Regulars Include Carmelo Anthony, Rihanna and Nas; Restaurant Opens Its Doors To BOSSIP
It’s where Beyonce and Jay-Z like to go when they want a meal away from prying eyes, where Rihanna donned a party hat to host her grandpa’s birthday dinner and where Dwight Howard once wolfed down 62 chicken satays in one sitting.
Philippe by Philippe Chow is an upscale, midtown Manhattan restaurant that has been quietly dishing up Beijing-style Chinese food to celebs for the past decade. The eatery boasts a roster of regulars from the professional sports, entertainment, political and business worlds: Rihanna, 50 Cent, Adam Sandler and Lebron James are regulars, and executive chef Philippe Chow has personally catered events for the likes of Justin Bieber and Bill Gates.
“To have a chance to see all of these people is great,” Chef Chow told BOSSIP, adding that Carmelo Anthony signed a card for his son’s birthday.
But does he get nervous cooking for the A-list?
“I’ve been cooking for more than 20 years, so it’s second nature,” the chef said. “I’m not nervous, I’m happy because I’m a huge fan of the NBA.”
Philippe is the type of place people go to before they hit the club. It has private dining rooms for shy celebs like Nas and Jay-Z, who have both dined there. Oprah is a fan of the green prawns, while Kobe Bryant and Lebron James love the chicken satay.
“We have everybody,” Philippe CEO Steve Boxer told BOSSIP. “We’ve got the gamut.”
Former AOL chairman Richard Parsons was at Philippe for lunch during BOSSIP’s recent visit; the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham and Ben Gordon from the Orlando Magic came in for dinner the night before.
“The last time Jay-Z came in here, was maybe a year ago,” Boxer said. “It was a friend’s birthday, and I’m friends with the same friend, so I went up and said hello. Blue Ivy was just born, so I congratulated him on the birth of his daughter, he’s very private, very quiet. We don’t push. I said hello, and then I walked away.”
“In this business, you have to know when and how much time to allocate to celebrities,” Boxer added. “Some of them are so warm and open, and they’ll talk to you for an hour. Some of them you can tell within five seconds that your time is up. But our experiences have been very positive.”Oprah Winfrey’s favorite dish at Philippe is the green prawns; the prawns are marinated in spinach
One of the eatery’s regular customers is Rihanna, who had Philippe cater her Met Gala after party. They even stayed open for her granddad’s late night birthday dinner.
“Rihanna was here for her grandfather’s birthday. I went upstairs, and there she was with her little party hat on, she was with her father. They introduced me to everybody; I met her mother, the whole family. Very, very, very nice people. The image we get from the media of them is very different from when we see them ourselves.”
The biggest celebrity tipper, says Boxer, was Floyd Mayweather.
He “is probably the biggest tipper out there,” Boxer said. “He’s known for walking around with a few hundred thousand dollars cash, in a bag. When he comes in, he just drops. It’s very generous of him.”
Boxer credits the eatery’s food, service and commitment to protecting customer’s privacy as some of the reasons why the celebs keep coming back.
“One thing that drives a lot of them in, is that we’re so used to having celebrities here that we don’t look at it as a big deal, and they like that,” he said. “So we make them feel like they’re regular people here.”