The prix fixe menu at Margarita at Pine Creek
always tempts upstairs, but we retire to the downstairs lounge, where I’m reminded of my consummate love for this place. A phenomenal bowl of Gulf shrimp with Creole andouille sausage gravy and white cheddar low country grits ($13) sings with spices, including poppin’ mustard seeds, with andouille smokiness and a rich velvety sauce. Wild mushroom and stout-braised oxtail poutine ($11) bears a soulful stew meat and gooey cheddar cheese chunks over soft onion-potato croquettes to twist the classic. Horseradish adds bite for comfort-food bliss. Butterscotch pot de crème ($7) tastes like a heavenly Werther’s pudding, elegant with crème fraiche. A boozy vodka rhubarb martini ($10.50) lands lemony and faintly gingery, pleasant. The Blueberry-ginger-mint shrub Collins ($8.50) starts expectedly tart, but it’s balanced and refreshing, again with lemon and ginger notes, this time under clean blueberry notes and herbal rounding.