James Beard Award Nominee | French and Italian Cuisine | Seasonal Ingredients | Garden Patio | Daily-Changing Menu
Where to Sit: Request a spot on Margot's covered brick patio, which is surrounded by fragrant, flowering gardens. If the patio's full, ask to be seated near the open kitchen to sneak a peak of the chefs preparing your meal.
While You're Waiting: Visit Margot's marble bar for a glass of French or Italian wine or a seasonal cocktail crafted with top-shelf spirits and cordials.
When to Go: According to Nashville Scene, "Margot's Sunday brunch . . . is all the reason many need to get out of bed early." Like Margot's daily menu, the brunch menu changes frequently, spotlighting seasonal dishes such as mushroom-and-goat-cheese-filled crepes served with arugula pesto.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Catch up with the latest in contemporary painting, sculpture, and photography at Bryant Gallery (1113 Woodland Street).
After: Shake your tail feather to the eclectic sounds of local bands—ranging from country to indie rock—at The 5 Spot (1006 Forest Avenue).
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Head to Marché Artisan Foods (1000 Main Street), Margot's European-style café specializing in Mediterranean dishes and gourmet groceries.
Justin and Kristin Gilbert spent three years in Italy, visiting gelaterie in more than 20 cities to mine artisanal secrets before opening their own shop. In choreographed musical numbers, the duo handcraft dense, flavor-packed gelato in small batches using local milk and fresh fruit. From a repertoire of more than 100 recipes, Justin and Kristin curate 20 flavors at a time. Past and present flavors include poached-pear zinfandel, orange-ginger dairy-free sorbetto, and chocolate orange?one of Justin's favorites, according to a feature in Louisville Magazine. Delicate cr?pes conceal Nutella or lemon and sugar. The cozy shop also sends forth its mobile cart to cater office snack breaks, weddings with as many as 2000 guests, and Roman legions on the march.
Connected by an asphalt web of highways, state roads, and thoroughfares, blocky yellow signs gleam nonstop, casting a dandelion glow from the words “Waffle House.” The booths at the eateries fill 24 hours each day with the aromas of sizzling pork chops, Jimmy Dean sausage, and endless mugs of coffee. Line cooks brown shredded potatoes on a grill as waiters shout back in a language all their own for hash browns “smothered,” “covered,” or “topped”—served with onions, cheese, or chili, respectively. Angus burgers and steak melts share space on the rippling-hot surface at all times of day, allowing tired drivers to stop for food when they are on a long journey or just listening to an 11-hour drum solo on the radio. The first Waffle House switched on its lights in 1955, and some menu items still bear the names of Waffle House staff of the past, including Bert's chili from Dallas and Alice's iced tea.
Diners flip their own flapjacks at The Pfunky Griddle, where every oversize table is topped with its own grill. Unlimited ladles of organic five-grain and unbleached white batter sizzle to golden-brown before they're sprinkled with such toppings as coconut flakes, peanut butter, and blueberries. The menu also accommodates special diets with options for gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan batter. Chef-made sandwiches—such as a blue-cheese-and-roast-beef wrap—can also be constructed with gluten-free bread upon request.
If The Pfunky Griddle's menu emphasizes homey comforts, the decor channels the great outdoors. Painted trees and blades of grass adorn the walls, and tangled branches traverse the ceiling, bringing to mind a rugged forest campsite or that time you watered all your houseplants with Muscle Milk. A skylight lets in ample sunshine on a spacious back deck.
A sandwich board etched with colorful chalk sits outside Sky Blue Cafe, beckoning patrons into the historic brick building with handwritten descriptions of blue cheese stuffed burgers and homemade peach cobbler. Patrons drawn in by the daily homemade specials are soon greeted by friendly baristas with steaming cups of Drew’s Brews coffee and fresh-baked bagels from Bagel Face Bakery, located just down the street. The staff encourages patrons to relax for a while inside the cafe’s sunny yellow walls or outside on the patio with a plateful of stuffed french toast or sandwiches. Breakfast and lunch don’t end until 5 p.m., when the kitchen starts crafting dinner fare, such as roasted chicken, fish 'n' grits, or boiled chef’s hats.
The menu is deliberate and charming, like a frog prince on a mission to save FernGully. Pop in for a quick lunchtime bite. The midday menu features an array of salads, sandwiches, and easy entrees. Grab a warm trout salad (over spinach with beluga lentils and a walnut vinaigrette, $11), raspberry pork loin ($9) or char-grilled burger ($8). Upon meal completion, turn to your lunching mates and give them a heartfelt fist pound in celebration of your dinner-quality lunch.