At long last, the space that previously housed Emmaline in Montrose has been fully transformed, and is ready to usher in guests once again. MUSE, a vibey new, chef-led restaurant from Sundown Entertainment (Sugar Room, Sporting Club, Todos Santos) opens today at 3210 West Dallas St.
Helmed by chef/partner EJ Miller, formerly of International Smoke and Riel, the restaurant combines a diverse menu inspired by global flavors with a dynamic beverage program and a sexy, whimsical space. Along with Miller, a skilled team, including sous chefs Dung Nguyen, formerly of the Dunlavy, and Andrew Aguilera, formerly of the Classic, and pastry chef Maggie Lin, formerly of La Table, have collaborated on the menu.
Guests can look forward to lots of variety, from hot and cold shareables and maki to wood-fired grilled steaks and seafood plates. Signature menu items include wood-fired Alabama oysters with house-made fried chicken butter, fermented peppers, and garlic honey; RC Ranch wagyu potstickers topped with caviar and chives; sticky pork ribs; and lobster pasta with shellfish nage, sweet chili sauce, and fresh herbs.
“Growing up in Houston, I’ve always enjoyed exploring global flavors and experimenting with a variety of traditional techniques,” said Miller. “While the name ‘Muse’ comes from the idea of a person or personified force that provides a source of inspiration, our menu is inspired by Houston’s unique multicultural dining scene.”
Dessert offerings are just as well thought out, with pastries like the yuzu tart made with sesame shortbread, yuzu curd, toasted meringue, and oolong tea caviar; the mocha torte, a red bean brownie with cafe su da mousse, chocolate cremeux, poached mandarin, and vanilla ice-cream; and the Jujube cake garnished with poached and grilled pears, pine nut brittle, and pear sorbet.
MUSE’s beverage program is on par with the food, with attractive concoctions like the Japanese Breakfast, a mix of Condesa orange blossom gin, Italicus bergamot liqueur, sake, and white peach tea, presented in a traditional tea pot and poured over dry ice; and the Espresso Yourself martini, a riff on an espresso martini made with Irish whiskey and espresso, and topped with white chocolate sea salt whip. As an alternative, guests can explore rotating sake selections, plus a robust wine program featuring 75 selections by the bottle and 20 by the glass.
Beyond the food and drink, guests will have plenty to feast their eyes on with the restaurant’s sleek design and dreamy decor. The 4000-square-foot restaurant endured a massive overhaul, revealing a completely reimagined space with warm, neutral undertones and walnut wood accents. Upon entry, all eyes are drawn to a wraparound bar with 18 coveted seats, and cherry blossom trees that tower over banquettes in the main dining room. A glass-encased wine cellar prominently showcases the restaurant’s bounty of wine and champagne, and a private dining space, with room for 50, leads to an outdoor patio.
For now, MUSE is accepting reservations for dinner from Tuesday through Sunday on Open Table, with future plans to introduce weekend brunch on its rooftop patio.