March Enlivens the Houston Dining Scene with Design by Studio Robert McKinley and Curtis & Windham Architects
Chef Felipe Ricco oversees a culturally rich menu that's as inspiring as the art-forward space
For those who think Houston cuisine means TexMex and barbecue joints, think again. The Texas metropolis has evolved into one of the best food scenes in the country, and newcomer March continues that trend.
Starting March 31, guests can enjoy a range of dishes that pull from chef Felipe Riccio’s rich cultural upbringing as a Mexican native with an Italian father and Spanish mother.
Here, guests can sample decadent plates of couscous with fennel, sea urchin, and chamomile, or snapper crudo with chermoula, radish, pickled rose, and apple. Meat, too, is represented, but inventively reimagined in dishes like beef rib with hibiscus roselle, beet pavé, and berbere spice or lamb consommé served with braised goat dumplings and root vegetable m’hammas. Good Hospitality beverage director and advanced sommelier Mark Sayre overseas the global wine menu, with bottlings from California, Italy, and France as well as Lebanon, Portugal, and Austria.
Curtis & Windham Architects worked with Studio Robert McKinley to create the stylish, art-filled atmosphere that’s anchored by a remarkable custom Murano chandelier. In the lounge, a 1960s Champagne cart by Italian furniture designer Aldo Tura adds to the glamorous ambience.
“I wanted to highlight the connection between the earth and food—their executive chef Felipe Riccio uses this relationship as a foundation to the restaurants’ culinary offering—so I tied in both of these elements in the interiors,” Robert McKinley tells Galerie. “The floor is a terracotta-colored terrazzo, reminiscent of the earthy tones around the area, and we used natural yet contemporary materials such as limestone and reclaimed pine planks from a local Houston antiques store for a clean, yet rustic, look.”
Unexpected combinations include Faye Toogood’s Roly Poly dining chairs, a bold figurative painting by German artist Christoph Ruckhäberle, and Kelly Wearstler sconces. Additional seating was crafted by Chef Felipe’s wife, industrial designer Hayley Riccio, who was inspired by the white ceramic plates of Ettore Sottsass.
In the main dining room, a work from Oliver Jeffers’s “For All We Know” collection has pride of place while a commissioned piece by Argentinian artist Alexandra Kehayoglou, whose mossy carpet transformed a Dries Van Noten runway in 2014, enlivens the private room. “One of my favorite moments in the room is the site-specific fiber artwork by Alexandra Kehayoglou,” says McKinley. “It completely takes over the back wall and ceiling of the dining space, engulfing guests in this lush, landscape-looking nature scene. It is remarkable and really serves as a focal point for the entire space.”
Additional works by Ted Larsen, Chaz Bear, Rosemarie Auberson, and Kate Shepherd contribute to the restaurant’s atmosphere akin to a talented collector’s artfully designed residence.
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2021 Spring issue. Subscribe to the magazine.