At about 10 p.m. Wednesday, two men with guns approached the outdoor dining area of the restaurant on East 60th Street. One of the gunmen threatened diners at one table while the other gunman targeted a second table.
A man in his 30s handed over a Rolex watch while a 28-year-old man at another table attempted to grab the gun from one robber, who then shot him in the leg, police said.
The gunmen got away in a blue sedan and headed westbound on East 60th Street.
Security camera video obtained by FOX 5 NY shows the blue sedan pulling up to Philippe Chow. Then a camera from a different angle shows terrified diners running for their lives moments later.
"We heard what sounded like somebody dropping a pallet or something, which is pretty common when you have a lot of delivery trucks," an eyewitness said.
Craig Fournier and Akash Chandawarkar, two plastic surgeons who were out to dinner, treated the victim, who was on a first date at the swanky Chinese restaurant until police and medics arrived.
"People were running everywhere. We didn't know if the gunman was actually gone off the site," Fournier said. "We came down here, put some pressure on the patient's leg."
"Someone offered his belt, a tourniquet," Chandawarkar said. "The kitchen gave some gloves to work expeditiously."
The victim was taken to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in stable condition, according to the New York Daily News.
Detectives combed the scene Wednesday night and on Thursday for evidence.
Philippe Chow opened its doors at 5 p.m. for dinner, as scheduled.
Neighbors fear Upper East Side restaurants are becoming an opportune target for rising crime, considering people are "more accessible" on the street.
However, Steve Millan, who owns Gray Hawk Grill on Second Avenue, said most restaurateurs cannot afford to hire private security.
"It is for a small business, even a mid-sized business, it gets very expensive very quickly," he said.
Philippe Chow was named after famed chef Philippe Chow. His eateries are frequented by celebrities including Cardi B and Justin Bieber.