When we talk about our ancestors and where we originally came from, it can be a funny story. I know for one, my story isn’t simple. My parents are originally from Gujrat in India, but my dad was born in Tanzania, Africa and likewise with my mum, but in Uganda. However, I was born in England, making me British. Am I truly British though? My mannerisms and ways of thinking are very westernised but my roots and upbringing are very much African and Indian. How often do we ask people where they come from, because if we don’t know that, do we truly know them?
When I was dining at Margot last night, I rediscovered my love for a complicated heritage that wasn’t my own. Owner of Margot, Paulo De Tarso came over to greet us into his restaurant, he had an American accent. As he left, I leaned over to the girls, Binny and Sima and said “He’s got an American accent, but opened an Italian restaurant?!” Quick to judge, yes. Wrong? Oh, so wrong. It wasn’t until Paulo came and sat down with us for a pleasantly informative chat that I discovered his roots were Italian, but but born in Brazil, lived in New York and then came to London. Interesting, right? I knew very little about Paulo and his restaurant Margot at the start of the night, but by the end I was truly touched with emotion and love for this little place. I’m going to tell you why…
His restaurant is called Margot and its logo is a Dachshund, which left us all a little confused between the connection. However, it has got a beautiful story behind it that is truly touching. Margot was the name of his mother-in-law who was a big part of Paulo’s families’ lives. She was the lady who made the best Italian homemade food and would invite you into her home with wide open arms. To commemorate her name and legacy, Paulo named the restaurant after her. How sweet! Not only that, Paulo’s father in-law was 6ft 4″ and dear Margot was only 5ft 6″. His nickname for Margot translated into Dachshund in English, because she resembled the short legs of the petite dog breed. I haven’t told the story half as well as the fantastic Paulo did for us, but it left everyone with whimpering eyes.
Thus, Margot in Covent Garden born. Paulo and his partner Nick came together to bring some true opulence to the city, in the form of quality, well sourced ingredients from all around the world. Let me tell you something, this little place is mind blowing. Without a shadow of a doubt, a Michelin star is on the cards for this restaurant and yes, you heard it here first.
We started off with some wine, because when in Italy (or in an Italian), do as they do! Binny and I ordered a glass of Di Majo Norante Aglianico Contado, which was just delicious. It was medium to full bodied, with so much flavour a light sweetness. Just how I like my wine! Sima isn’t a fan of red wine and ordered a glass of Gavi di Gavi white wine.
Sipping away on wine and having a good catch up because our waiter brought around a lovely bread basket with some fresh olive oil to get us started.
The basket was filled with the softest of breads. From Focaccia to whole mean brown bread. So, so delicious.
We decided to skip starters in order to keep room for the delicious Italian desserts that were on offer. I went for the Tonnarelli al tartufo Norcino, which is Tonnarelli pasta with a good helping of extra virgin olive oil, flavoured with garlic and chilli slices and generous amount of black truffle on top. The pasta was cooked al-dente and was just perfection. I would definitely have the dish again!
Binny and Sima both went for the Ravioli di zucca e ricotta, which was Delica pumpkin and ricotta ravioli, giving the sweet and savoury flavours, immersed in sage butter and topped with toasted hazelnuts and rich flavoursome Grana Padano cheese.
What I love about Margot, is that they offer most of their dishes in the starter and main form, which allows you try and share other dishes with your friends and family. As Binny and Sima did, they ordered the starter size for their main courses and had something on the side to accompany it. It’s great if you don’t have a big appetite either.
Binny had ordered some lovely cheese, Ubriaco all’Amarone to join the table, which was just divine. It was made using cow’s milk and then aged in must of Amarone wine giving it more flavour. It was so moreish, you just can’t stop picking at it. I think it would taste fantastic on top of some savoury crackers. Mmmmm!
What a divine Italian spread! 😍
Once we had finished off our mains, Nick had come to join Paulo for a chat with us. I have never been given such a hospitable welcome to any London restaurant as we had at Margot. We weren’t even invited in to review, it was something we did on our own back but received so much more appreciation than I have ever done being invited to a restaurant.
After a long and interesting chat with both the owners of Margot, we had major cravings for some of the sweet Italian treats on offer.
I always like to leave the best until last, because it makes it worth the wait. We ordered Baba al rum which is essentially a cake soaked in rum served up with tangerine ice-cream and orange sauce. It wasn’t my sort of dessert, because it was just one big rum explosion. If you’re a rum lover, this dessert for you.
The second dessert we ordered was the lovely Cremoso al cioccolato ed amarene, which is chocolate log with morello cherry inside and rum cremeux, served on a blood orange and Campari granita. Lots of lovely flavours in this dessert. Amazing sweetness from the chocolate and morello cherry, which was balanced out by the refreshing granita.
My favourite dessert had to be the Tiramisú though. It was the dreamiest version of this dessert i’ve ever had. I even said to the girls, I could have easily ordered it again and eaten it all by myself. Definitely a dessert to have if you ever visit Margot (you would be silly not to visit!). Margot’s take was traditional Tiramisú with a chocolate heart with Amaretto sauce. Exquisite!
I would most definitely recommend Margot who really wants a true taste of Italy. Amazing service, lovely calm atmosphere and low lit ambience, not forgetting the food that is just out of this world. Hats off to Nick and Paulo, you have created a true gem here.
Star Rating for Margot:
Until next time…