Margot’s serves a small pizza menu in a new 7th Ward spot | Food and drink | Weekly Gambit
At Margot’s, the new pizza and cocktail restaurant on Frenchmen Street above Avenue Saint-Claude, there are some things you can’t eat.
There are no fries, fried oyster po-boys, or red beans and rice. These dishes are not on the menu because the kitchen does not have a fryer or even a stove. And that’s not going to change.
But what chef Adrian Chelette is happy to whip up for diners are eight flavors of wood-fired pizza. The pies are baked in just under two minutes at 850 degrees, resulting in a blistered sourdough crust that has just the right amount of chewiness. There are also two salads – a house salad with buttermilk ranch dressing and a Caesar with homemade croutons and charred peppercorn dressing.
“When we were ready to put together the menu, we just wanted to do what we could do well and not overload the staff,” says Chelette, who previously took care of the kitchen and was co-owner of Ancora, a pizzeria. from rue Freret. “The kitchen is quite simple. What you see is what you get. No burners, no fryer. Just the oven and a place to make salad.
Margot’s has been in the works longer than the 2-year-old after whom the restaurant is named. New Orleans cocktail veteran Brad Goocher bought the building and has spent the past five years renovating it. He and his wife Amanda and their daughter Margot live upstairs, with the small restaurant downstairs. The restaurant space is well designed, with a row of booths flanking a wall opposite the Goocher Bar. The kitchen, with its sliding glass doors and commanding pizza oven, is aft.
Since opening in early April the restaurant has been busy and the staff remains a challenge. “I even asked a friend from Texas to stay with me and work during Jazz Fest,” Chelette says.
He averages 100 pizzas a night, including takeout, he says. Online ordering for pickup is available on the website, and once Jazz Fest is in the rearview mirror, the restaurant will use Door Dash for delivery. When the restaurant is full the noise level is considerable making quiet conversations difficult.
“Keeping everyone happy here is number 1 right now,” he says. “There is plenty of time to expand the menu and hours as we go.”
For now, Margot’s is open Thursday through Monday. Diners can build their own pizza from a $13 Margherita, with its base of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil. Additional toppings such as minced garlic, pork sausage, and mozzarella cost between $1 and $3 each. The list of eight homemade pies includes the Supremo, with ricotta, pepperoni strips, sausage, pepperoncini peppers, sliced red onions and Pecorino-Romano. The Inverno is a vegetarian option with roasted sweet potatoes, mascarpone, honey, chili flakes and black olives.
Chelette says he was surprised to find Cavoletti pizza selling better. The tart contains confit garlic, ricotta cream, buffalo mozzarella, lemon zest and finely chopped Brussels sprout leaves. It’s a winner, bright with citrus notes and the crunch of fresh greens.
“I didn’t think people would be so crazy about a pizza with Brussels sprouts on top, but they are,” he says.
Goocher previously worked at Cane and Table. At Margot, her menu includes five variations on a Negroni. “The idea was like, hey, what if someone makes a Negroni and doesn’t make it in Florence?” Gocher said.
Each version uses a base spirit, a bitter spirit, and a fortified wine, but the flavor profile is different in each. The San Juan is inspired by the pina colada, with pineapple rum, cappelletti, coconut-infused vermouth and lime bitters. The Warsaw uses beet infused vodka, Bitter Bianco, dill vermouth and absinthe. All of the infused spirits are made in-house, and while the variations are tasty, the classic Negroni is still her favorite.
Goocher’s cocktail menu is longer than the food menu, with a range of spritzes (topped with prosecco) and cocktails ranging from an old-fashioned rhubarb to an espresso martini mixed with cold brew.
DJ Piazza takes care of the wine selection. The house’s red and white wines come from a small producer in Italy’s Piedmont region, and there’s no set wine list. Piazza will offer a range of wines from small cellars that changes seasonally.
The food and drink menus are compact, but they offer a concentrated taste of Italy.