French Restaurant in Houston Renews Dine-For-Charity Program

Chef Philippe Verpiand

After suspending it for a time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in early March 2021, French restaurant Étoile at Uptown Park in the Galleria area renewed its commitment to raising money for area charities through monthly prix fixe menus. It’s something that the owners, chef Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui, have done for nine years.

Until the end March 2021, the special menus — which change frequently though the month — support Abandoned Little Angels. The organization was founded in 2002 and donates funds to organizations helping impoverished children in Vietnam, such as orphanages, educational centers for disabled children and centers for vocational training. It’s contributed over $200,000 annually to 30 different centers and, more recently, has also contributed to organizations in Houston that facilitate stateside adoption of abandoned and orphaned Vietnamese kids.

Etoile Cuisine et Bar at Uptown Park. Photo by Debora Smail.

There are two fundraising menus: a four-course for dinner that costs $65 and a three-course for weekend brunch that is $36. (Prices do not include tax and gratuity.) The dinner menu raises $7 each, while the brunch prix fixe raises $4.

This isn’t the first time that Étoile has raised money for Abandoned Little Angels — and when the restaurant needed support the most, the organization returned the favor. In April 2020, when dining rooms were ordered closed due to COVID-19, Abandoned Little Angels ordered meals from Étoile to give to hard-working nurses at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Étoile is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. The valet service is gratuity-only. Call (832) 668-5808 or visit the website for reservations.

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