ISSUE 49  |  Utilitarian Glamour

Restaurant Visit: A Magical Night Sky at Romita in Mexico City

December 11, 2014 5:00 PM

BY Cheryl Locke

On a tip that the grilled octopus, or pulpo a las brasas, was worth the trek, Mimi Giboin (a contributing photographer for Gardenista and Remodelista) ventured to Romita, in the Colonia Roma district of Mexico City. And there she found a gem for architect and garden enthusiasts.

Housed in a historical building in the grand Porfiriano style, Romita’s design is inspired by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods. Greenery covers walls and rafters, and a glass roof opens to starlight. It’s now officially on our bucket list. 

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista.

Above: The postcard feature worth writing home about is a 26-square-foot glass roof with a retractable awning that lets in natural light for happy plants and diners.

Above: The kitchen serves artisanal Mexican cuisine, made with local produce: fresh avocado, cucumbers, chiles, and a variety of seafood. Tile on the back wall and checkered floors are masterfully paired, without clashing, and fit the scale of the 984-square-foot restaurant. The patterns provide a background for the simply designed wood stools, pendant lamps, and hanging ferns. 

Above: A large window swings open for a breeze on warm days, which are most days. 

Above: “My favorite place is upstairs,” says one of the restaurant’s partners, Rodrigo Espinosa. “You get closer to the roof to see the stars, and you feel far from the city, even if you are in the middle of it.”

Above: The bar will pour you a delicious margarita; the house’s specialty, however, is a menu of tea-based cocktails.

Above: Intertwining ivy softens the chain of an industrial pendant lamp. 

Above: Greenery is everywhere you look: on the walls, hanging from the rafters, potted in vintage kegs. A pipe was installed along the rafters to irrigate the ceiling plants. 

Above: A lounge area, with a modern fireplace, greets visitors, and is a chill spot to listen to guest DJs.

Above: A sculptural staghorn fern provides a modern accent above a denim banquette.

Above: The restaurant’s facade. The building is in the Porfiriano style, an architectural style named after president Porfirio Dí­az, who loved Art Deco, Baroque, and Art Nouveau periods, and combined the design languages to build Mexico City’s landmark, the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.

For more restaurants where food and decor are equally exquisite, peruse our Restaurant Visits.

If a holiday in Mexico is in your near future, see our other favorite spots: