In most relationships, two years marks a major milestone. In restaurant years, when the litmus test tends to be somewhere around the six month mark, two years means success, and that is cause for celebration.
This week, Philippe Schmit's eponymous French restaurant, Philippe, is celebrating its milestone two-year anniversary with a special menu that offers a bit of the past, present and future. Served in three courses that actually encompasses nine mini-courses, you are, in effect, receiving a nine-course meal for the unbelievable prix-fixe cost of $40.
Offered from now through Saturday, Feb 9, the meal starts off with a trio of Schmit’s most popular starters representing 2011, 2012, and 2013. Love escargot? If so, revel in 2011‘s tasting of Escargot in Potatoes, an ingenious preparation wherein a red potato is used as a vessel to hold escargot. Tomato confit and pernod garlic butter bring bright savory flavors to this twist on a French classic.
Also included in the first course was a lovely wild mushroom salad representing 2012. Formed into a small round and served atop shoestring potatoes with porcini oil, enjoy the musky, almost truffle-like aroma of the mushrooms, which are smokey and woodsy in flavor. To exemplify the future, Schmit chose his elegant crab and avocado salad. Served in a shot glass and topped with a fragrant dollop of lime and cilantro infused foam, it definitely tops my list as one of Schmit’s most inspired appetizers.
The main course, again, featured three courses representing three years. I couldn’t quite choose a favorite among the trio of baked lemon sole over polenta with a truffle port sauce (2011), burgundy beef cheeks with macaroni and cheese (2012), and duck magret paupiette overs sauteed spinach with gingerbread sauce (2013).
What I can say is the lemon sole was cooked to perfection, the burgundy beef cheeks were rich and achingly tender, and the duck breast simply delicious. With each taste, my girlfriend and I would exclaim over this or that -- the sauce, the texture, the presentation, the wine pairing (presided over by rock-star sommelier Vanessa Trevino Boyd, whose recommendations were spot-on).
By the time we received our trio of desserts -- a couple of Texan-inspired churros (2011), black forest cake with brandied cherries and cherry sauce (2012), and a delectable traditional tarte tatin (2013) by pastry chef Jamie King, we were definitely feeling in a celebratory mood, and I couldn’t help but think that Philippe’s anniversary menu was our reward -- a reward of nine courses, impeccable service, fine ambiance, and Philippe’s signature dishes for just $40.
Philippe’s 2nd Anniversary dinner only offered for a few short days-- from now through Feb 9, 2013. For information and reservations, please see contact information below.
1800 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 6110
Houst1800 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 6110
Houston, TX 77056