John Cuevas’ Muse
By Lesley McKenzie
With a name like muse, the Montage’s fine-dining establishment has everyone wondering what executive chef John Cuevas’ sources of inspiration might be. The answer is obvious: painstaking attention to taste and detail. At Muse—located on the mezzanine level of the hotel above Montage’s more casual Parq, you can opt to begin the evening at the bar, reminiscent of a speakeasy with its Prohibition-era-inspired cocktail list and intimate setting. Here, general manager/mixologist Luke Mathot whips up an assortment of signature drinks. (Our pick? The cucumber juice-infused Glamour Girl.)
For dinner, stroll into the main dining room with its rich mahogany paneling and soft lighting and peruse the menu, which is constantly being reinvented—sometimes even daily—based on what’s in season. Guests have the option of ordering à la carte or from a meticulously planned seasonal tasting menu, complete with optional wine pairings from sommelier Mark Hefter’s wine list.
Cuevas and his team strive to find only the best—and often the most unique—ingredients local farmers’ markets have to offer. Take, for example, the fillet of Creekstone natural beef, garnished with smoked mushrooms and pickled ramps (baby leeks that, according to Mathot, are only available from a single local forager for a few weeks out of the year). A sampling of other menu items (depending on the season, of course) include a starter of La Belle Farms foie gras with creamed onion soup topped with Gruyère and entrées such as a medallion of Sonoma lamb with osso buco agnolotti.
Desserts such as Tahitian vanilla gratin with candied yuzu and huckleberry and warm dark-chocolate mousse arrive plated like modern art. Both are almost too beautiful to sample—almost. To say they taste as good as they look is an understatement. There’s no question Muse indeed inspires—a return visit. Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only. Muse, Montage Beverly Hills, 225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310-860-7800; montagebeverlyhills.com.
photographs by Jessica Boone