Location: 33 East 60th Street
Cuisine: Chinese (Beijing Style)
Best Dish: The ribs are by far some of the best we’ve had thus far.
Overall: Despite its glamorous fans and dress code, Philippe Chow is a comfortable casual dining experience. Though the potential celebrity sightings are a fun and voyeuristic reason to visit the food and exemplary service is what will keep you coming back.
If you want to eat like a celebrity while in New York City, you simply must get yourself to Philippe Chow. This quaint unassuming venue is as popular for its celebrity sightings as it is for its cuisine. Executive Chef Philippe Chow designed a menu that is filled with tasty Beijing style fare, presented artfully and portioned generously. The portions are designed to share for a fun surprisingly casual experience despite the high end glamorous clientele. On any given night, since celebrities don’t have curfews, you can be sure to spot entertainers, athletes and reality stars. We went on a Tuesday night and the space was buzzing with excited patrons enjoying plates of tasty edibles. Whether you are actual big deal or you simply think you are, prepare to be treated well by the staff. The friendly hostess ushered us down the stairs from the chic bar area into the comfortable dining space. We sat in a corner booth near the stairs, a great position to be in as it allowed us to look over the entire space with ease. Despite the electric atmosphere and dim lighting celebrity sighting is relatively easy, though when your food arrives you will likely forget all about what anyone else is doing or having. The sumptuous menu is full of familiar dishes as well as several signature items from the well-known chef.
We kicked off our meal with a round of premium cocktails. My Foodie Bestie had the Bangkok Banana a sweet cocktail of Malibu Banana, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and grenadine. I ordered the powerful Philippe Passion. Despite its fruity color this is delicious drink packs a punch. This is made with Grey Goose Poire, Ciroc Peach, mango, lemon juice, and cranberry.
While working on our beverages we were presented with our appetizers. We are major carnivores so we started with the glazed Spare Ribs. The ribs are tender and juicy with a savory sweet glaze. We were so engrossed in our ribs we didn’t even notice two NBA legends, Patrick Ewing and Ralph Dalton’s arrival two tables away from us. We would have continued to not notice them if it weren’t for the excited conversation and camera flashes from the table directly next to theirs. Though such close proximity to basketball legends was exhilarating, we knew he would likely still be there after we polished off our ribs so we went back to our meal.
After the ribs we sampled a trio of dumplings. The bite sized dumplings are piping hot served in a bamboo steamer. There were six in all 2 chicken sieu mai, 2 jade and 2 vegetable. The Jade was the clear favorite, it was filled with Shrimp and bamboo shoots.
As we waited for our entrees we watched in amused silence as Patrick and Ralph posed for photos and autographs with several of the patrons. Despite the excitement it was rather subdued. The flashing and laughter didn’t disturb anyone as this is likely a familiar occurrence when dining here. The golden rule when spotting celebrities doing normal people activities is to acknowledge then disappear, however anyone dining in the main dining room is likely friendly and open to being noticed. Paparazzi allergic celebs who crave a taste of Philippe Chow, dine away from prying eyes downstairs in the private dining areas. We hear Beyonce and Jay Z love to dine there.
We watched the spectacle just long enough for 2 of our entrees to arrive. We ordered the Peking Chicken which takes a full 45 minutes to prepare. While waiting for the chicken we devoured the Crispy Beef, King Prawns and Lobster fried rice. Crispy beef is tender strips of beef fried crispy then drizzled with a sweet sauce similar to General Tso.
The King Prawns are big juicy prawns breaded then smothered in a light garlic sauce. The tasty sauce was appetizing but not heavy perfect for the warmer weather.
The lobster fried rice is a mouthwatering treat brimming with generous amounts of succulent lobster.
While waiting for the chicken we enjoyed another fabulous cocktail. The Philipptini is a tropical mixture of Absolut vodka, lychee & pineapple juices, Citronage, and Chambord.
The chicken arrived table side beautifully carved accompanied by thin flaky pancakes ad veggies for wrapping as well as sweet Hoisin sauce for dipping. We wanted the duck initially but 7 pounds of duck is a bit much for just two people. The table next to ours ordered the duck and it was quite a show. They brought the whole duck out and carved some table side.
We finished our evening of fine dining with the amazing Red Velvet cake. The thick layer of sweet cake beneath an equally decadent layer of cream cheese frosting had us in foodie heaven.
Celebrity sightings may be a regular occurrence at Philippe Chow but the real star is the delicious food, welcoming atmosphere and hardworking staff. While it’s perfectly understandable to want a photo or autograph try not to pester your more famous diners they came to the eatery for the same reason everyone else does, to satisfy their taste-buds not your curiosity. Philippe Chow will surely see us again and again!