Exploring the Artistry of Chez Philippe in Memphis

Chez Philippe, located inside the Peabody Hotel, recently was voted the #1 hotel restaurant in the United States by USA TODAY Readers.


We recently paid Chez Philippe a visit to give the updated menu a try under new Chef de Cuisine Keith Clinton. I left more impressed than my first visit–which already had set a high standard.

interior of Chez Philippe
Trey Clark

Stepping into Chez Philippe is to step into elegance and sophistication. The muted palette and dressy decor gives me Titanic vibes. Ironically, they once held a Titanic-themed dinner so I think I'm on to something there.

Chez Phlippe is one of the few restaurants in Memphis that always offers a seven-course pre-fixe menu – if not, the only? Let me know if I’m wrong. Either way, Chez Philippe is the definition of fine dining.

I believe everyone deserves to have a dining experience like what you get at Chez Philippe where you are treated so well that you may experience imposter syndrome. Because Chez Philippe is a fine dining experience, it does come with a higher price tag. For many of us, it's not something we can do often but if you are searching for a place to celebrate in a truly special way – this is it.

cocktail dressed up with container it's sitting in
Jalyn Souchek

Ahead of the meal, we ordered cocktails. I got the Bisap Rouge made with Old Dominick Gin, simple syrup hibiscus tea, and hibiscus flower. It was presented as beautifully as it tasted. According to the menu, it was inspired by their associates from Senegal.

My fiancé ordered the Tennessee Manhattan with Old Dominick Whiskey, Antica vermouth, Punt e Mes, and black walnut bitters. He said it was one of the best he’s had.

We also did the wine pairing which came with generous pours. The wines were adventurous and ones I was not previously familiar with.

portrait photo of new chef Keith Clinton
The Peabody
Keith Clinton, new chef de cuisine at Chez Philippe

Keith Clinton is the first Memphis-born chef to lead Chez Philippe kitchen

This is an exciting time for Chez Philippe coming off the USA TODAY best hotel restaurant distinction and recently welcoming Keith Clinton as the new Chef de Cuisine. He marks the first Memphis-born chef to lead the kitchen there.

Before coming to Chez Philippe, Clinton was a private chef (for a Memphis Grizzlies player). Prior to that, he spent ten years at Erling Jensen. He is a connoisseur of local farmers markets to keep the menu fresh, local, and seasonal. The menu changes a little bit every few weeks to reflect what's in season.

I was looking forward to see what upgrades he brought to the dining experience and there were many. One obvious change is Clinton’s introduction of complimentary tasting dishes between courses. The transition pieces are small but packed with flavor. I believe one of them was a piece of souffle with eel in it. When I popped that in my mouth, it exploded with flavor.

With Clinton, you'll get a creative fusion of flavors each course.

tuna crudo in dish with table and wine visible
Jalyn Souchek
Tuna Crudo with avocado, cherry blossom, and grapefruit
langoustine, tarragon & basil fumet, trout roe, ocean greens
Jalyn Souchek
Langoustine with tarragon & basil fumet, trout roe, ocean greens

Speaking of courses, let's get to the menu.

First things first, Chez Philippe offers a seven course meal or a four course where you can decide between a choice of two options each round.

As mentioned, the menu changes seasonally. There are staples like the Braised Short Rib that you might see on the menu always but the way it’s dressed up will likely be different with more seasonal sauces and seasonings. This course came topped with an apple, orange, and ginger glaze.

The offerings are so unique you may find yourself asking the waiter to repeat it several times to fully grasp everything that makes up each dish.

One of my favorite courses was the Langoustine, with tarragon and basil fumet, trout roe, and ocean greens. I could have licked the plate clean if this wasn’t one of the nicest restaurants in the city.

two pieces of amuse bouche in bowl
Jalyn Souchek
Amuse Bouche
braised short rib, hearts of palm, apple, orange and ginger glace
Jalyn Souchek
Short Braised Rib

Another dish worth writing home about was the Tuna Crudo with avocado, cherry blossom, and grapefruit. This was the dish that Clinton was most excited about and one he came to the table to introduce. The grapefruit and tuna blended so well with fumet broth that gave the dish a savory but sweet taste.

Honestly, I could find a reason to write about every dish of the seven courses but I have a word-count to be mindful of. I will quickly add that I was very happy that the Japanese bread was still on the menu. It’s warm and delicious with a hint of sweetness.

Don’t forget to save room for the dessert. Take a peek at the menu.

beef tenderloin, blue cheese espuma, almond tuille, buttermilk crumb
Jalyn Souchek
Beef Tenderloin with blue cheese espuma, almond tuille, buttermilk crumb

I hinted at this early on but the impeccable service at Chez Philippe is truly the best. The staff's attention to detail, knowledge of the menu, and genuine warmth creates an environment where you're not just a diner; you're a cherished guest.

Chez Philippe is a true celebration of the artistry of culinary and dining.

ice cream in two dishes
Jalyn Souchek


Chez Philippe
2638, 149 Union Ave #4
Memphis, TN 38103

Thurs – Sun, 5:30pm – 10pm


Peabody Afternoon Tea at Chez Philippe

Thursday - Sunday - Noon - 3:30pm

bread course with two butters
Jalyn Souchek

About the Author

Hello! I'm Jalyn Souchek, the Director of Content for I Love Memphis Blog! I love calling the 901 home. When I'm not running the blog you can find me cheering on the Grizzlies, at a concert, exploring a new restaurant or kicking back at one of our breweries. I hope you'll love experiencing Memphis with me.

Build your perfect Memphis meal:

I love to eat so if I were to have only one meal left.. I’m going all out. I’d start with an app of Gumbo Fries from Blue City Cafe or Bayou Fries from Chef Tam, wings from Good Fortune or Central’s (honey gold and Jamaican Jerk), potato salad from Fat Larry’s, side of bbq spaghetti from Bar-B-Q Shop, and fried okra from Soul Fish. All paired with a Beale Street Brewing Space Age Sippin’.

Your most memorable Memphis moment:

College GameDay on Beale Street. That was an electric and perfect morning. I was still working in news then and was able to take it in up close and on the stage at some points. The fun and joy of everyone down there that morning is unbeatable.

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