Vivacious, stylish, and always at the right parties, Marsha Brown, owner of the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse franchise in Philadelphia, is the kind of woman we all want to be when we grow up. For the past 15 years, her recipe for success has yielded three separate locations, including the newly relocated Ruth’s Chris in the swanky Sonesta Hotel on Market Street. Here the restaurant maven gives us the lowdown on the yummiest spots our fair city has to offer.
2013 Chestnut St., (215) 563-3330
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Best hidden foodie gem?
An out-of-the-way gem that I always seem to have to remind myself of is tucked up in South Philly and called The Saloon (750 S. 7th St., (215) 627-1811). I love the calamari and peas and the braciola. It’s classic old world Italian, which I always love and appreciate. In Ambler, Ristorante San Marco (504 N Bethlehem Pk., (215) 654-5000) is another hidden gem, with owners Josephine and Leo, who have their own garden on the property for the freshest ingredients along with a great little piano bar.
Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
If they have time and only after experiencing the many awesome restaurants in Center City, I take out-of-towners on a relaxing ride to Bucks County along the Delaware River. They are amazed at the beauty of the area and unique experiences. Of course, I’m including my own Marsha Brown Creole Restaurant in charming New Hope (15 S Main St., (215) 862-7044).
Best place to catch up with friends?
If it’s a large group of friends, Estia in Center City (1405 Locust St., (215) 735-7700) is fresh authentic Greek/Mediterranean menu. If you want it to be more intimate, upstairs at The Dandelion (124 S 18th St., (215) 558-2500) is always a fun and delicious experience with friends.
The best dessert you ever had in Philly?
It goes without saying that Termini’s (1523 S 8th St., (215) 334-1816) is an institution in Philadelphia, so the cannoli is a must- have dessert. It’s the perfect blend of crunch and cream, always freshly made. The best pound cake ever is at Stock’s Bakery (2614 E Lehigh Ave., (215) 634-7344) because it reminds me so much of the one my Grandmother baked when I was a child. It’s really addictive — not too sweet, but amazing in every way.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House is located at 1800 Market Street in Philadelphia.
Follow Jennifer Logue on Twitter @jenniferlogue