Raspberry Razzle-Dazzle

The raspberry grilled chicken salad ($13) is not just a pretty salad singing with summery ingredients, it's a substantial meal at Mockingbird Bistro (1985 Welch, 713-533-0200). In robust Mockingbird fashion, the salad arrives piled high on a large cool white platter, fluffed with various sturdy lettuces: purple radicchio, crunchy romaine, succulent endive spears, and peppery arugula. A whole pounded chicken breast, steaming and tender from the grill, is perched on top and splashed with an eye-popping bright raspberry vinaigrette. Tucked underneath you'll find layers of surprises: al dente asparagus spears cut precisely for one bite; fresh plump raspberries; a sprinkling of pungent Parmesan, and crispy smoked bacon shreds. It's a lunch that hits the right note between good for you and too good to be true.

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Robin Barr Sussman