Raleigh Now Spotlight: Margaux’s Restaurant celebrates 25th anniversary

Co-owner Steve Horowitz and co-owner/chef Andrew Pettifer

Glorious Gastronomy
Margaux’s Restaurant celebrates 25th anniversary

by Jessie Ammons
photograph courtesy Margaux’s Restaurant

“We wanted to do incredible food with incredible service, and we’ve tried to do that during every single shift for 25 years.” As Margaux’s co-owner Steve Horowitz reflects on his North Raleigh restaurant’s quarter-century anniversary, he says the ideas that he and his brother-in-law Richard Hege started out with in 1992 are the same ones that keep the place thriving today. When they moved from New York to North Raleigh in search of a warm-weather home, they knew the location would be a recipe for success, with access to ingredients that were “fresh as fresh can be. Our theme is pasture and farm and sea to table, but it was that before that was ever a thing.”

It was before a lot of things. When Margaux’s opened on Creedmoor Road, the thoroughfare had just expanded to four lanes. The Raleigh population was 232,000 – about half today’s size. Locally owned restaurants with fresh food were limited. Horowitz and his team were determined to offer more. They bought limited quantities of seafood, sold them until they ran out, and changed the menu to reflect seasonal produce. It worked: they soon had regulars, many of whom have now become “die-hard Margauxnians who eat here three to six nights a week.” The restaurant really hit its stride,

Horowitz says, around the year 2000, when the current chef and co-owner, Andrew Pettifer, joined the team. Pettifer’s European background added global nuances found on the restaurant’s menu today – meatballs topped with chopped peanuts in coconut curry broth, for instance, or tuna cucumber rolls with sriracha – in addition to the more predictable seafood pasta, fried calamari with bacon buttermilk ranch, and steak and duck entrees. Horowitz says the Triangle’s growth has motivated the restaurant’s innovation, too. “We felt Brier Creek start to bubble, and North Hills start to bubble, and then the downtown scene start to explode. It’s kept us on our toes. We never rest on our laurels; we never get complacent. We are still trying to push the envelope.”

It’s all grounded by Margaux’s dependably unpretentious atmosphere, where the dress code is described on its website as: “as long as you are comfortable, then so are we.”

While there will be no formal anniversary celebration, Horowitz says it’s been a significant year. “We hope to celebrate another 25 years of what I like to call glorious gastronomy. … Our staff, our regulars, our occasional customers, we’ve all become one big happy family. It’s incredible.”