Friday, January 9, 2009

Cafe Annie

Cafe Annie
1728 Post Oak Blvd
Houston TX
This former French restaurant has been turning out upscale Southwestern food for at least 20 years. I know because I went there in the late 80s. Last fall I had a chance to go there again. I meet with two friends and a new acquaintance. For a restaurant situated in a strip mall, abet a high end, with a plain exterior the interior proved magnificent.
Service began with the arrival of some delicious French bread and butter. When I do get to go to superior restaurants I make the most of it. Doing it from soup to nuts. I started with an Avocado and Fennel Salad with House Smoked Salmon. I am a sucker for in house smoke products. On a bed of thinly sliced salmon equally thinly slice fennel and avocados with Argula made a pile with a creamy dressing drizzled on top. The anise flavor complimented the salmon and the textural mouth feel of smooth versus crunchy made it interesting. The avocado boosted both the salmon richness and smoothness, my kind of salad.
My friend and his wife ordered Roasted Corn Soup with Smoked Chiles while the new acquaintance got Wild Mushroom Soup with Tuffled Croutons. My taste of the corn soup revealed an intense corn flavor with slightly spicy kick. I suspect the broth was made with corncobs. The new acquaintance expressed delight with her soup. My Black Bean soup with Pico de Gallo and Queso Fresco come out pureed with a nice spice level with a chunky pico and chunks of white cheese. Very satisfying as it was a cold dreary day.
My friend’s wife went for Pan Roasted Stripe Bass with Sautéed Greens and Green Mole Sauce. My taste showed flaky moist sweet fish with a crispy seasoned skin. The new acquaintance got Wood Grilled “Center Cut” Skirt Steak with Potato Enchilada and Spicy Salsa. My taste of this steak was juicy and well seasoned. My friend ordered a Wood Grilled Hanger Steak with Bitter Chocolate and Almond Abobada. Again the steak cooked just right and the mole like sauce complimenting it all the way. I opted for the Texas Farm Raised Red Fish Roasted in Banana Leaves. Presentation was splendid. On an open banana leave I received a perfect cooked fish filet with a spicy rub crust. On top grilled grape tomatoes and a very spicy guacamole with a side of spectacularly creamy white grits. The various combinations of flavor and textures I put together while consuming this fabulous entree worked wonderfully, spicy versus bland, tart versus unctuous, etcetera. A world full of taste
I did not take pictures of desserts but looking at the menu I probably went with a cheese plate. Service was perfect. This place is well worth a visit but get reservation even for lunch ahead of time. They have had overflowing crowds for nearly 20 years, a classic that constantly reinvents itself.

1 comment:

Celeste said...

I went to Cafe Annie for the first time back in November; as with your visit, everything was wonderful. I had that corn soup--it was killer, and the hoja santo salad w/roasted poblanos was delicious. Can't wait to return...