Archive for August 30th, 2008

Cafe Annie & Bar Annie – Houston

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

1728 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056-3802
Tel. 713-840-1111
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Expensive-Very Expensive

UPDATE: CAFE ANNIE IS PERMANENTLY SHUT. Link to new post on RDG Grill, Bar Annie & BLVD Lounge

The venue has moved to 1800 Post Oak Blvd. close to the old location, although is entirely different in concept.  RDG Grill Room and Bar Annie are an evolution of Cafe Annie’s white-tablecloth dining room with an expanded bar concept, while BLVD Lounge is a completely new casual idea. the service hours will expand and pricing will be under $20 at the bar and from $20-30 for main courses at the RDG Grill.

Following is the original post I wrote on Cafe Annie & Bar Annie. See RDG Grill, Cafe Annie & BLVD Lounge for the latest information:

I first met Robert Del Grande and his wife Mimi at Cafe Annie’s original location in a small strip mall in Houston during the early to mid eighties when I spent a good deal of time in Houston and Dallas. I really enjoyed the easy-going relaxed feel of the place and the simple, although at the same time innovative cuisine, that Robert was turning out.
Robert had just earned his PhD in Biochemistry, but he had always loved to cook. Initially he planned to spend a little time in the Cafe Annie kitchen until he found a permanent biochemistry job. However, he found out shortly after that he really preferred cooking and Robert and Mimi took over the operation of Cafe Annie with Robert in the kitchen and Mimi in the front of house.
During the 80’s Cafe Annie’s reputation grew, with Robert winning some very important culinary awards: the James Beard Award, Top Ten restaurants in America, Who is Who of Cooking in Texas, Honor Roll of American Chefs, Food & Wine; he also appeared with Julia Child in her “Great Chefs” PBS special. He cooked for George Bush and James Baker at the Houston Economic summit along with many others. Robert and several other regional chefs including Mark Miller created what is now known as Southwestern Cuisine.
In 1989 Cafe Annie moved to its new location on Post Oak Blvd., a larger space, although not necessarily as comfortable a feeling as the previous situation. Just recently however, Cafe Annie introduced Bar Annie, the more informal option to the main dining room, with a more simplified bar menu, which reminds me more of the original space as it was in the eighties.