Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2008

Our readers and critics pick their favorites.



Restaurant Taquet

Food & Drink

[Advance Hype] Maia
It seems no one has written a sentence about Maia that hasn’t included either “much-hyped” or “long-awaited.” Originally slated for a fall 2007 opening, the restaurant fueled the rumor mill for months with unofficial and official leaks about its over-the-top concept, equally ambitious packaging, food highlights and elusive birth date. Maia’s espresso bar, market and bistro opened May 6, but its more upscale, second-level main attraction alluded us until Memorial Day weekend. 789 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova, (610) 527-4888

[After-dinner Drinks] Restaurant Taquet
This once-routine Saturday-night haunt fell victim to the “has-been” label as the Main Line loaded up on trendier post-dinner options. Never really falling out of favor with savvier types, Taquet has remained one of the area’s more relaxing and sophisticated watering holes. From old-school classics and frou-frou remakes to infused brandies, vintage ports, grappa and rare Hennessy Paradis Extra, it has the cure for what ails you. 139 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 687-5005, taquet.com

[Al Fresco Happy Hour] Tango
From 5 to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, Tango offers $3 beer specials, $5 wines by the glass, and half-price pitchers of sangria and frozen margaritas. And its spacious outdoor bar literally rocks when the R5 comes barreling down the track behind the restaurant. 39 Morris Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 526-9500, tastetango.com

[Appetizers] Teca
Teca offers a tantalizing tapas-try of flavors. House specialties include grilled langoustine with lemon and olive oil, grilled lollipop lamb chops, crabmeat cocktail, and the caprese tower (layers of fresh and fried tomato, plus buffalo and smoked mozzarella cheeses, finished with shaved Parmesan and a balsamic reduction). Daily specials include four to five appetizers. 38 E. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 738-8244

[Asian Food on the Fly] Pei Wei Diner
If you’re a fan of P.F. Chang’s, you’ll love its more relaxed relative. Expect the same high-quality Asian cuisine found at P.F.’s —dishes like the minced chicken with a cool lettuce wrap—along with such tasty surprises as the Thai Dynamite (crispy chicken, shrimp or pork mixed in a blend of soy, Sriracha chile sauce, fresh lime and Thai basil). 4040 City Line Ave., Philadelphia, (215) 594-8230; Springfield Square, 950 Baltimore Pike, Springfield, (610) 549-9060; peiwei.com


[Bagged and Bulk Teas] The Head Nut
Lift the lids on the Head Nut’s big bins and inhale the scorching spice of lapsang souchong, or wander among familiar boxes of Bigelow, Tazo and hundreds of other varieties of chai, white teas, herbals and even Chinese Xierdeng chrysantheum tea. 2408-10 Haverford Road, Ardmore; (610) 642-3066, theheadnut.com

[Barbecued Pork] Jimmy’s BBQ
Local barbecue aficionado Jim Mog is setting up shop (2,400 square feet of eat-in and takeout space) in Frazer just in time for summer. One bite of his baby-back ribs, mahogany-hued chicken thighs, pulled pork, and plump hot or sweet pork sausages—all slow-smoked at 225 degrees over cherry, hickory and apple wood chunks—and you’ll find yourself in a full-on state of lust. (610) 879-8805, jimmysbbq.com

[Best-kept Secret] Jasper Restaurant
Downingtown may be a little off the beaten path, but it’s well worth the time it takes to get to Jasper, Nick DiFonzo’s New American BYO located in an old Victorian house. Locally grown, hand-selected ingredients and classic French techniques define such DiFonzo creations as rye-bread-crusted smoked salmon cheesecake with onion confit and breadsticks; baked fresh Portuguese sardines; and crisp-skinned bronzini (Mediterranean sea bass) with escargot sautéed spinach, golden raisins and grilled croutons. 78 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown; (610) 269-7776, jasperdowningtown.com


[Burger] The Wooden Iron
Happy hour is so much fun at the Wooden Iron, with its mile-long bar, whirling ceiling fans and dark mahogany walls, that it’s easy to overlook its founding approach—to beckon diners to the grill room. True to the menu’s country club premise, the burgers seem almost inevitable—the perfect end to a long day. You’ll appreciate the simplicity of 8 ounces of lean Angus Beef grilled to order. Top it off with lettuce, tomato and sliced onion. Or try caramelized onions, bacon, mushrooms or blue cheese. 118 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne; (610) 964-7888, woodeniron.com

