Proprietor, Beth Anne Crane
Beth Anne Crane represents the fourth generation of restaurateurs in her family. Originally from Philadelphia, she grew up working in one of her father's establishments, and the two of them opened Crane's Tavern & Steakhouse on Hilton Head Island in 1999. While doing graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, she spent time in Italy studying classical & medieval literature as well as Roman viticulture, and she was taken by the harmony of history, people, place, and food. She was especially inspired by the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii, and she cultivated that inspiration by opening MUSE in 2007, where the wine and the food play in a villa like atmosphere in a house tucked away on Society Street. There are 100 wine offerings by the glass and 500 bottle offerings from producers all around the world, who create products that are true to their region, history, and varietal. The menu offers dishes inspired by the many cultures of the Mediterranean and is prepared with local ingredients.
Chef Joaquin Bustos
Since joining the MUSE family, chef Joaquin Bustos has brought a fresh, simple and modern approach to the Muse menu. A mid west native, he brings with him over twenty years of cooking experience and travel that have developed his unique and diverse skill set.
After attending the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley California, he held chef positions at nationally acclaimed restaurants including Lidia’s Italy in Kansas City, where he worked for world-renowned Italian chef Lidia Bastianich. Other restaurants include; Grand Street Café in Kansas City, Yia Yias’s in Memphis, Eau Bistro in St. Louis, Vin Rouge in Durham, and Al Di La in Charleston.
In 2001, Joaquin and Eau Bistro hosted a dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. The sold out dinner was a great success for both him and the restaurant as it received rave reviews.
While always progressive in his practice, he still draws from classic and traditional dishes. Taking a less is more approach to cooking allows him to focus on flavors and not fluff. While always experimenting with new ingredients, he would prefer to revisit the classics rather than chasing the next big thing.
The Story of the Villa of Mysteries
Perched on a hill overlooking the Bay of Naples amongst the ruins of Pompeii emerges the memory of the Villa of Mysteries. The ill-fated Pompeii flourished before Mt. Vesuvius decided to take it's toll on her in 79 A.D., as it was a city of sophistication and civility with an eclectic population and style of living. The Villa, a former wine producing estate, houses one of the most provocative series of frescoes known from the Classical world of the Mediterranean, and the frescoes have been at the center of a dynamic scholarly debate for nearly a century. Because of its mythological imagery, historians, artists, psychoanylists and viticulturalists have all been beguiled by the chamber housing the frescoes since it was uncovered from the rubble in 1908. It very naturally became the inspiration for this restaurant establishment, where one finds a rendering of the past with the present, and where the food, wine and walls meld together as in the Mediterranean tradition.
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