In the same way that the announcement of Goodnight Charlie’s seemed somewhat sudden and surprising, yesterday via press release, it was announced that the Goodnight Hospitality team — master sommelier David Keck and partners Felipe Riccio and Peter McCarthy — have huge plans for the future.
How huge, do you ask? Well, considering the fact that the Eater Houston interpreted the press release with the headline “Master Sommelier David Keck’s Goodnight Hospitality Plots Montrose Takeover,” by the time the project is done, the corner of Kuester and Westheimer will have been transformed into something else entirely, housing not just one but three distinct new Goodnight Hospitality concepts: Montrose Cheese and Wine, what Keck describes as “Montrose’s first cheese shop;” Rosie Cannonball, a casual European-style eatery with a wood-burning oven; and March, a 28-seat tasting menu restaurant and showcase for Riccio’s culinary talents and Keck’s wine mastery.
Despite the seeming suddenness of the announcement, the project was a long time coming. “It goes back to 2014, when we were planning The Edmont with Grant [Gordon]” Keck explained via phone conference yesterday. “When Grant passed, Pete and I weighed our options and ultimately chose to turn that space into a honky tonk, but we knew that we were going to do a restaurant in the long run,” he says.
The successful acquisition of the Buffalo Exchange lot brought the restaurant plans to a head, with a slight twist: “Though our first plan was to move into the building and renovate, Curtis & Windham [the architects] said that we would save money and time by taking the building down entirely and working from the ground up,” says Keck. “So that was when we said, ‘Why not do multiple concepts in the same space?’”
Keck says that Montrose Cheese and Wine became a logical spinoff because of the retail sales component — being allowed to sell wines, for instance, that were showcased at a wine dinner. Keck and Riccio will work with Lindsay Schechter of Houston Dairymaids on a list of cheeses to complement what Keck describes as an independent wine shop-style “highly curated selection of small production wines.”
Rosie Cannonball will feature a Southern European inspired menu with a thread that goes through France, Spain and Italy, and what Keck says will be, “An homage to the casual dining culture of Europe, with a great, super fun wine list and a menu will be centered around a wood burning oven and wood burning grill.”
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“March, I’m describing it as this study what ‘Mediterranean’ means,” says Riccio. “We have the privilege of doing a tasting menu with smaller seating. It will be more intimate. There’s going to be lots of research involved.”
In a statement sent to the Houston Press after the conclusion of the conference call, Riccio expands further on the meaning of March: “March will study the question, “What does the Mediterranean mean?” by researching the gastronomy, history, and cultures of the region. The word ‘march’ historically signifies an area of land on the border between two territories—an edge, or frontier. I am very inspired by these borders where two different entities meet. The Mediterranean is a collection of ‘edges’ that have endless layers of cultures, ideas, skills, that all stem from constant immigration. There is a tension and richness that can be reached by no other means.. The fact that I am, myself, an immigrant gave the name a personal connection. It is the story of my life, and I celebrate it in my food.”
There will also, according to Keck, be some very cool wine.
The three concepts will be rolled out sequentially, beginning with Montrose Cheese and Wine in late 2018, Rosie Cannonball in first quarter of 2019, and March in late summer to early fall of 2019.