Last week I made a spur of the moment decision to dine at RDG+Bar Annie, Robert Del Grande’s elegant restaurant in the Galleria section of Houston. I ordered the Restaurant Weeks menu, and for $20 was treated to three courses … All very good, one excellent. I started with a chilled corn soup – the excellent course – and proceeded to a nearly perfect hanger steak and frites, closing with a chocolate brioche bread pudding. The soup was creamy, fresh roasted corn, touch of spiciness imparted by a dollop of smoked chile, garnished with cotija. I drank a 2011 Jean-Louis Chave Côtes du Rhône ‘Mon Couer’ and am now ordering a case of this beautiful wine.

A lovely touch I encountered in the restaurant … Actually, two lovely touches: a framed handwritten letter from Julia Child to Chef Robert Del Grande hangs on the wall, and when the hostess (I later found it that it was Mimi Del Grande I was talking to) saw the book I was reading, a volume of Johnny Apple‘s NY Times dispatches, she told me that he and his wife, Betsey, were frequent guests . She added that his business card was still in her wallet, and produced it for me. I like how food and passion connects us.