As I lifted a forkful of fresh pasta, cheese and peppery sauce to my lips during a recent visit to Bar Margot, I knew one thing — I had discovered a new go-to comfort food for fall.
The Tagliolini Cacio e Pepe is just one of the shining stars on the menu at this latest addition to Ford Fry’s dining empire, tucked away in Midtown’s Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. In late September, Bar Margot opened to hotel guests — as well as locals — anyone looking to enjoy a classy cocktail and a bite to eat.
“Atlanta needed a cool hotel bar with big-flavor food and zero pretension, and I felt that the Four Seasons was an ideal place to make this happen,” says Rocket Farm Restaurants chef/owner Fry, the culinary brain behind restaurants ranging from The Optimist to Marcel.
When you walk into Bar Margot, you’re surrounded by cool grays accented with pops of color. The only way to describe it is a very cool, classic vibe. There’s banquette seating for date-night snuggling and a sexy, marble bar where you can enjoy a cocktail and a playlist that is vintage, yet timeless. (You can also catch a live DJ on Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. until midnight.)
But now on to what you really want to know — the scoop on the food and drink! I used to be a regular at the hotel’s former restaurant, Park 75 (which now only serves breakfast), so I was a bit skeptical about how Bar Margot would deliver. However, I was pleasantly surprised; the menu is a collaboration between Fry and the hotel’s amazing Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker, so what’s not to love?
Gerstenecker says this process has been a great opportunity to give hotel dining a new perception. “It’s been exciting to maintain the Four Seasons’ vision for excellence, while bringing Ford’s style and influence to the menu and dining experience. I think this menu is both innovative and approachable.”
I kicked things off with a Gin Margot house cocktail, which is a yummy variation on a gin and tonic that includes sherry. If you’re more of a whiskey drinker, go for the Mercy Street — a souped-up Old-Fashioned with a kick of Irish whiskey. And for the beer and wine drinkers in the house, there are plenty of options for you, too.
On the snack menu, I’d highly recommend the punch potatoes (think fancy waffle fries with American caviar, cured egg and chive dip). Or there’s my favorite — the crab toast, comprised of lump crabmeat and a spread of avocado coulis on perfectly crisped toast.
Going the healthy route? Opt for Nearby Greens & Beets, $11, that features chevre, olives, cucumber and almonds, covered with a delicious, creamy, oregano dressing — a little healthy and a little sinful.
Moving on to pasta options and larger plates, there’s the aforementioned tagliolini, as well as the Ricotta Gnudi, $14, which can only be described as little pillows of heavenly ricotta cheese. Another delicious option is the wood-grilled lamb ribs with harissa and cucumber raita — the meat just melts in your mouth.
No meal, especially a Southern one, is complete without something sweet, so we chose a classic banana cream pie for dessert. I enjoyed every calorie-filled bite, knowing I’d have to make up for it with a few hours at cycling class the next day. Still worth it.
From the simple, comforting pasta to my last bite of banana cream pie, Bar Margot’s food has made its way into my heart — and satisfied my stomach. It will continue to be a go-to for classic, cool, comfort food.
Bar Margot is located in the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta at 75 14th St. Lunch and dinner are served Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. to midnight. For more information, call (404) 881-5913 or visit barmargotatl.com.