Cafe Muse promises to amuse

The quaint Cafe Muse on Washington Street in Royal Oak, MI is a bargain foodies’ dream come true. Although I have dined here several other times, it has never been for dinner. Chef Greg Reyner has some skills and his sensibilities run toward restrained exotic. On a recent night, several hungry diners were treated to a “Bastille Day” Wine Dinner menu that showcased this chef’s understanding of wine pairings and spices that intrigue.

Course One is more of an amuse bouche than anything else. Boursin and exotic mushroom mille-feuille is lacking in exotics but tasty. Paired with a sparkling Rose Cuvee Thomas Jefferson, it accomplishes its task.

Course Two is smoky and smart. Avery tight house smoked oyster, arugula dressed with japanese mayo and duck ham really starts things up for me. It is paired with Cedrus le Blanc/ Clombard/ Ugni Blanc.

Course Three is a delicate corn pudding as light as air topped with a small medallion of monkfish and a tomato confit. The misstep here was that the chef assumed the fish was under after sous vide and decide to cook it more. Mine was tough, hence overcooked. A delicious Viognier accompanied.

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Course Four shows the chefs prowess with a terrine. Redolent with wild game, nuts and fruits it is topped with tiny crouton and paired with Michel Gay Chorey-les-Beaune. Wonderful!

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Course Five is a fragrantly braised lamb shank with baby carrots and roasted cipollini onions. Cardamon and orange scent the tender meat and a Vinsobre accompanies finely.

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Finally, Course Six is a sweet ending to a flavorful meal presenting a tart tatin laden with silky apples and farm cheese. An Eric Bordelet Sidre Tendre is an unexpected and daring accompaniment to the tart.

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Joyeux Manger at Cafe Muse!

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