[Burger from a Chain] Five Guys Burgers and Fries
This booming nationwide enterprise differs from other chains in one major aspect: All burgers are made daily, in-house and by hand with fresh ground beef (no heat lamps). Order your burger and choose from more than 15 free toppings, including pickles, hot sauce, fried onions, sautéed mushrooms and jalapeño peppers. Various locations, fiveguys.com

[BYO] Sola
Hailed for its polished service, elegant environs and sophisticated cuisine, chef David Clouser’s Sola features modern American fare with Mediterranean influences and locally grown ingredients. The $32 three-course prix fixe menu (weekdays) is one of the best deals around, and the $2 corkage fee is easy to swallow—as are the coffee-braised beef short ribs, gnocchi with lamb Bolognese sauce, osso-bucco-style seared monkfish, and veal strip loin with crispy sweetbreads. 614 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 526-0123

[BYO in Philadelphia] Cochon
National Pork Month is still a few months away, but that won’t keep porcine-obsessed diners away from this Queen Village BYO’s traditional French-country dishes. The roasted pig shoulder and homemade headcheese are enhanced with a nutmeg, cinnamon and clove pickling spice and sheathed in aspic. Also try the braised pork belly; crispy chicken livers with balsamic vinegar, candied walnuts and raisins; and baby lamb rack with herbed polenta cake, asparagus and balsamic reduction. 801 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia; (215) 923-7675, cochonbyob.com

[BYO Sushi Spot] Aoki Japanese Restaurant
Aoki deserves a bow for its broad selection of fresh fish, reasonable pricing and sushi-bar professionalism. Trained in Japan, Aoki’s chefs are a study in politeness and precision, turning out carefully prepared hand rolls and sashimi plates, minus the rough edges and sloppy slicing that are often the price you pay for a quick sushi fix. 126 Woodcutter St., Exton, (610) 280-0777

[Café] Du Jour
Part neighborhood café, part chic eatery, Du Jour veers with unexpected charm from the classic (burgers, buttermilk pancakes) to the more adventurous (wasabi-crusted tilapia, butternut squash bisque). One thing that is predictable at Du Jour is the exceptional service, brought to you by a staff that truly cares. Haverford Square, 379 Lancaster Ave., Haverford; (610) 896-4556, dujourmarket.com

[Casual Al Fresco Dining] Coyote Crossing
Nothing says summer like outdoor dining—and there’s no better place to experience it than the intimate courtyard at Coyote Crossing. This tranquil spot is filled with charming wrought iron tables and the sounds of water trickling from a nearby fountain. After you finish one of owner Carlos Melendez’s authentic Mexican dishes, you’ll want to stay longer and relax with one of Coyote’s signature margaritas. 800 Spring Mill Ave., Conshohocken; (610) 825-3000, coyotecrossing.com

[Cheese Steaks] Vic & Dean’s Pizzeria
Sure, the guys behind all the well-known urban institutions think their cheese steaks are tops, but our choice is Vic & Dean’s. It all begins with an Abruzzi roll imported daily from South Philly and slightly toasted in the oven for a crusty crunch. Then they pile on top-quality Farmland steak and plenty of melted American cheese (no Whiz here). Also great are the chicken cheese steaks, made from breast meat that’s cooked and marinated on the premises. 409 W. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 225-0025


[Classic Dining on the Brandywine] The Gables
Upscale casual is on the menu at this Chadds Ford landmark, a favorite destination for Brandywine Valley sightseers and locals alike. Elegant but not stuffy, outside seating is surrounded by stone walls and shaded by either white market umbrellas or a wisteria-draped grapevine canopy. A small waterfall lends a soothing backyard feel. Summer menu highlights include a grilled pork chop with spring lentil-vegetable ragout, chive pistou and charred tomato vinaigrette; sea bass with coconut rice pilaf; and tuna with udon noodles, enoki mushrooms, snow peas and baby carrots in a coconut-lemongrass broth. 423 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford; (610) 388-7700, thegablesatchaddsford.com


[Coffee on the Go] Tradewinds, Coffee in Motion
Thanks to Trade
winds, we now know the luxury of never having to leave our cars to get a piping hot cup of La Colombe, Philadelphia’s finest coffee. Even from the window, their smiling baristas are friendly enough to make you forget that jerk who cut you off on Lancaster Avenue. 233 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 640-0810

