Text: R. Collins
Scooped sorbet mimosas and generously proportioned Bloody Marys; an unhurried walk along the Grand River and a pristine view as diners graze family-style brunch plates: this is just some of what to expect from French restaurant Margaux upon its anticipated reopening as of Thursday, October 1, 2020 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Nestled along a portion of the Grand River, in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids’ former six.one.six restaurant space, Margaux brings authentic and accessible French cuisine to the Grand Rapids downtown core; most recently in updated menu offerings sure to satisfy seasonal cravings and the hungry epicurean appétit.
“We’re focusing on French cuisine, with a few six.one.six favorites mixed in there as well for lunch specifically. We’re really [creating] a warm, inviting, and approachable space—that’s the goal,” said Elle Wadel, general manager at Margaux.
Wadel, who is especially anticipating the restaurant’s new brunch approach trading traditional self-serve with family-style, à la carte plates brought to the table, said it will be a little unique while still giving the experience of previous buffet offerings.
“We like to go to a space to share food with our family, loved ones, and friends,” Wadel said. “That’s the point of the family style.”
Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and ranges in offering from benedicts and Belgian waffles to shared skillet entrees and, of course, delicious cocktails to ease the morning. The lunch menu boasts a revived Croque-Monsieur dish featuring béchamel sauce and gruyere de comet atop slices of Parisian ham and accompanied by a petit salad. It’s more of a fork and knife dish, says Margaux Executive Chef Todd Webb, and other graspable options include the ever-popular Dek Double burger—now revamped—and Chicken Brioche, as well as a couple sets of street tacos and six.one.six favorites like the maki rolls and Cheesy Pesto Flatbread.
At dinner, the menu steps into the warmth of seasonal dishes like the Bourguîgnonne region-inspired braised red wine short rib and the Filet de porc à la Normande, a tender medley of pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes, and notes of sour cream and apple brandy made with local apples. Another reputable aspect of the Margaux experience is its generous use of western Michigan ingredients that make their way into house-made combinations.
“We make all of our sorbet and gelato in-house—really everything that we do is made in-house,” Webb said. “We have a pastry shop that makes the sweet, fun stuff for us, and we butcher and cut everything and make all of our own sauces and things like that.”
The gelato Webb refers to is none other than a white peach gelato made in-house with cooked and puréed local white peaches. There are also new cocktail recipes from Margaux’s bar curators that can double as a sweet entremets or a cap to a special evening. Some include warm bartender features—like the current Hot Buttered Rum—or new additions built with Holland-based Coppercraft Distillery’s Applejack brandy, such as Le Stilts, which sets allspice, pumpkin, maple, and lemon flavors dancing over a Bacardi and Applejack base.
Guests can enjoy these craft cocktails to-go, in-house, or even in the lounge at Margaux, which is also open for table service. Margaux on the Dek—of the jdek’s waterfront patio—is also an option until the end of October. Until then, fire pits and cabanas warm guests before and after their savory foray into the richly culinary world of Margaux.