Special Spears

Asparagus, from the Greek word meaning "stalk" or "shoot," was first cultivated in Greece 2,500 years ago. The crispy herb asparagus ($7.95) at the Post Oak Grill (1415 South Post Oak Lane, 713-993-9966) raises this classy ingredient to new heights. Four large spears are rolled in panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) then flash-fried, creating a crisp coating while leaving the asparagus nice and firm. A relish of finely diced tomatoes and roasted peppers is served on the side, as are four leaves of Belgian endive drizzled with a spicy rémoulade sauce. Lump crabmeat and shaved Parmesan top it all off. It's a spectacular appetizer.

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