It’s tough to know what to expect from a chef whose blog is “frenchcowboyhouston.com.” But Philippe Schmit has garnered a reputation for great cooking and a somewhat brash attitude. Since leaving Bistro Moderne, he’s been away from the stove blogging and working on his much-anticipated new restaurant that has now opened in the BLVD Place on Post Oak.
This restaurant has two levels, like its neighbor RDG, with a lounge on the main floor and dining on the second level. The lounge offers the now ubiquitous artisanal cocktails and bar bites. There’s also a smaller bar upstairs where you can dine overlooking the open kitchen. An expansive open space, Philippe has a warm, contemporary vibe. It’s hip but not pretentious. And … drum roll …. you can hear yourself talk.
The service was friendly and accommodating. We were forewarned by the waiter and he was right — the food came out very quickly, too quickly. (Although, surprisingly, it could have been warmer). We recommend that you space out your order. Upon leaving, the waiter let the valet know to have our car ready, which was a nice touch.
We tried a couple of the cocktails — the Blessing (vodka, strawberry, pomegranate and lime juice — a little too sweet) and the Texas Cowboy (bourbon, lillet and agave syrup — yum). We moved on to the dish we try at every restaurant — the fried calamari (we know… we need to move past our obsession for this decidedly non-foodie dish, but we are continually seeking perfection; in this case, nicely executed, but not a showstopper); berkshire pork ravioli with chorizo “smoothie” (ravioli were good but the chorizo flavor in the sauce was MIA); duck confit shepherd’s pie (by far the best dish, rich duck in a delicious sauce, a very unique Anglo-Franco twist; served lukewarm, it was quickly replaced with a hotter version); and burgundy beef cheeks (a very good version of a classic French dish although a little more sauce would have been welcome, sided by an appropriately rich American classic mac & cheese).
Despite the glitches, there were many other items on the menu we’d like to try and we look forward to returning.
1800 Post Oak Boulevard