Houston >RDG Bar Annie
“Texas Monthly magazine named RDG the best new restaurant in Texas.”
James Beard award-winning Chef Robert Del Grande is thought to be the pioneer of Southwestern cuisine. Don't miss the tortilla soup, the crab tostadas or the RDG Burger and hand-cut fries (burger is just $10 at lunch)!
Gorgeous architecture and consistent food.
With warm brown wood panels, mixed with brushed steel accents and pale green tones, the setting is urban modernity with touches of Mies Van der Rohe chic. RDG feels upscale, and if they meant it to be so, they achieved their goal. I love the lit wooden stairwell upon entry, the marbled bar counter, and smooth wooden wall dividers that extend to the ceiling.
The food is always superb, but definitely on the expensive side. Drinks and appetizers for 4 at Bar Annie (regular menu), set us back $160+, and the crowd reflects the prices. Mojitos run $11-13, wines $12-$17+ by the glass. Appetizers like their bacon wrapped quail were $16, and a small plate of hamachi was similarly priced. This is definitely not a hangout for the young and hip, but for the more mature uptown socialites and silvery businessmen. I love it but I feel like I should be older and have more money in my wallet.
But times are changing, and with a new Happy hour bar menu offered Mon-Fri 4-7pm, with $6 food and drink specials, RDG may be able to attract more diverse background. Their participation in Houston Restaurant Week this week also opened the doors of affordability for those of us who still need to watch what we spend. The skirt steak was smoky, tender, and perfect. The soup and dessert were on the lackluster side, and the drinks are still expensive but a visit to RDG is a great excuse to dress up, look great, and indulge in great food at one of the most beautiful and consistent restaurants in the city.
Cafe Annie Reinvented.
The legendary Cafe Annie didn't close, it just moved down the street to a glamorous building with a second-floor patio and sublime lighting. It is now called RDG, which are the chef's initials.
Texas Monthly magazine named RDG the best new restaurant in Texas. Forbes magazine and Gayot/MSN named RDG as one of the Top 10 New Restaurants.
Chef Robert Del Grande, who is RDG, has received numerous culinary awards and honors including:
• Food & Wine – Best Restaurant Houston 1999
• Food & Wine – Best Wine List Houston 1999
• America's Top Tables – Gourmet 1999, 1998 and 1997
• Chef of the Year – 1998 Culinary Award
• The DiRoNa Award – Distinguished Restaurants of North America 1997
• The James Beard Award 1992
• The Ivy Award – Restaurant and Institutions 1992
• Fine Dining Hall of Fame - Nation's Restaurant News
• Who's Who of Cooking in Texas
• Honor Roll of American Chefs – Food & Wine
He also was featured in the PBS "Great Chefs" series with Pierre Franey in 1992. Del Grande also appeared in the 1994 PBS production "Cooking with Master Chefs," featuring Julia Child.
My old Cafe Annie favorite was the crabmeat tostadas; now, RDG reinvented it to "Gulf Crab & Haas Avocado w/ Watercress & Apple Slaw Tortilla Chips". I miss the rabbit enchiladas, but there are so many other delectable items to choose from, I'll live.
The bar is still called Bar Annie, and it is hopping on Thursday nights. They have special lighting that makes everyone look younger. I have friends who go to power lunches all day and love to people/fashion watch here.
Most of the staff has been there 20+ years and are practically family. One can still see Mimi Del Grande, Candice Schiller, and Lonnie Schiller, the other owners there, on most nights. VIP customer service is a tradition here.
It is expensive, but don't feel guilty eating here. The Del Grandes and the Schillers contribute frequently to Houston's non-profits. These two special families also started Cafe Express and Taco Milagro.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!