Shelby's Social Diary
The French Cowboy lassos in a rollicking crowd as he shows off his still-newrestaurant — Philippe
The French bubbly flowed. The taste temptations were awesome. And the day was ideal for late-afternoon schmoozing with a French accent.
It was a Sunday fete that drew a fashionable bunch, surpassing 500, as chef Philippe Schmit threw open the doors of his namesake eatery and lounge on Post Oak Boulevard for an official, invitation-only, grand opening of a restaurant that's been drawing raves since late January.
Happily, the weather was perfect for the party that spilled out onto the sidewalk where the grill was smoking as ribs, sausage and other meats were given the gourmet treatment. For the day, chef Philippe, the self-styled French Cowboy, introduced a saddle-adorned fence on the patio where wildflowers topped cocktail tables.
The kitchen was hopping churning out French-inspired fare including croque monsieur, ahi tuna, escargot and the like plus hearty beef sliders and shrimp shooters. Tables of yummy wines and cheeses, a vast table of French pastries and other taste sensations kept the crowd grooving until well after sundown.
Lead investor Jamal Daniel beamed over the proceedings while his wife, Rania Daniel, received congratulations on two of her paintings that were selected for the restaurant. The Colton & Farb Gallery was the source for the art collection that lines the walls and Carolyn Farb was on hand with art photographer Jay Rusovich. Also taking bows for their work were Philippe Restaurant + Lounge interior designer Lauren Rottet and architect Shafik Rifaat.
Spotted traversing the central staircase, sampling the good eats and perhaps sipping on the champagne sangria were chef Bryan Caswell, Debra and Mark Grierson, George Lancaster, Jeff Love, Aliyya Stude, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Tod Eason, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Rob Rutherford, Terry Zmyslo, Sylvia Forsyth, Greg Morago and Jonathan Glus with Alton LaDay.