Whilst I don’t really believe in luck in a general life sense (I think a lot of being lucky is working hard, good preparation and persistence along with a healthy dose of chance), I do tend to be quite lucky when it comes to winning things – competitions and the like. Which is good, because it makes up for my complete lack of skill or talent at anything. Back before Christmas I won a Twitter competition for dinner at, then newly opened, Margot, an Italian restaurant (ignore the French-sounding name), located in Covent Garden. It’s located in the building which previously housed Moti Mahal, which we visited the other year, so I was interested to find out how they had, in the words of Louis Walsh, ‘made it their own’.
It’s beautifully kitted out in decor which looks like it’s been lifted straight from a blogger’s Pinterest board – marble, deep blue/teal hues and rose gold accents. The detailing is beautiful from the minute you step through the door and their logo is a dachshund. A motif which finds itself onto a very clever grissini holder.
Accompanied by matching wines from an extensive selection of wine by the glass, my boyfriend started our meal with Carpaccio di capesante, a carpaccio of scallops with lime, pickled artichokes, sweet red chili sauce and basil. Although pricey at £15 he loved it and he’s not normally one for artichoke. They were probably the second best scallop dish he had in 2016, with top honours going to those at 64 Degrees.
I couldn’t resist the Burrata Pugliese with a heritage tomato salad and basil pesto. I wasn’t entirely sure about the quinelle of pesto which did slightly resemble a slug, although thankfully did not taste like one, but the dish was otherwise spot on.
For his main, my boyfriend chose the Filetto di tonno, an almond-crusted seared fillet of tuna with Sicilian Caponata. Only lightly seared, this was perfect.
I went for something richer for the misty damp weather we had been having that day and chose the Sella di cervo arrosto, roast saddle of venison, savoy cabbage, pumpkin sauce and glazed chestnuts. Beautifully presented and cooked, it was a very autumnal dish, just what I needed to warm me from the inside.
Whereas I had the less delicate-looking but no less delicious Baba al rum with tangerine cream and orange sauce. Delicious, light and marmaladey, I could have eaten another straight away.
One thing that you notice with Margot is the service. They have a very high floor staff to customer ratio and this was something that was particularly noticeable on a weekend lunch time when there were only (on the day we went) a few groups of diners in. Of course it meant that service was very attentive, but it did mean that you never quite settled into that comfortable flow of dining and chatting that comes when left a bit more to your own devices. That said, it was quiet when we went and perhaps this is felt less during an evening service and would perhaps be more welcomed during a business meal. Don’t get me wrong, service was lovely, the staff were so helpful and nice, but I suppose I’m used to less, if that makes any sense.
Would I return? Of course, the food is lovely, the room is a dream and the staff are super attentive. If you’re looking for somewhere to impress someone, this is it.