The Mark of Excellence

Just when you thought you had experienced all possible dessert epiphanies, the raspberry shortbread tart ($6.95) rolls along at Mark's American Cuisine (1658 Westheimer, 713-523-3800). The house-made individual pastry shell is thick and moist with butter, and flaky beyond belief. It's filled to the brim with warm-baked raspberries, which bubble over with tart, fruity sweetness and ooze onto the plate with each forkful. Chilled, freshly whipped cream and fragrant mint crown this sinfully delicious creation. It's large enough to share, but you may decide not to. After all, the season for sharing is over.

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