Philippe By Philippe Chow restos have a few breast cancer awareness initiatives happening this month. I went to the downtown location in the trendy Dream Hotel (355 West 16th Street) to get the full Philippe Chow experience!
I actually visited for Philippe Chow’s official breast cancer awareness dinner called Chow For A Change on October 26th and loved every minute of it! There was no special menu but there were amazing pink drink specials and the servers all wore pink ties and gave out pink Philippe Chow rubber bracelets as guests exited. Five per cent of the evening’s total proceeds and 15 per cent of the special pink cocktails sales were donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
I had to start off my visit with one of the pink cocktails for the occasion! I tried the Strawberry Lychee Martini featuring homemade strawberry and lychee syrups, vodka and vermouth then topped with a lychee and a strawberry on a long toothpick. This goes down smoothly and is ultra refreshing. Some guests told me that this drink has even held over indefinitely so that you can order it anytime at Philippe By Philippe Chow locations. I could easily knock back five or six of these since they are so refreshing!
My dining guest Gail Worley of worleygig.com and I love Fried Pork Dumplings and Philippe Chow’s are some of the best around. They actually have over a dozen varieties of dumplings that are generous in size and never greasy or overly crispy. They have turned dumpling making into a true art. You get six dumplings per order with classic brown sauce and they ooze juice when you bite into them, so get your napkins ready!
Another weakness of mine is Scallion Pancakes. Philippe Chow’s version is unique as each pancake wedge is perfectly golden and crispy with small chunks of onion. The pancakes have a firmness that you rarely find and they are almost the consistency of pita chips. Like the dumplings, there is no oil residue of any kind (although I actually like that in some Chinese dishes) and the pancakes come with a unique rice vinegar dipping sauce with just the right degree of tanginess.
Next, it was entree time and we fell in love with the description of the Beijing Chicken because it had red bean sauce, something that we have never tried before. This portion was huge and could be easily shared by two people. The sugar coated and roasted large walnut halves and the slightly spicy kick in the sticky red sauce sent us reeling. If you like General Tsao’s chicken but hate that the chicken is breaded and fried, try this dish with juicy chunks of unbreaded chicken breast and thank me later. By the way, Philippe Chow is famous for their Chicken Satay which I got to sample at the recent NYCWFF Trade Tasting and on my next visit to Philippe, I am definitely going to order both the Beijing Chicken with Chicken Satay as an appetizer. (The Satay is covered with an unforgettable yellow curry based light yet creamy sauce.)
Another winner (and a runaway bargain at $34 to boot) is the filet mignon and sugar snap peas which drenched in flavorful classic Chinese brown sauce. Above is the small portion (you can order a large portion as well)—and it is immense! The filet mignon is grass fed and grain finish, making it marbled and juicier than most filet. This dish is a real crowd pleaser for the steak lovers in your life. The sugar snaps used are organic and tender.
We “sided” our chicken and filet mignon dishes with PC’s amazing Pork Fried Rice, loaded with pork pieces, scallions and all sorts of colorful veggie chunks. Wow, this was a meal in itself and we had to take some home!
My dining pal Gail and I were very stuffed after sharing two apps and two mains, so we opted to share a dessert. We wanted to try the Red Velvet Cake since our server recommended it and we were not disappointed. You could tell that the cake was freshly made that day and the cream cheese based frosting was not overly sweet as it is in most restos and bakeries. This is possibly the most perfect Red Velvet Cake in the city and I feel that it should be getting more fanfare. The raspberries, chocolate and fortune cookies are all nice touches on this classic dessert!
There is a gorgeous bar at Philippe and it has a no rush atmosphere. I took the above photo just before six pm when the after work crowd and Dream Hotel guests started pouring in. There are endless signature cocktails here not available elsewhere and the mixologists take their jobs very seriously and can make some great recommendations for you if you tell them what types of liquor that you usually prefer. They might even come up with a custom cocktail just for you! For more info, go to philippechow.com. Besides the two locations in NYC, they have Miami and DC locations. Reservations are recommended but not necessary. I love the way Philippe Chow serves everything family style, making it ideal for large parties. Be sure to check the site for nights where a portion of proceeds are going to good causes, as this is a resto that loves to give back!
Photos by Anne Raso with header photo courtesy of Philippe Chow.