Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Philippe

Categories: On the Menu

philippe shrimp.jpg
Christina Uticone
Sweet rock baby shrimp salad
Houston Restaurant Week is better than Christmas -- there, I said it. Last year my husband and I went crazy trying new restaurants, finding many of our favorites through the Restaurant Week event. This is the gift that keeps on giving (and I'm counting the extra five pounds you have to work off in September). Add in that part of the proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank, and this is definitely The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

I recently got an invitation for a sneak peek at the Restaurant Week menu at Philippe, a restaurant that has been on my "to-try" list since its opening back in February. The media tasting included dishes from both the lunch and dinner menus Philippe will be serving during Restaurant Week. If the dishes were chosen to pique my curiosity, it worked -- I made a reservation for lunch on my way out the door. (Okay, a table-side visit from the handsome French chef didn't hurt. I'm a sucka for great hair, and this man has great hair.)

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Photo: Katherine Orellana
Sherried onion soup
Appetizers

Both appetizers we sampled were chosen from the HRW lunch menu. The sherried onion soup was made with house-made "Pain de Mie," Gruyere cheese and a sherry wine broth. The soup was a little sweeter and less savory than a "traditional" French onion soup, and I might have liked just little bit more of a meaty flavor from the broth -- that said, I can hardly quibble when there was no shortage of nutty Gruyere melted on top.

The second appetizer was a salad of sweet rock baby shrimp dressed with a vanilla citrus vinaigrette, garnished with mango, avocado and freshly shaved coconut, served atop a bed of mesclun greens and mint. The shrimp was a hit for me: light and lunch-friendly in terms of both flavor and size, I could easily eat a large portion of this over greens as a stand-alone lunch dish. I thought it had a nice depth of flavor without filling me up too much to contemplate a second -- and third -- course.

Main Course

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Photo: Katherine Orellana
Grilled skate wings
Our main courses were chosen from the HRW dinner menu. As with the Sherried onion soup, the beef short rib ravioli were a bit sweeter than I expected, from the tomato confit and garlic sauce; black olives niçoise provided a necessary salty component for balance. The beef short rib filling was soft, melt-in-your-mouth luscious--definitely not my Gram's version of Sunday ravioli.

The second main course was a grilled skate wing served alongside an "old fashioned mush potato, with porcini mushroom and olive oil" with a grenobloise garnish, lobster vinaigrette and mesclun. All I can say about the fish is "yes, yes, yes, yes, yes." The rich, buttery, caper-laden grenobloise sauce stood up to the skate, pushing back against the firm texture and sweet flavor of the fish. Plus, it's super-pretty on the plate.

Dessert

philippe financier.jpg
Christina Uticone
Brown butter financier
Both desserts were lovely to look at, and came in a nice, lunch-friendly portion: a key lime pie, and a brown butter financier with roasted apricot and pistachio ice cream. I will confess to not being much of a key lime pie person, though I've tried to cultivate an appreciation for it over the years. And the brown butter financier's buttery richness and light, lemon-y flavors really stole my heart. What can I say? I like my cake, and I'll eat it, too.

Click through to find a full list of participating Houston Restaurant Week restaurants, as well as a selection of menus.



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Location Info

Philippe - CLOSED

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
Homecoming DJ
Homecoming DJ

That onion soup looks amazing! I always love an event centered around a good cause- and charities definitely need it nowadays. Great post!

Anonymous
Anonymous

When did skate wing become popular to serve in restaurants? I've noticed it popping up a lot lately. I know restaurants used to pass off skate or stingray wings as scallops, but until recently I hadn't seen it served as what it actually is.

Christine Ha
Christine Ha

This place is on my list for HRW. Thanks for the sneak peek. Would you personally go for lunch or dinner?

trisch
trisch

Where else have you seen it in Houston?  I love skate wings.  They are a mainstay on restaurant menus in coastal France, and I ate more than my fair share of them on vacation in Normandy.  Makes sense that they would be on the Philippe menu.  Looking foward to trying them there and wherever else they are served in town.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Philippe made a point of telling me how great a value the lunch menu is, so "bang for your buck" wise I think lunch is a good choice. The shrimp salad is "to die"--small shrimp like that can get rubbery fast, but my salad was perfectly cooked. I also loved the light in the dining room midday--very airy and relaxed atmosphere.

That skate is on the dinner menu though, and it was sooooo yummy. Let me know what you decide!

Ralphy
Ralphy

Skate is frequently on the menu at Feast.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I actually saw it at several restaurants on a recent trip to Wyoming. Then noticed it mentioned here and thought maybe this is a new trend or probably just new to me. Didn't know if this was part of the recent trend to serve bycatch or other fish not traditionally served in restaurants in this region.

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