Chic Grits

The homemade breads and muffins, which accompany each meal, are reasons enough to eat at Ouisie's Table (3939 San Felipe, 713-528-2264), but the dish that commands the most admiration is the restaurant's shrimp and grits ($16). The creamy grits are bright yellow, thanks to the addition of tons of cheese. With the consistency of their Italian cousin, polenta, they're denser than most grits. A saffron stock forms a sort of moat around the bottom of the plate, separating the grits from the six Gulf shrimp surrounding the top. What makes this dish really chic, however, is a spicy sauté of fresh mushrooms, scallions and large chunks of bacon that comes with it, imparting a smoky, zesty flavor.

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Paul Galvani