We all know that the Main Line derived its name from the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s once prestigious line, now SEPTA’s Paoli/Thorndale Line, that ran parallel to Lancaster Avenue from downtown Philadelphia to the western suburbs.
Many a discussion in the affluent towns along that line – Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, and Radnor, to name a few – has been had about the exact boundaries of the Main Line.
Most would argue that, from a geographic standpoint, it does not extend as far west as Malvern.
Although Malvern may not have much of an argument in terms of its location on the map, it’s undoubtedly in the same ballpark, socioeconomically, as the other traditional Main Line communities.
Which is why the Main Line Today – a magazine that is required reading for residents of the upscale neighborhoods in Haverford, Rosemont, Villanova, etc. – doesn’t think twice about holding its annual Food & Wine Affair at The Desmond Hotel, located in … Malvern.
To hear Christa McLaughlin, the magazine’s strategic market development manager, put it, there are a number of reasons that the publication continues to partner with Chester County’s premier hotel.
Even though there several other wonderful establishments closer to their “home base.”
“The Desmond is wonderful at what they do, at providing a welcoming environment,” said McLaughlin. “This is our fifth year of doing our Food & Wine Affair with them. They work hard to excel at customer service and have a justified reputation for quality.
“Stylistically, The Desmond is representative of our readership.”
The Affair commences with a Grand Tasting on Friday from 6-9 PM. It will feature wines from around the world and craft cocktails, along with specialty-food stations hosted by some of the most exclusive restaurants in the Philadelphia suburbs.
A week later, on Sept. 23, is the Winemakers’ Dinner, a sumptuous multi-course dinner paired with specially selected wines. The evening and silent auction raise funds for the Main Line Today’s beneficiary, the Paoli Hospital Foundation.
That one-of-a-kind event kicks off with a selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, followed by these six courses, with the accompanying premium wine in parentheses:
- Course I: White Tomato Mousse, Last of the Year Heirloom Tomato, Yellowfin Tuna, and Yuzu Pepper (Cline Chardonnay)
- Course II: Seared Scallop and Lobster Crepinette and Corn-Ginger Veloute (Georges de Boeuf Pouilly Fuisse)
- Course III: Onion Tart, Porcini Mushroom Jus, and Prosciutto di Parma (Cline Pinot Noir)
- Course IV: Turbot Fillet, Pinot Noir-Truffle Reduction, and Pecan (Georges de Boeuf Cru Beaujolais)
- Main Course: Filet Mignon Medallion, Sweet Potato, Grilled Artichoke, and Parmeggiano (Donatella Columbini Brunello di Montalcino)
- Dessert: Pear and Fig Claufouti with Vanilla Marquise and Aged Pear Vinegar (TBA)
The meal will be prepared by Chris Calhoun, the Executive Chef at The Desmond. Classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America, his creative menus are designed with an emphasis on the finest seasonally available ingredients, uniquely matched and meticulously prepared.
“Chris really cares about people,” said Kim Mullen, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Desmond. “He likes buying local to help the community. He’ll buy tomatoes from the guy down the street to give him a chance.”
“Chris Calhoun puts his heart and soul into every dish,” said McLaughlin. “If you come to the dinner, you better come hungry.”
Mullen and the folks at The Desmond, of course, appreciate that Main Line Today has chosen their facility to host the Food & Wine Affair.
“It’s a relationship that’s been in place for a long time, and I think it speaks volumes,” said Mullen. “There are a ton of beautiful places from here to Haverford, but they chose us. And we welcome that.
“Main Line Today has a large audience, and they always have so many nice things to say about us. That word of mouth really is the best type of advertising.”
Click here for more information on the Food & Wine Affair or to purchase tickets to one or both of the events.