Le Meridien Philadelphia’s chic French bistro, aMuse, has a new executive chef — Jennifer Salhoff. The restaurant veteran most recently served as executive chef at Cuba Libre in Old City and even made it to the final round in 2014 on the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen,” hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay.
The 37-year-old hails from upstate New York and originally went to school for industrial design and movie makeup, but fell into the restaurant industry.
“I found I could be just as creative with food,” she says. “It’s just another form of art.”
When Salhoff isn’t creating masterpieces in the kitchen, she enjoys spending time with her kids and exploring Philly’s vast culinary landscape. Here are some of her top picks on where to eat.
Best late night meal?
Best late night meal for me would be The Good King Tavern (614 S. 7th St.), great ambiance and strong cocktails! The steak tartare is great also the mussels are a go-to choice.
Best meal under $10?
Anywhere in Reading Terminal (51 N. 12th St.), you can get a great meal reasonably priced under $10, plus I also get to check out fresh produce for nightly specials.
Best hidden food gem?
Fond (1537 S. 11th St.) on East Passyunk is a foodie gem, they have great food and Lee is a very talented chef always pushing the envelope. He is always changing the menu so I’m always surprised.
Best place to send out of towners?
Since I work at a restaurant located in Le Meridien hotel, I deal with a lot of out of towners, so my first recommendation is aMuse (1421 Arch St.). If they are looking to venture out of the hotel, I recommend Barbuzzo, the Italian food is great. I really like their fresh pasta and Italian food appeals to most people, so it’s always a safe bet that they will enjoy themselves.
Best date spot?
Double Knot (120 S. 13th St.), the ambiance is great and it is dimly lit which creates an intimate atmosphere for dates. The sushi there is delicious!
Best place to catch up with friends?
A great place to catch up with friends is Time (1315 Sansom St.), they have communal seating and whether we want to catch a great jazz band or just hang out in the whiskey bar, it’s always a fun place to go together. I always get friends to try the bone marrow and they are always shocked by how much they like it.
Best place to dine alone?
Good Dog (224 S. 15th St.), it’s a great place to grab a seat alone at the bar to grab a beer and enjoy the company of great bartenders. They have rotating taps which is always fun to try a different beer, sometimes inspiration comes in the bottom of a glass. The Good Dog Burger is probably one of the best in the city and it comes with sweet potato and regular fries.
Most Instagrammable restaurant?
Maison 208 (208 S. 13th St.), this is such a fun restaurant with incredibly photogenic cocktails. They also have a retractable roof top bar which is a really cool place to hang out. When it comes to their dinner menu I always go with the pork shank or the pan-seared diver scallops. Both photograph great and taste even better.