Philippe Restaurant + Lounge
We visited Philippe Restaurant + Lounge during Houston Restaurant Week (HRW) after hearing rave reviews from other reliable sources. We were not impressed. For some reason restaurants do not take the opportunity to "show off" as we feel they should during this time. The HRW event allows you to visit restaurants that you normally would not or those you want to try for the first time. This is the same rule of thumb used by The Urban Swank Girls. Unlike notable figures, like Pappa's Steakhouse, Philippe Restaurant + Lounge chose to serve a not so great menu which clearly was aimed at pushing new business away. Unfortunately, visiting during HRW left a sour taste in our mouths. With that said, if we have a "so-so" visit during HRW, we will typically give the restaurant another opportunity and try out their regular menu. In the case, not happening...lol! We don't mind restaurants serving a non-traditional menu or items they don't normally offer, but it should still be a reflection of your work.
Visiting this restaurant would be just as bad as giving someone a fruitcake during Christmas...you think it's the right thing to do, but it's not...lol! Now, now...it wasn't all bad.
We had such high hopes for Philippe since most of the buzz about the place had been relatively good; and when you walk through the doors the ambiance is amazing. On the first floor you have the lounge that offers plenty of seating in a VIP-booth like fashion. On the top floor you have the actual restaurant. It was definitely SWANKY! However, those previously conjured high hopes turned into disappointment when we received our food! It is very rare that we have dined at a restaurant of this caliber and the food be so bad. We decided to go with the Houston Restaurant Week menu, which was clearly a mistake.
The Salmon Tartare looked great on the plate (yes that is it on the picture), but it had no taste and seems to have been left out to long because it was very slimy. Next was the main course of Beef Short Rib Raviolis (right...that sounds so darn good!). We are personal fan of anything that has short rib in the name, so we were anticipating greatness. Ummm...nope! They were so greasy that neither of us finished (how do you finish something you can’t even start). This had the makings of a great dish, but they dropped the ball. The final course was dessert and we were honestly scared to try it! Thank goodness for the pastry chef because the Key Lime Pie was D.E.L.I.C.I.O-US. We wanted to order an entire pie given the portion size. We assumed, since it was a Houston Restaurant Week item they gave us a baby portion, or at least it appeared to be (we were still starving from the mishaps they called the first two courses). Even with that being said; I don’t think this is one that will be seeing our faces in the place anytime in the near future. Remember...it's not just about the food; it's about the experience!