It’s called “woo woo sauce,” and just know that you are going to want to put it on everything. Chef Ryan Tomlinson of Margaux created a homemade Worcestershire sauce that’s a touch on the sweet side for perfectly finishing his dry-aged steaks, and it’s good. That’s not the only thing hand-crafted or made from scratch at this new West Mobile outpost from restaurateur Matthew Golden, the owner of downtown’s Loda Bier Garten. He and his team source almost everything locally (he confesses they don’t make their pasta from scratch), including the seafood that fills this inventive menu. “We burn up the rubber between here and Bayou La Batre, picking up shrimp and crab claws,” he laughs. The grits are local and the microgreens are grown about a mile down the road.
The other thing that’s close by is the customers. Until now, you could hardly find a locally-owned or fine dining establishment west of University Boulevard. Golden’s customers appreciate being able to have a date night without leaving their neighborhood. He wouldn’t want you to think Margaux is not family friendly, however, just because the food and service are top-notch. “I’ve got four kids,” he explains, “and I wanted this to be a place my own family could come.” To show he is sincere, he mentions the diaper changing station in the men’s room. Anything from a girls’ night out to a casual dinner in your blue jeans is going to feel right at home.
The crab traps and shrimp nets decking the walls let you know this is south Alabama, while the empty bottles of Chateau Margaux caught in the traps and nets hint at the upscale appetite of patrons. The live music and oyster bar take center stage on weekend nights, combined with a solid wine list and a creative cocktail menu. Tomlinson weaves all his local ingredients into a delicious menu that’s approachable but exciting, saying he thinks of it as French Creole-inspired Southern cuisine.
The name Margaux has a French vibe, too, but it is actually a nod to Golden’s wife. “I’ve opened a new restaurant or bar within a week of the birth of three of my kids, so she has earned a little recognition. I don’t know any other woman who can put up with what all she puts up with.” This restaurant, which has been more than two years in the making, is already making its mark on West Mobile.
On The Menu
Creole Seafood Bucatini
A bowl of tender hollow bucatini pasta is topped with shrimp, crawfish and a delicate cream sauce. It’s garnished with fresh herbs and is perfect with a crisp white wine.
Filet with Lobster Tail
A perfectly cooked steak can be garnished with seafood, blue cheese or house-made sauces. Cajun honey-glazed carrots and roasted garlic mashed potatoes finish it off.
Pepper Jelly Grilled Oysters
Chargrilled and served with herb goat cheese and pepper jelly, they are presented in a vintage Indonesian bowl Margaux sourced from Charles Phillips Antiques.
Crawfish & Corn Beignets
Like a fluffy cousin to a hush puppy, these beignets are flash fried and served with pork rind “powdered sugar,” pickled jalapenos and whiskey remoulade. No one can eat just one.