26 August, 2010


Posted in : Dining in Raleigh - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez

8111 Creedmoor Road, Suite 111
Entrees: $19–$31

I hadn’t heard of Margaux’s, so when my friends’ gourmet club chose it for their next destination, I was excited to try it out (Note: I’m always excited to try someplace new out). They have an interesting hodgepodge of styles going on in both their décor and their food, which one of my companions called an identity crisis. I’d opt for eclectic, myself, from the steakhouse-style red leather and wooden booths, to the stone fireplace accentuated by a row of pointy metal shards, the nice outside dining, and the brushed steel, flames, and Olmec figurines scattered throughout the space.

They’ve even got an aquarium full of bright Mexican art (and fish), topped off with the letter M in a shield and feathers display.

I just call that fun. The menu skews toward Southern-inspired, nouveau American cuisine, but they also have a vintage section consisting of popular menu trends from two decades ago such as crispy, peppered, Long Island duckling with wild rice pilaf, market vegetables, and sundried cranberry orange sauce or grilled filet of beef with roquefort crumbles, potatoes Anna, sauce bordelaise, and fresh market vegetables. Also definitely worth noting is an affordable prix fixe menu of three courses, available for $19.95 Monday evening or until 6:30 Tuesday through Thursday (it jumps to $27.95 later than that). The menu offerings for the prix fixe menu seemed a bit simpler than their standard items, so only one of us chose it, but the one who did was very happy with her meal.

We were started with bread, of course. I inhaled a piece of cornbread that was very sweet and dense then moved on to the soft, thick, white bread that was fantastic.

For an appetizer, I had the BBQ shrimp stick with a cream corn-bacon fritter on black-eyed pea salsa.

Margaux’s does presentation well, as you can see with that dish. The smokiness in the ultra-creamy fritter, which I suppose was closer to a croquette, made this dish. Honestly, I’d have been happy with just it-no shrimp need apply. But the shrimp were cooked well, too, and went nicely with the bbq sauce, though my friend did have one shrimp that wasn’t completely cleaned (mine were fine). The salsa’s flavors subtlely accented the fritter, and I didn’t mind the black-eyed peas, even though I normally avoid them. I thought it was a great appetizer.

My entrée was Vermont sundried tomato goat cheese-crusted grouper with rustic artichoke, balsamic cipolini onion-tomato sauce, and red bliss mash.

This was a lot of food! There was a mountain of the mashed potatoes under the fish, but the fish itself was also quite a large portion. I’ve recently learned that I love grouper, but while the sundried tomato goat cheese dominated it, I didn’t mind, because that crusting was delicious. The sauce had a lot more than onions and tomatoes, including olives (yes, I avoided the olives) and roasted garlic, and it was sweet and savory, which combined nicely with the potatoes and fish.

I tried not to, but I ordered dessert anyway: a slice of apple, pear, ginger, and pistachio cake with caramel and ice cream.

I’m pretty sure this was a steamed cake, and dudes, steamed cake is divine. The moistness of them can’t be beat, and this one had a great top layer that was somewhat condensed so that it intensified its sweetness. I’d have liked some stronger fruit flavor from it overall, but it was pretty wonderful as it was. The caramel sauce and ice cream only richened the experience.

Can you tell I liked Margaux’s? My dining companions weren’t quite as impressed as I was, but hey, this is my blog, right? ,)

4 stars

4 stars

Reviewed 8.16.10.

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