A great indication that a restaurant is evolving (and growing) is the ever so frequent change in their menu. This happens for many reasons including the need to align with seasonal vegetables and ingredients, a change in the overall direction for the restaurant, and/or a new executive chef; just to name a few. Well, these reasons were not the driver behind the newly created seasonal menu that Chef Philippe Schmit, also know as “The French Cowboy”, is now offering. Chef Schmit received this notable title for his approach and ability to combine his French roots and culinary background with the bold flavors that can only be influenced by Texas. So, in an effort to give us more of what we wanted, he is giving us ten (10) more reasons to see why his French/Texas inspired culinary delights have made us loyal patrons. Philippe Restaurant is not only a place to “be” and “be seen”; it is a place to enjoy the beautiful marriage of two very distinct cuisines that seem to be perfect companions.
On the new menu, you will find items such as the Lamb Rack + Navarin (a Cajun mustard-crusted lamb rack and lamb stew with mint and licorice, chickpeas, spring vegetables, and radish shavings). This dish, with its fresh flavors, could be easily cut with a fork. I found the lamb to be clean tasting and not “gamey” at all. The Black Sea Bass (slices of seared wild bass with crispy skin, soft grits, grilled corn, and pernod demi glace), was another favorite. The perfectly sliced pieces of fish were asthetically pleasing and the cripsy skin of the sea bass seemed to lock in just the right amount of moisture for the fish while providing the slightest crunch. My other pick comes from an item that is already on the menu, but is a must have and truly displays the a multi-cultural influence. The Prime Cowboy Steak (with grilled asparagus, potato gratin, corn bread, bbq sauce) was the highlight of my meal. The temperature was perfect, the BBQ sauce should be bottled and sold, and I couldn’t keep my fork out of the potato gratin. Other memorables dishes were the Shrimp Ceviche (lemon and lime, cilantro, espelette, pickled onions, pisco portón with fried green tomato chips) and the Parisian Gnocchi (asparagus, peas, oyster mushrooms, parmesan shavings, and truffle oil).
And we couldn’t leave without sampling dessert as well:
Black Forest Cake (white and dark chocolate mousse with chocolate cake, brandied cherries, chocolate shavings, and cherry sauce)
Campfire Napoleon “French S’Mores” (thin graham tuile, warm toasted marshmallow, valrhona caramelia mousse, and caramelized chocolate sauce)
Tres Leches (with coconut chantilly, pineapple chip, passion fruit caramel, and fresh mango)
I love that Philippe Restaurant offers so many options for its guests. For lunch, both the “Lunch To Go” program and the Master Chef Lunch (a prix fixe lunch option for $20) are great choices. You can even check them out this month for Houston Restaurant Weeks where they are offering a great menu for the cause. Also, new to the menu is a rotating daily punch service. You will find cocktails like the Fish House Punch (dark rum, cognac, peach vodka, simple syrup, lemon and lime), Pimms Punch (with vodka, Pimms No. 1, lime juice, simple syrup, mint, orange and cucumber), and Wild Berry ()with berry vodka, St. Germain, limoncello, fresh strawberry, blueberry and blackberry and cava).
I left Philippe Restaurant impressed. Impressed by what he has accomplished with a menu that blends two very different cuisines. It is a menu that I could enjoy again, and again, and again. But don’t take my word for it…check out the photos…they speak for themselves!
Philippe Restaurant + Lounge
1800 Post Oak Blvd Houston, TX 77056
Urban Swank did receive a complimentary tasting, but the opinions expressed are our own.