March Restaurant in Houston has the perfect dining space

Suddenly, June Rodil realized that the exit signs for March, a new fine dining restaurant in Houston, were ugly. Or maybe they just might look good. So she worked with the design team at Studio Robert McKinley to source custom exit signs based on vintage signs (you know, when fonts were cooler). Then she had the new panels retrofitted to meet safety requirements – for that warm, code-compliant glow. When I dined there last year I thought they were the most beautiful exit signs I have ever seen.

Every detail of March has been so carefully thought out that Rodil, partner and master sommelier, laughs at herself when she tells me everything she did to find the perfect bathroom scent. But the details matter! Especially when trying to whip up the most elegant and memorable meal in town, one that transports diners to the Mediterranean, even though they can see the mall and the CBD store on Westheimer Road through the window. (The unobstructed view is intentional.) I was blown away by the food, service, and champagne buckets. I wanted to steal the water glasses and run away with the porthole of pink vermouth. But I did not do it ! Instead, I asked Rodil to share their secrets.

Photograph by Jody Horton

The Tapestry

The highlight of the show is a tapestry woven by Buenos Aires artist Alexandra Kehayoglou that is meant to give the impression of a place where the Mediterranean landscape meets the lush wealth of Texas agriculture (much of the restaurant’s produce comes from a farm near Bellville that is owned by mars partners Bailey and Peter McCarthy). It spans the ceiling and runs along the far wall of the private dining room, encapsulating diners in green and coincidentally serving as a sound absorber. Go ahead, touch it!

Photograph by Jody Horton

Tables and stools

Industrial designer Hayley Riccio, married to chef and March partner Felipe Riccio, has designed dining tables with tops that unscrew like giant lazy Susans. White shower cap-style tablecloths fit snugly over it to create a clean, modern look without any drapery. And what do you know, Rodil’s husband, Aaron, is also an industrial designer. He created the Purse Stools that give everyone a place to put their phone…and maybe even forget about it for a few hours.

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