Straying from her steak experience as franchisee of three area Ruth's Chris restaurants, Marsha Brown returned to the cookbook of her New Orleans childhood with her eponymous eatery. Order Louisiana favorites like sassy sautéed catfish and eggplant Ophelia in the unlikely setting of a restored stone church in New Hope.
After a day of wandering, try the sunset menu (served between 4 and 5:30 p.m.) at the Piper Tavern sherry-laced snapper soup and tenderloin bleu max are standouts. Reserve the enclosed, private porch for a romantic dinner. Interested cooks should stay in the dining room to see the action of the open kitchen.
For a midday break, grab a fistful of paper napkins and claim a picnic bench at the family-run Dilly’s Corner (Junction River Rd. and Rte. 263; 215-862-5333) in Centerbridge. Order a Dilly Dog (topped with peppers, onions, and French fries) or a juicy cheeseburger and pick up a playing card off the top of the deck. They'll call out your card when the order is ready.