Brunch at Musette
Located in the heart of Cape Porpoise in a historic white house just on the edge of the water, lies the cozy restaurant, Musette. Named after the traditional cycling “musettes” which are bags used to quickly transfer food to cyclists during long races, Musette the restaurant serves up culinary delights that you can savor at your table without having to pedal.
The reference to cycling comes from Jonathan Cartwright, the owner and head chef, formerly at the White Barn Inn, who at one point aspired to be the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. Cartwright opened Musette in 2017 and it has quickly become a favorite among locals, including part-time Maine resident Patrick Dempsey, who lives within cycling distance of the restaurant.
The interior of Musette is small, but quaint and feels slightly European with a large Tour de France cycling poster at the entrance, Dempsey Challenge cycling jerseys hanging from the ceiling, and a glorious, shiny Italian espresso maker sitting just across from the bar waiting to drip the best expresso around. Musette also has a few tables on the front deck which are in a prime position for soaking up that spring sunshine and a side yard with outdoor seating and picnic tables.
While I typically don’t make our family pedal to earn their breakfast, I do make them walk (or sometimes run). While in Kennebunk, we have learned that brunch at Musette is enough motivation to get our kids to walk the 3.5 miles (one way) from our house on the other side of Kennebunk to Cape Porpoise. It has become a new tradition when we have friends in town or a special occasion to visit Musette for brunch and this includes Mother’s Day. While we could have “fancy” food at one of the many restaurants in the area, we prefer the walk to Cape Porpoise and then brunch outside in the sun.
The Musette menu is full of selections prepared from the freshest local ingredients available and they serve breakfast, brunch after 11 am, and dinner until 8 pm. Our favorite breakfast dish is the Vegetable Benedict, which is similar to Eggs Florentine, but with tomatoes in addition to the traditional steamed spinach. Poached eggs are served on top of the veggies and toasted English muffins and then covered in a delicious, warm Hollandaise sauce, served with home fries. Musette also serves up a mean Mexican Breakfast wrap, a Corned Beef Hash Breakfast, an Avocado Toast served with goat cheese, or on the sweeter side French Toast or Blueberry Pancakes with as much Maine Maple Syrup as you can stomach. Of course, you must order an espresso or cappuccino and to celebrate all of the special moms out there a “Mom Mimosa.”
The dinner at Musette is just as good as the Brunch, but with a much larger selection of dishes and they do take reservations in the evenings. In addition to the normal menu, they typically have nightly specials such as Taco Thursday where they serve up creative renditions of my favorite food such as Fried Scallop Tocos with arugula and homemade tarter and Soy Marinated Salmon tacos, grilled zucchini & red cabbage slaw. What Mexican meal in Maine would be complete without a Margarita, so ask the bartender for one of their special Pomegranate Margaritas for a perfect pairing.
If you see a family walking on Wildes District towards Cape Porpoise on Sunday mornings, it’s probably our family heading towards Musette, to enjoy one of our favorite brunches in Maine. We strive to get there by 10:45 am to beat the queue and choose the best table for soaking in some sun while watching for Patrick Dempsey. I’ll be cycling all summer to make sure I am ready for the Dempsey Challenge so that I can join the Musette team in raising money for such a worthy cause. On this Mother’s Day, please donate to honor the mothers who’ve died from cancer and those who have beaten it.