RDG, Valentino and Poscol in Texas Monthly Top 10
The February issue of Texas Monthly features Patricia Sharpe's takedown of the top 10 new restaurants in Texas. To our total lack of surprise, Houston restos were well-represented, including at the top spot.
Grabbing No. 1 was no other than superchef Robert Del Grande's RDG + Bar Annie. Sharpe surmises:
"Del Grande is back in the game—and how. Smart and sexy, RDG pulses with an energy that its predecessor had not enjoyed in ages. The crowd, always a bit bipolar in its division between haute and hip, has definitely expanded in the direction of the latter, as young Turks, stiletto wobblers, and other scenesters pack in nightly for drinks and nibbles in Bar Annie.... You might start with a seared sea scallop appetizer from 1992 (menu descriptions tell when most dishes were introduced, tracing the arc of Del Grande’s cuisine through the years). The scallop’s interior is as smooth as butter, and it sits atop bacon-studded grits crowned with a poached egg. From there, it’s a giant leap forward to 2009’s Texas quail, a big bruiser of a bird accompanied by a dusky fig-and-foie-gras jam. There’s also a tempting selection of hors d’oeuvres, like the tasty Asian Nachos of yellowtail on jícama, that defy categorization, chronological or otherwise."
While numbers 2-8 on the list hail from other Texas cities (San Antonio's Il Sogno, Dallas's Samar by Stephan Pyles and Austin's Perla's and La Condesa round out the top five), Houston spots close out the list.
At No. 9 is Piero Selvaggio's sleek Valentino in Hotel Derek, lauded for its "sharp, sophisticated menu," followed by Marco Wiles's Vinoteca Poscol (at No. 10), where Sharpe says the salad and salumi are must-haves, but that the true specialties are "wine and good cheer."
Our hearty congrats to the winners, though we can't help but notice that some of the biggest openings—Stella Sola, Haven, and Branch Water Tavern, to name three—didn't make the Nov. 1, 2009 cut-off to be included. Look out, 2010!