by saying that owner Beth Anne Crane makes everyone that walks through her restaurant’s front door feel as though they are true Charleston locals, regardless of where they are from. The bar is always warm and extremely inviting for people of all walks of life, be they 50 something tourists or a group of Charleston Law students. The bartenders are spectacular as well and encourage their patrons to sit and hang out for as long as they want. I can say from experience that I have never had just one glass of wine there or stayed for under an hour. Muse creates the air that it has been tucked away on Society Street for 50 years, hiding in the middle of the historic district only 50 feet from King Street.
Their atmosphere is unparalled in Charleston; however, what really makes Muse unique is the elegant food courtesy of Executive Chef Jason Houser. The theme of the cuisine he creates is genius. It is so perfectly simple: nothing that I have tasted on his menu is overdone or too seasoned. To quote Beth, Muse specializes in “Charlest-erranean” cuisine, aka ingredients that are locally caught or grown but prepared with a Mediterranean panache. For example, Muse offers their answer to the local staple dish of shrimp and grits: locally caught shrimp over creamy polenta with a hint of a tarragon and tomato cream. Most everything else from their menu is of this ilk as well, all of which is truly fantastic.
Oh, and did I mention their wine list? They have almost 100 different types of wine…by the glass! That’s not even mentioning their extensive list of bottles that ranges anywhere from a fantastic Alsatian Pinot Blanc for $31 to Tattinger Champagne for $300. I don’t know of any other place downtown that has anywhere near their selection of great wines at such a fabulous value.
I can’t wait to go back. I recommend that everyone goes before tourist season is in full swing. I have a feeling tables will be hard to come by in April and May.