Restaurants / Openings

This New Dallas Arts District Restaurant is a Sustainability-Focused Standout — Step Into Margaret’s Hydroponic World

Inside the New Ranch-to-Table Concept

BY // 09.11.23

Margaret’s just debuted at the first JW Marriott hotel in Dallas. Named after the late philanthropist Margaret McDermott, the new ranch-to-table concept is found on the 11th-floor lobby of the recently opened JW Marriott Dallas Arts District and led by Executive Chef Jonah Friedmann (formerly of Commons Club).

Owned by Plano-based Sam Moon Group (who also own Hyatt Regency Frisco), Margaret’s shares the hotel brand’s focus on sustainability and zero-waste. One of the restaurant‘s showpieces is a hydroponic farm shelf located in the dining room, featuring herbs used in dishes and cocktails. Every ingredient on the menu, from local beef to vegetables, was handpicked by chef Friedmann.

“I probably tried 15 to 20 kinds of cows,” Friedmann tells PaperCity. The ranches that made the cut are 44 Farms, Allen Brothers, and WagyuX. Other ingredients are sourced locally from spots like Profound Microfarms, Vertigrow Produce, and Texas Fungus.

Margaret’s Dallas
The hydroponic farm shelf at Margaret’s provides fresh herbs for dishes. (Courtesy)

Friedmann describes the food at Margaret’s as “modern Texas cuisine,” where visitors can experience something new.

“We’re taking ingredients that everyone recognizes and using different techniques and plating,” Friedmann explains.

Embracing the fact that Instagram is a huge part of the restaurant experience in 2023, Friedmann has also added some photo-worthy showpieces to the menu. The beef carpaccio is smoked table side, oysters are served with liquid nitrogen to create a smoky effect, and a s’mores dessert is also smoked with hickory. “We want to engage all of the senses,” he says.

Introducing Pêche

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The menu will change seasonally, but on a recent visit, we tried some dishes that we hope don’t change too much. Here are six things that we loved at Margaret’s.

Margaret’s Octopus
The Octopus starter at Margaret’s is a stunner. (Courtesy)

What to Order at Margaret’s in the Dallas Arts District

Crispy Octopus

Chef Friedmann says this has been the most popular item on the menu since they opened this summer, and for good reason. Crispy pieces of octopus are distributed amongst crispy kale, salsa verde, and sea foam.

Acknowledge the Corn

This unsuspecting stunner of a starter features several slices of jalapeño cornbread served in a bird cage with assorted toppings like whipped honey butter, shallot butter, seasonal compote, pimento cheese, and nduja.

Charcuterie

Another must-try at Margaret’s, the charcuterie board features local cheeses, meats, charred sourdough, and a bacon fat candle that you can dip bites into as it melts.

NY Strip Steak

If you’re opting for meat, this steak is a great choice from 44 Farms served with a Hassleback potato. We added a side of crispy Brussels that was amazing in its own way.

Colossal Crab Cake

Believe the name when ordering this massive crab cake. It’s served with braised red eye peas and jalapeño elote.

S’mores

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with this miso chocolate mousse, charred marshmallow, chocolate brownie, graham, and salted caramel gelato creation. It comes out covered in glass as it’s smoked in hickory before being served.

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Tommy Kanarellis
tommyk@compass.com  970.452.9661
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