Muse, Monaco

What: Muse Restaurant (click for map)
Where: Hotel Meridien Beach Plaza
When: 12noon to 4pm, 11pm to 6am until the end of September
Dress code: Smart casual

One of the classic Riviera experiences has to be the al-fresco lunch, enjoyed in the fresh air and protected from the heat of the noonday sun by the cool shade of the pines. And whether you go there for the gourmet evening menu or a quick bite for lunch, Muse at the Meridien Beach Plaza provides one of the most perfect settings we know of in which to indulge yourself this summer.

muse2The restaurant is designed by Tristan Auer, who was also responsible for the interior design of multiple Paris locations including two Nina Ricci store-in-store outlets at Galeries Lafayette and Tara Jarmon on the Champs Élysées. Simple furniture extends on a stunning terrace out to sea, to provide the essential backdrop for outdoor lunch or dinner.

Muse’s cuisine is prepared with loving attention to detail in the kitchen of Caribbean chef Jimmy Desrivières. Having trained in the UK and the United Arab Emirates, he brings with him all the experience of the international dining scene. His particular twist is to combine the traditional spices and savours of the eastern Mediterranean with a traditional selection of meat, fish and seafood. So the Landais cockerel is served with oriental spices, the marinated chicken in shish taouk style with mint and yoghurt, and the lamb shank with a jus based on the classic Arabic flavourings of ras el hanout.

muse1Lovers of fruits de mer will enjoy the just-roasted squid with cherry tomatoes served with basil and lemon grass. The imaginative shellfish menu also offers prawns marinated in lime with a fresh avocado salad and king prawns in their shells with garlic butter, flat-leaf parsley and a shellfish jus. And if you don’t have time for the main menu, the ‘Sur le Pouce’ (On the hoof) selection  covers all options from pizza and pasta to burgers and chicken wings for around €25 to €30 per dish

Desserts include home-made fruit tarts, a selection of macaroons, and organic strawberries flavoured with vanilla and served with lemon sorbet and sesame. The impressive organic wine list has been assembled by the head sommelier of the Meridien Beach Plaza hotel, Dominique Milardi, and includes the very finest labels. The perfect accompaniment, one suspects, for the Muses of classical legend who give their name to this wonderful place.