Walk into Margaux's Restaurant in Raleigh, and you'll immediately feel at home. Or like you're in a modern art museum. This bustling spot is full of smiling servers who genuinely seem excited that you're there. Funky paintings adorn the walls, and sculptures are scattered throughout. A long bar stretches across the restaurant. An eclectic menu that changes often keeps things exciting. They even offer early bird specials (heck yes) and a 3 course prix fixe menu. Definitely check this spot out.
Margaux's bartenders got game. My husband said his Martini was among the best he's ever had, and my virgin Mojito was perfection. A light and refreshing Strawberry Salad is accompanied by Candied Walnuts, salty Feta Cheese and a delightful Blueberry Vinaigrette. It's definitely large enough to share, as is the French Onion Soup. When you finally get brave enough to take a bite of the molten hot insides, the Caramelized Onions are soft, the Gruyere Cheese is unctuous, and the Croutons are plentiful. I've had a shocking amount of French Onion Soup throughout the past month and this is among some of the best.
I couldn't pass up the Jerk-Seasoned Shrimp Bowl, complete with Rice, Butternut Squash, Pinto Beans, Mango Salsa, Plantains and Haricot Verts. The subtle sweet heat from the jerk seasoning resonated throughout this dish, and really made it sing. Scooping some of the mango salsa on a plantain disk was my favorite part. And I counted at least 15 shrimp in this bowl, so you can eat on this for a few days. Insane!
Pan-seared Salmon is cooked to perfection and served over a very interesting combination of flavors and ingredients. A Carrot-Ginger Spatzle is enhanced wtih Peaches and Zucchini, then everything is topped with a mound of Fennel and Grapefruit Slaw. I think the chef should have stopped there, but he doused everything with a bit too much Sesame Oil, a flavor I don't think belonged. But I get excited anytime I see my beloved German spatzle on a menu (which is hardly ever!)
I don't think I had ever seen this much fresh Plum Tomato Sauce on a bed of pasta. My husband absolutely loved this Angel Hair and Shrimp dish, just swimming in that robust, acidic sauce. Did I mention the portions are humongous?
Don't make the same mistake we did, by not saving room for dessert. The options are plentiful and they have nightly features. By the time we left, nearly every table was full. This is definitely the type of place to garner "regulars". And I intend to be one!