David Smith and Greg Reyner opened Café Muse in Royal Oak, Michigan, in March of 2006. Reyner is the creator of the unique menu, which he likes to refer to as “comfort food with a twist.” A classically trained chef from the Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, his inspiration comes from the great restaurants they have visited around the world.
At the heart of the restaurant, is their belief in natural cuisine. They’ve created a simple, European-style menu that features as many fresh, locally produced and organic ingredients as possible. They’ve been featured in both Esquire Magazine and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In November of 2008, they outgrew their original twenty-seat location and moved down the street to their new home at 418 S. Washington Ave in downtown Royal Oak
You can’t call Café Muse a hidden gem after all this time but if you haven’t been in to try Reyner’s excellent menu, you’ll wonder what took you so long to discover this terrific spot for any meal in Royal Oak.It’s a place where small details of all kinds combine for big impact, where service is smart and personable, and where it’s clear that everyone from the chef to the guests knows and loves food. Reyner’s morning and midday menus have always stood out for their creative flavors and excellent local and seasonal ingredients. But his serious culinary skills and eclectic approach are even more apparent when the evening meal gives him a bigger canvas.
While it’s the dinner menu that’s newest here, it’s the breakfast, lunch and brunch menus that first drew metro Detroit diners to Café Muse. Notice some of the beautiful details: heavy silverware wrapped in heavy cloth napkins; plates garnished with four different slices of fruit, each cut just so; crisp buttery toast served with individual dishes of jam, and brown sugar chunks in white lidded sugar bowls.
Whether it’s morning or night, the servers clearly know and enjoy food, are knowledgeable about the menu and wine, and have a way of making customers feel like guests instead of table numbers .It’s challenging for restaurants to excel at breakfast, please a hurried lunch crowd and still impress sophisticated dinner guests, but Reyner and sous chef Ricky McCormick make it look easy.