Food News

Experience the Fall Tasting Menu at Margot

A trio of snacks kicks off the meal.
A trio of snacks kicks off the meal. Molly Martin
"This is the freshest bread you'll ever have," says the server, who drops a small cast-iron pot brimming with rising dough on the table. "Don't eat it yet, though. You'll see it again later."

And so the meal begins at Margot, the Sunday-only tasting menu concept launched by chef Justin Fulton in September. The dinners, which include ten courses (plus some surprises, like the bread) for $105 per person, take place at Coperta, chef Paul C. Reilly's Italian eatery at 400 East 20th Avenue. An optional wine pairing can also be added.

For Fulton, who grew up in Breckenridge and cooked up and down the East Coast, making a pit stop in Michigan before returning to Denver, this endeavor is the realization of a longtime dream to open his own restaurant in his home state.
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Parisian gnocchi with smoked mussels, koginut squash and black garlic.
Molly Martin
The indefinite stint at Coperta is the ideal way to show off his take on what he calls "technique-driven, seasonally inspired contemporary American" cuisine — and, with any luck, a stepping stone to his own brick-and-mortar. But for now, it's also a great option for a memorable night of dining.

When Margot debuted, Fulton was focused on highlighting the bounty of late summer. Now, though, the menu has transitioned to "autumn and everything after," with ingredients like gooseberries, koginut squash and sunchokes from Esoterra Culinary Garden.

While ten courses sounds like a lot, the dishes are smartly portioned, starting with a trio of snacks that are one bite apiece — beets, duck and oyster, each offering a different texture. Servers explain the dishes as they come to the table in more detail, but part of the fun is not knowing too much before the meal begins.
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Pan-roasted rack of lamb.
Molly Martin
The menu, presented when you arrive, is scant on details. So when a plate of Parisian gnocchi shows up with scarlet-hued leaves scattered on top, as if it were just brought in from under a changing maple tree, there's a bit of magic added to the experience.

Then the bread reappears, baked to a golden brown and ready to be slathered in slightly smoky butter with urfa chile. The pace is on point, as dishes come and go without too long of a pause between courses, and there's no feeling of being rushed.

The pan-roasted rack of lamb is the heaviest course of the night, and also one of the most memorable. The meat is perfectly cooked and seasoned, served with a charred portion of castelfranco radicchio, an heirloom winter vegetable from Italy.

A cooling, palate cleansing-cucumber granita with frozen yogurt precedes the final act, a pear tatin with brown bread ice cream. All the while, diners — mostly couples on dates — chatter happily while Fulton's team and the chef himself ferry dishes out one after another.

While the food is fine dining, the vibe is far from uptight, making for an indulgent but relaxing way to wrap up a weekend in Denver. 
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin

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