The appetizer sampler ($12) at Basil Grill (7952 Westheimer, 713-782-2745) is the perfect way to explore the wonders of Persian cuisine at this new, family-run restaurant. It comes with four appetizers picked by the chef. The exquisite borani is steamed spinach mixed with yogurt and garlic. The baba ghanoush is vastly different from any eggplant dip you may have tried, since it is entirely smooth and much lighter in color and taste. The olivieh is a chicken salad containing potatoes, eggs, peas and dill pickles, along with chunks of chicken in a homemade mayo. And Basil's refreshing herb platter consists of fresh basil, mint and slices of radishes and chunks of feta. All of this is accompanied by fresh, homemade, sesame-topped pita bread, which alone is worth the trip.
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