Mon-Sat, noon-4pm and 6pm-midnight; Sun, 2pm-11pm
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, R, W at Fifth Ave.-59th St.; N, R, W at Lexington Ave.-59th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Philippe Chow (no relation to Michael) helped perfect Mr. Chow's colorful, heavily flavored brand of Chinese food. But after 26 years of loyal service, Philippe up and left, taking almost all of Mr. Chow’s menu, a waiter or two, and many of Mr. Chow’s cooks (most notably Wai Ming Cheng, creator of “Mr. Cheng’s Noodles”) with him. The dining area is long and a little cramped, with a room upstairs and a small room in back dominated by a spindly, towering flower arrangement. The walls of the rooms are a dull shade of white, and the tables are tiny, so the impression you get, as the waiters rush around in their slightly tattered white jackets, is of dining in the officers’ mess of a crowded and very clamorous submarine. The vividly colored dishes are pitched to heavy Western palates, loaded as they are with industrial amounts of cornstarch and sugar, and if you overdose on them, you risk lying awake late into the night, staring bug-eyed at the ceiling, listening to the palpitations of your heart. The prices at Mr. Chow’s have always been high, and at Philippe they’re absurd. The lone exception is the surprisingly regal Peking duck, which costs $75 but is cut tableside in the traditional manner and is as big as a Strasbourg goose.