This post appears courtesy of New Market Wilm, who features a new blog about Downtown Wilmington each and every Wednesday! View the original post here.
Like a delicate soufflé, Margaux is rising gently on Market. In its first week, the front desk took limited reservations – by phone only – and slowly rolled out its menu of classic French fare to friends, family and savvy diners who had handed over their email addresses in advance. Now, we’re days away from Margaux throwing open its doors, and all Soufiane Lailani wants to talk about is the food…
“I think every restaurant has a couple French dishes on the menu, but there's been no true French restaurant in Wilmington for a while now. There is a lot of new American, new ways of creating classic recipes with a twist to them. I think we've seen just about everything deconstructed or with added bacon. The idea here was to go back to the classics. What a lot of people have been saying is, ‘Oh, I haven't seen this on a menu for a long time!’”
“So, we asked ourselves, what are the biggest classics to represent? The ones where everyone sees them and says, ‘This is French cuisine. This is French brasserie food.’ The coq au vin. The famous roasted chicken, a very simple dish. Moules frites. Gnocchi à la Parisienne. The Dover sole meunière. You don't see that a lot on a menus. It's a very beautiful, simple, noble fish and a classic dish with brown butter, lemon and parsley. These are the kinds of things I ate a lot growing up, the dishes that you’d find at the little cafés or brasseries in France and the foods that you'll have as a snack with a glass of wine or a beer.”
“Our wine is pretty much 90 percent French. We really covered some regions of France that people haven't seen in a while. We also have some from Oregon and California, so it’s the Americans and the French. We have created six different cocktails and named them after famous historical people – the Jeanne d’Arc, the Marie Antoinette, the Charles de Gaulle – and they are handcrafted here in house. If the vodka is infused, like with Early Grey tea, it's house-made here. And we have beer!”
“For the lunch crowd, we have kept a few things from the dinner menu, but we've added about five sandwiches. All our choices are $13-$15. One sandwich uses a traditional French ham, the jambon de Bayonne. We have one we call ‘The Italien,’ which has some fine meats and everything in it. And we also have a burger, with brie and honey and dijon. It's a beautiful burger!”