No one knows Houston restaurants better than the people who run them, own them and work in the kitchens. In this continuing series, CultureMap is asking our favorite foodie personalities around town where they go for great eats when they're not working.
With his classical French training and penchant for all things Texas, chef Philippe Schmit has intrigued comers since arriving in Houston and taking the helm of Hotel Derek's since-closed Bistro Moderne.
Now hard at work on his own eponymous eatery, Philippe Restaurant and Lounge — set to open in mid-November at BLVD Place — Schmit is giving foodies a behind-the-scenes view of the work behind a restaurant opening at his new blog, The French Cowboy.
This untraditional Cowboy slowed down enough to tell CultureMap about his romantic nature and his French toast obsession.
Restaurant to take out-of-towners to: Ibiza. Charles (Clark) is a good friend of mine, his food is very consistent and he has a great bar and I like the atmosphere. I just had a friend in from New York and that's the first place we went.
Afterwards I'd take them to the bar at Hotel ZaZa for drinks.
Favorite meal: The first place I think about is Picnic. I like to go on dates there, they have the lights low, and it's very pretty. I like romance — I do! It's not the most challenging cooking, but it's a combination of little things that are very nice.
Breakfast/Brunch favorite: I like to go to Stella Sola because they have the most incredible French toast. I'm getting so hungry just thinking about it — it's truly amazing. They have so many incredible things on their brunch menu — they have great egg dishes too — but I always go back to the French toast.
Dessert: I love the milkshake at Little Bigs with the Kahlua in it. I drink it so fast it gives me a headache every time.
The best dessert I've had so far was at Tony's by Jami Kling — she was my pastry chef at Bistro Moderne — she gave me a panna cotta with roasted walnuts, it was one of like three desserts she brought me and they were all to die for.
Other articles in the Houston Chef's Table series: