Fast Snails

Anthony Butkovich

One of the most popular appetizers at Crostini (2411 S. Shepherd, 713-524-8558) is the lumache (snails) with grilled polenta ($8.95). Perhaps the simplest and most famous way of preparing snails is to smother them in a garlic-butter sauce and then bake them. At Crostini, however, they marry the chewy gastropod mollusks with a trio of grilled polenta pancakes that are crispy on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside. The pancakes sit on top of a bed of creamy white wine sauce with roasted sweet peppers, artichoke hearts, fresh tomatoes and basil. The dish epitomizes what Italian food should taste like.

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