3018 Harrison Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45211
websiteOften hard to find, the neighborhoods on Cincinnati’s west side hold a few secrets in the restaurant world, many times just because people who aren’t from the area don’t necessarily know about them. But as a few new locales have sprung up, the crowd has followed them. Such is the case with Muse Cafe, which benefits from some schools, shops and even a brewery that have popped up along Harrison Avenue here. This coffee and wine shop, not necessarily a backwater haunt, is nonetheless very worthy.
The menu is mainly focused along the light bistro theme, but Muse has since expanded into the brunch world too. Some of the things I liked:
- Lox Panini: This panini has the distinctive smokey fish and some slices of avocado for texture, so despite its small size it definitely stays filling. Best when enjoyed with a simple side.
- Pomodoro Panini: This refreshing take has grilled chicken, mozzarella, tomato, spinach pesto on a sourdough bread. Keeps true to the whole ingredients, which is to say, delicious without too much extra.
- Chicken Salad: Another light lunch option, this one featuring a lighter salad with some grapes, chopped veggies and a little pepper.
- Seasonal Greens: A spring mix with some simple veggies, this one being best when it is alongside a sandwich or something a little more substantial.
- Latte: The simple and straightforward latte option is a charmer, because it has that sweetness from the milk without too much froth and without too much sugar that slows you down. Best if you don’t want a straight coffee but something that can be enjoyed a bit longer.
A good coffee shop is all about the feel, and this one is more of a small-table bistro-style shop than, say, one that is covered with oversized chairs or comfy nooks. But that’s not a bad thing, especially because the bar morphs into a wine bar with a little higher tempo as the day goes on.
Prices aren’t too bad and the easygoing feel of Muse is what really endures as far as making this the kind of venue where you want to spend your time, and potentially to return later. There’s such a fantastic assortment of good, easy to enjoy food on every part of the menu. Make this one a stop-in not only from Westwood, but any time you’re looking for a little peace and a glass of wine.
- The brunch and breakfast foods are a new addition to the menu but definitely a quick favorite.
- Wine selections here are really something to keep an eye on.
- Consider the soup and salad or sandwich options for lunch, because they’re the best light option.