When it comes to destination dining, Margot is where you want to set your compass. As much as residents in the restaurant’s East Nashville neighborhood would like to keep this jewel to themselves, they would have to secure the perimeter of Five Points to stem the flow of devotees who stream over the river from points near and far to taste Provence and Tuscany in this charming, renovated brick building. From the open kitchen on the first level, intoxicating scents waft through the first-floor dining room, over to the half-moon bar, up to the mezzanine and out to the enclosed patio. Chef/co-owner Margot McCormack sets the bar high, changing her menu nightly based on what comes freshest to the kitchen door that morning. Business partner Jay Fein is in charge of the French/Italian/German wine list, and servers offer informed assistance. Margot’s Sunday brunch—to order, not a buffet—is all the reason many need to get out of bed early and beat the crowds.
In addition to its custom brewing business, the city’s newest craft brewery has four of its own beers: Amarillo Pale Ale, Spring Wheat, Dos Perros and Onward Stout. In the cozy taproom, customers can sample all of the brewery’s handcrafted offerings fresh from the taps in pints or 5-oz. samplers. Complementing the beers are small plates of artisan cheeses, fresh breads, chutney, fruits and nuts. Also available for purchase are freshly filled half-gallon bottles of beer to go, as well as logo T-shirts and glasses.
The sophisticated rustication of the room, in which old brick peeks through
newly plastered walls and a wooden banquette traces the rough edges of an
exposed stone foundation, mirrors the style of food that Wilson, an alumnus of
Margot Cafe, delivers. Along a chef’s bar that divides the main dining area from the open kitchen, bowls of whole garlic, bell peppers and citrus fruits hint at the fresh flavors that weave in and out of dishes such as catfish with cornmeal crust, mint, garlic, orange and chili and sausage with lemon, red onion and parsley. Massive hunks of cheese sit unabashedly on the bar, ready to be shaved or grated across the top of soups, salads and pastas. In its decor, layout and
cuisine, City House celebrates simple, beautiful ingredients.