Beer & Wine

Bar Lab's Downtown Wine Bar Margot Will Feature Natty Wines

Bar Lab's Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi
Bar Lab's Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi Javier Sanchez
Six weeks ago, Bar Lab and chef Timon Balloo announced the opening of complementary establishments in downtown Miami.

Today more information has emerged about Bar Lab's wine bar.

Margot Natural Wine & Aperitivo Bar, scheduled to open the fourth quarter of 2019, will offer wines and low-alcohol cocktails made with amaro, aperitifs, and vermouths.

The bar's wine selection will specialize in natural, or "natty," wines — ones made organically or biodynamically with minimal intervention and without chemicals or preservatives, and made from sustainably grown grapes by smaller producers and in small batches.

Bar Lab's Gabe Orta says the decision to curate a wine program with natty wines came as organically as the grapes. "This is all Elad and I drink — funky, natural wines. We've really been into winemaking, and the way wine producers are making these wines is very similar to the way mezcal and pisco are made. It's very similar to craft spirit-making in that the vines aren't really messed with." Orta and Zvi made a name for themselves with their cocktail lounge the Broken Shaker.

Orta says the wines won't be from any one particular region, though he's noticed that women winemakers are putting out some of the most interesting bottles. "We felt very inspired by the way they make wine. It's really exciting what's happening in the wine world. It's like what's been happening in the cocktail world for the past few years."

The wines at Margot will be rotated regularly, and the bar will also offer tastings and wine education. "We want to share these wines with people we love and our supporters."

The space, designed by Danya Hachey of MaD Artistic, will have a feminine and airy vibe, with light wood accents, original artwork, and minimalist custom furniture. The bar's playlist will include contemporary and classic R&B, soul, and funk, with a focus on female artists.

A food menu will offer shared tapas, a daily raw bar, and seasonal offerings.

In addition to debuting Margot, Orta and Zvi have partnered with Chef Balloo to open Balloo: Modern Home Cooking. The restaurant will open sometime this summer and will offer an evolving dinner menu that pays tribute to the chef's Chinese-Indian-Trinidadian heritage and culinary travels. Balloo is best known for Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill in Midtown Miami.

A third concept, Orta says, will open in the winter of 2020. Though the Bar Lab partner would not disclose specifics, he did say the bar would serve cocktails in an upscale setting. Real-estate investor Shai Ben-Ami is a partner in the ownership and buildout of all three concepts.

Margot Natural Wine & Aperitivo Bar and Balloo: Modern Home Cooking. Ingraham Building, 21 SE Second Ave., Miami.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss