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Philippe East Hampton

If a restaurant hotter than Philippe opens this summer, global warming will be proven. Glistening with black lacquer and subway tile, strategically positioned mirrors, plus enough tan and blond to brighten the lighting, this could be a set for "Real Housewives of the Hamptons." Fueled by Philipptinis and Nuvo cosmos, it's a perpetual-motion spot with recession-proof prices, a celeb-alert show - and, most important, some very good Chinese cuisine. This is the East End version of the East Side eatery. Philippe Chow also has outposts in Miami Beach and Mexico City. The chef-owner, who enjoys theater on the plate and in the dining room, takes over the site of last year's Kobe Beach Club, a spectacle remembered for its samurai-sword chandeliers. Voices still bounce off every hard surface. And now, background tunes, irony-free, include "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and "Heart of Gold." If you need more, Lily Pond nightclub adjoins

Philippe.

THE BEST

The one-course production of Beijing duck, carved tableside, headlines Philippe: crisp skin, moist meat, crepe-thin pancakes, excellent. The house's kung pao chicken suggests a price spike in peanuts, and an affection for the sweet more than the spicy. But it's tender. Shanghai-style soup dumplings, with pork or crab and pork, lead the bamboo-steamer openers. Likewise, the snappy lettuce wraps, with either minced vegetables or chicken.

Tasty satays, from chicken and beef to shrimp and vegetarian, arrive with a diverting cream sauce; Alaskan halibut, with a balanced sweet-and-sour; and red king crab legs, salty-sweet with garlic and butter. Desserts go West: good red velvet, mixed berry and chocolate cakes, avoided by the imperially slim.

THE REST

Dull scallion pancakes, overdone shrimp spring rolls, bland vegetable dumplings and pork-and-black mushroom sieu mai, forgettable peanut butter mousse cake.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Chow time.

Open for dinner every day, from 5 p.m. Weekend reservations necessary.  American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa accepted. Tight dining area.

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