Last night after pouring and speaking about Italian wines at my client’s tasting in Houston, my friend Julio treated me to what he calls “best margarita” at the legendary RDG Bar Annie, where there may be a recession going on but there is no shortage of bling and great food.
Above: Many believe that owner and master chef Robert del Grande is the founding father of “Southwest American” cuisine. His signature shrimp meatballs were delicious. Raw shrimp is finely chopped and formed into balls and then poached. Tex Mex gefilte fish!
The margarita recipe? Equal parts Herradura Silver Tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice (half Persian lime, half Key lime). “Silver tequila has that stoney minerality,” said Julio, “that we Chablis drinkers like so much.”
Above: Fried tortilla strips topped with crab meat and avocado. Soooooo good, especially paired with the cocktail. Also not to be missed, although not as photogenic, are the crab beignets with creamy Tabasco sauce.
I gotta say (and I’m not kidding here, Alfonso!) that this was the best margarita I’ve had since moving to Texas and Julio is right: the dominant minerality balanced the acidity of the lime and the sweetness of the Cointreau, making it more food friendly than any margarita I’ve ever had.
Above: Julio, left, with Bar Annie wine director José Perez Montufar.
One of the unique things about Bar Annie is that it combines Houston glamor with truly great food AND a world-class wine list. There were many trophy wines on the list, way beyond my reach, but in every section there was a little gem, like the Inama Carmenere Più, that I can afford on a night on the town.
Above: There is no shortage of bling at Bar Annie, as evidenced by the valet parking lot. The trade-in value on my Hyundai Sonata was a Christmas windfall! ;-)
2009 has been a wonderful, wonderful year for me, despite the recession and my own struggles to make a living in this economy. Sometimes it helps to have friends in high places.
Thanks again, Julio and José, for a truly special treat!
And happy Friday ya’ll! I’ve been on the road all week and “moving boxes,” as we say in the biz, and I can’t wait to get home to my super fine lady!