Meet Margot, Newtown's small plates darling
You'll feel right at home at this cosy spot that's part restaurant, part wine bar
Down a side street in Newtown, you’ll find Margot. She’s not a person, but a place – a restaurant to be exact – but it’s not hard to imagine the woman behind the name.
With a striking red awning, big open windows, and a warm atmosphere that spills onto the street, Margot is a welcoming aunt, your chicest friend, and the ultimate dinner party host. In short: she’s someone you want to meet, and a restaurant you want to visit.
Behind a bright red front door, the 26-seater space is intimate and welcoming. Above the door, a sign from the venue's previous life reads “come as you are” – still a fitting sentiment for the homely feel and eclectic mix of locals and visitors that keep Margot bustling each night.
With a regularly changing menu, Margot champions local produce in often simple ways, but to always delicious effect. Co-owner Juno Miers describes the fare as “rustic, European-inspired share plates. Organic produce and ingredient-driven dishes that will make you simultaneously feel like you're on holiday in Europe but that you're right at home as well.”
Plates like the steak tartare and homemade crisps keep the European spirit alive, while a changing dish of fresh raw fish plants you firmly back in Aotearoa with its love for kaimoana seafood Māori | Noun . Vegetarians are well looked after, with produce reimagined in exciting and delightful ways, like pickled butternut squash with stracciatella.
Juno and her husband Tom Adam are the self-described “hospitality nerds” behind Margot, covering the front of house and kitchen respectively. Owning a restaurant has been a long-term dream for the couple, and after 16 years working in some of Wellington's most beloved institutions, they’re thrilled to be at the helm of their own special spot in the suburbs.
We wanted our restaurant to have a very specific feeling, and a personality of her own. Margot is welcoming, generous, kind, and fun.
Juno Miers, owner
"We always wanted to bring together the qualities of the restaurants and bars we love, but put them in a relaxed and approachable environment – which we think is so quintessentially Newtown” says Juno.
The inspiration behind Margot has come from a combination of the couple’s experiences and travels, and the hospitality heroes they met along the way. "Margot is a personality and persona we wanted to create, in order for us and our restaurant to follow in these awesome, caring hospitality professionals' footsteps“ says Juno.
"The feeling of a restaurant comes from a multitude of factors, but it also comes from setting a tone where everyone is really looked after, staff and guests alike. We've both worked with many great hospitality professionals, but certain people who bring that feeling to life in a restaurant have inspired who we want Margot to be” says Juno.
Margot's welcoming spirit is evident not just in the food and curated wine list, but also in the restaurant’s fit out. Juno and Tom have allowed the heritage building’s character to shine, while adding their own cosy, feminine flare. Colourful glass pendants frame the booth seating, and an eclectic mix of artwork, mirrors, and plants give it an approachable simplicity that wouldn’t feel out of place in a chic European city – and makes you feel right at home.
Margot is open Tues-Fri, 5pm-late, and Saturday 3pm-late.