A Houston restaurant has earned a major nod from international magazine Robb Report: March, the acclaimed Mediterranean-inspired tasting menu restaurant led by Goodnight Hospitality partners chef Felipe Riccio and master sommelier June Rodil, has nabbed a spot on the publication's annual 10 Best New Restaurants in America, coming in at a laudable No. 2 on the list, along with buzzy Dallas restaurant Meridian and eight other top eateries from around the U.S.
Robb Report fancies itself an expert in the realm of luxury, and is known for its numerous lists on topics such as Most Anticipated Restaurants and Most Beautiful Restaurants.
This Best New list, which was released on June 14, spotlights 10 establishments that are "curating indulgent menu's alongside fun, relaxed ambiences." The theme is not just best, but also "fun":
...As Robb Report traveled across America this past winter and spring, visiting restaurants in the wake of the industry being battered by COVID-19 for two years, we sensed a new mood emerging. Offering exceptional cooking was no longer enough. If a restaurant’s business recipe didn’t include some joy and swagger amid an atmosphere of conviviality, it found itself noticeably emptier than those that did.
A populace starved for the once-routine act of going out wants to go big. Restaurants are more than willing to accommodate with theatrical tableside service and dishes that practically beg diners to break out their phones and broadcast the opulence of their outings on social media. After two years of pandemic cheerlessness, diners want a taste of the good life, and the best new restaurants in America are giving it to them.
The list is compiled by Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report's culinary editor, along with digital editor Justin Fenner. Robb Report is well acquainted with Houston, having named James Beard Award winner Chris Shepherd the best chef in the world in 2019. Two Austin restaurants earned spots on the magazine's 2020 Best New Restaurants list.
March, the highly rated Mediterranean fine-dining restaurant in Houston, came in at an impressive No. 2 on the list. March has racked up an impressive set of awards including being named the sixth best new restaurant in the country by Esquire and one of the state's best new restaurants for 2022 by Texas Monthly. Chef Riccio won the 2020 CultureMap Tastemaker Rising Star Chef of the Year Award for his work at sister concept Rosie Cannonball, and March earned a boatload of nominations in this year's awards, including Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Wine Program of the Year.
The Robb Report applauds March's ability to deliver a comprehensive experience that includes food, service, and decor.
Tasting-menu restaurants are a high-wire act. In the wrong hands, the procession of courses can feel like drudgery, the waitstaff robotic, the atmosphere self-serious and the over-manipulated food too precious. But when the service, food and design all align, the effect of a superior tasting-menu establishment can be transportive, enveloping you in its charm. That describes master sommelier June Rodil and chef Felipe Riccio’s March.
The latest from the team that lead Goodnight Hospitality (Peter and Bailey McCarthy are the other two partners) is a restaurant fully in control of itself. From the illustrations on the cocktail menu to the stylish sconces on the walls to the architectural garnishes on the drinks to the smart-but-not-obtrusive service to each table setting of china to, finally, every single course that comes out of the kitchen, March nails all the aesthetic details. As for the food, the restaurant focuses on the various cuisines around the Mediterranean and twice a year deep-dives into a specific subregion. So one menu may feature a lobster-and-octopus tart from Occitania in the South of France and another a bison carpaccio from Andalusia, Spain. But no matter its origins, every dish will be exceptional.
The other Texas restaurant on the list is Meridian, chef Junior Borges's exciting Brazilian restaurant that opened in Dallas' The Village in 2021, and has earned a pile of accolades including CultureMap's 2022 award for Best Restaurant in Dallas, as well as Best New Restaurant in 2021. Borges was also a 2021 nominee for 10 Best Chefs in Dallas. In addition, Meridian was on the 2022 list of best new restaurants by Texas Monthly.
No. 1 on the list is San Ho Won, a San Francisco restaurant featuring dishes from Korea from chefs and fine-dining veterans Corey Lee and Jeong-In Hwang.
Others on the list include Kasama, a Michelin-starred Filipino restaurant in Chicago; Les Trois Chevaux, a Chinese restaurant employing French techniques in New York; Horses, a Los Angeles spot from a husband-and-wife chef team; Audrey, a Nashville eatery from famed chef Sean Brock; Tomo, an Asian tasting restaurant in Washington State; Mena, a New York restaurant with a global menu; and Callie, a Mediterranean spot in San Diego.