Society / Featured Parties

Iconic Houston Restaurant’s Reboot Brings Out a Who’s Who for a Wild Food Feast

The Annie is Already Drawing Power Crowds

BY // 09.27.19
photography Jacob Powers

As if the bed of succulent raw oysters, the mounds of boiled shrimp and the humongous bone-in ribeyes served in the Post Oak Room weren’t enough to whet the appetites of those lucky ones invited to preview The Annie Café & Bar, there were the passed bites of chef Robert Del Grande’s iconic crabmeat tostadas and coffee roasted tenderloin to remind that there was something old and something new in the re-imagination of the heralded Café Annie.

More than 250 foodies and friends crossed the threshold of The Annie before Thursday’s opening for a night of open bar, Flashdrive music (a DJ accompanied by a Richard Brown string quartet), and more than enough samplings of the new menu to satisfy even the huskiest eaters.

Consider the Ahi Tuna Crudo with avocado, cucumber, fresno chile, grapefruit and jicama broth; the Roasted Duck Breast skewers with mole sauce; The Annie Steak Tartare with quail egg, green peppercorn sauce and toast; and the Huitlacoche Mushroom Tarts, (a spin off of Del Grande’s popular Wild Mushroom Soup). And that was just part of the cornucopia of mini offerings from the new menu that guests such as Elizabeth and Alan Stein and Martha Adger and James Madget sampled.

Among those applauding the new look were Karen and Kevin Henry, longtime friends of owner Ben Berg, and Catherine and Dean Giuffre, who found a perch on the newly-organized patio overlooking Post Oak Boulevard. Berg, Del Grande and The Annie operating partner Sam Governale soaked up the praise from guests who were practically giddy over the transformation.

A special addition on this celebratory night was artist Justin Garcia’s Liquid Lights installation, “art that you can touch and taste.” Explanation: Tiny vials of liquor for the taking backed by LED lights in the shape of a palm (a signature plant of the new restaurant/bar) and a photo booth moment happening when the vials were consumed.

Mid-evening, The Annie trio, led by Berg, toasted the throng and then welcomed a rousing mariachi band which emerged to top off the evening.

PC Seen: Monica Berg, Tina Governale, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Lou Savarese, Frani and David Denenberg, Luvi Wheelock, Luba and Alan Bigman, Katherine Whaley, Karen and Dean Patrinely, Sherri Gordon, Nicki and Joe Francisco, Carly Shuttlesworth, Donna and Dr. George Glass,  Katy Mayell Ellis, Emily Hanley, Kate and Christian Easterling, Whitney Sharman, Jaylin Marcel, Kara Smith, Tua and Bryan Burk, Roz Pactor, and young John Daugherty.

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