The food at Philippe is unique and delicious – In no way is it your traditional Chinese cuisine. Born out of Mr Chow’s in Manhattan the restaurant holds its own and has a good crowd and energy. If you have a chance try the outpost in Miami too. A little tamer but the food is just as good.
But I digress. On the evening we dined at Philippe we were relegated to the upstairs – the equivalent of Siberia but it was prime dinning time and we did not feel like waiting for a better table downstairs. It was a full house , the music was loud really loud, and the conversation filling the room even louder. There was just way too much noise in the restaurant. It’s impossible to have a decent conversation without yelling loudly.
The restaurant was accommodating to our requests to lower the music (slightly) but we were still screaming to hear each other. Overall, the service was quick and very attentive but we did not feel rushed at all. . Our waiter took our appetizer and entree orders and we were served within ten minutes. Not bad for such a busy spot.
It would not be a proper visit to Philippe without ordering the squab lettuce wraps, served with sticky sweet plum sauce. Every bite of this specialty appetizer was delicious and savory.
Next up was Philippe’s infamous chicken satay. I’ve had this dish several times over the years, and every bite is always divine. The chicken has a reddish hue (don’t really want to know why) and is served in a special cream sauce that adds another level of complex flavor that makes the dish so memorable.
I could never dine at Philippe without ordering the Crispy Seaweed, known on the menu as gamberi. It is extremely addictive, and probably will send your cholesterol through the roof, nevertheless, it’s worth every calorie and/or consequence.
For our entree, we ordered the Live Maine Lobster, smothered (in a good way) with ginger, scallions, and cracked black pepper. This dish, like many at Philippe are meant for sharing. Additionally, they offer half orders which in many cases are also more than enough for two people to share.
A couple of other notes: downstairs, the noise level was slightly better but not by much; . The food is almost always a sure thing. There are no bad dishes here.
The take away: If you don’t mind noise or have no interest in what your dining companion has to say you will enjoy a memorable meal, but it you want to have a serious or thoughtful conversation you might be better served ordering take-out.
POKERprimaDIVAS, is a New York-based organization that promotes corporate team building and client entertainment to empower women through poker. Philippe meets the POKERprimaDIVAS standard of quality – innovation and a comfortable, female friendly environment.