[Culinary Eye Candy]
Gypsy Saloon
Chef Ralph Pallarino

We’re not going to embarrass Conshohocken’s favorite chef by sizing him up on looks alone. Anyone who’s ever met Ralph Pallarino knows he is affable, charming, talented and, well, pretty handsome. In fact, his good looks earned him a spot on the Food Network’s Date Plate, NBC’s hit show The Restaurant and the Fine Living Network’s Dinner Date. But don’t take anyone else’s word for it—head over to Gypsy Saloon and request a meet-and-greet. 128 Ford St., West Conshohocken; (610) 828-8494, gypsysaloon.com

[Cupcakes] Cupcakes Gourmet
We felt guilty ruining Cupcakes Gourmet’s picture-perfect creations by biting into them, but it was worth it. Demand for their delicious treats was so high that owners Maki Evans and Heath
er Carter opened a bakery this spring after a year of working out of their homes. The more than 14 flavors change daily, so you’ll want to make multiple visits to indulge in the likes of vanilla chocolate with Madagascar bourbon and vanilla cake with Belgian chocolate buttercream frosting. 288 Lancaster Ave., Frazer; (484) 318-8057, cupcakesgourmet.com

[Custom Jewelry Maker] Tuyet Wong
Main Line jewelry designer extraordinaire Tuyet Wong travels the world in search of the most beautiful freshwater pearls and precious and semi-precious gems for her custom jewelry line. She meticulously designs and crafts every necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings in her extensive collection, so you’ll never see another like your favorite piece. Many notable women in the area (Wong won’t reveal who) have commissioned her to create signature pieces to complement a favorite outfit or gala gown. (610) 316-7338, tuyetjewelry.com

[Dinner Deals] D’Ignazio’s Towne House
Diners can always get a quality meal for an affordable price at D’Ignazio’s. Monday Pasta Night and Wednesday Filet Mignon & Lobster Tail Dinner Night come in at under $12 and $22 per person, respectively. Early birds get the deals Wednesday-Friday, and all-day specials are featured Sunday and Tuesday. 117 Veterans Square, Media; (610) 566-6141, townehouse.com

[Draft Beer Selection] TJ’s Everyday Restaurant & Drinkery
Along the Main Li
ne, it’s hard to boast about a truly great beer selection unless you’ve got a brew menu that’s equal in weight and substance to a leather-bound copy of the King James Bible. TJ’s fits the bill, with more than 200 beers from far and wide, paired with a staggering 20 varieties on tap. Local and regional greats like Victory, Stoudts and Sly Fox are well represented, as are lesser-known selections like Boulder Brewing Co.’s Sweaty Betty Blonde. 35 Paoli Plaza, Paoli; (610) 725-0100, tjseveryday.com

[Dry Pasta] Springfield Pasta Company
Springfield Pasta Company has been making fine dry pasta at its Saxer Avenue location for nearly half a century, offering more than 40 varieties and plenty of sauces to go along with them. Headed by brothers Corrado and Claude Napoletano, it’s also a great resource for culinary instruction, with recipes and tips to ensure that everything is cooked to perfection. 186 Saxer Ave., Springfield; springfieldpasta.com, (610) 543-5687

[Dumplings] Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen
Good dumplings are hard to find—the ones with the not-too-gluey-or-starchy wrappers and just the right amount of filling. Every week, Susanna Foo’s Center City restaurant churns out 10,000-plus dumplings filled with pork, curried chicken, goat cheese, veggies, shrimp and Mongolian beef. Just how good are they? Good enough for the Comcast folks to convince Foo to open a dumpling house at their new digs this November. 555 E. Lancaster Ave., Radnor; (610) 688-8808, susannafoo.com

[Edible Arrangements] Cookies by Design
Forget the dozen roses or singing telegram. If you really want to make an impression, go right for the sweet tooth with an arrangement from Cookies by Design. Perfect for any holiday or occasion (even Nurses Week), its bouquets are available in a variety of price points and feature hand-decorated cookies that taste as yummy as they look. 56 E. Uwchlan Ave., Exton; (610) 594-0122, cookiesbydesign.com

[Eggs Benedict with a Side of Smarts] Magnolia Grill at Chester County Book & Music Company
The in-store restaurant at one of the largest independent bookstores on the East Coast, the Creole-inspired Magnolia Grill translates this breakfast classic into a hearty Southern breakfast complete with homemade biscuits. Choices abound: To have the hollandaise sauce or savory creamed spinach, the spicy andouille sausage or traditional ham, that is the question (our apologies to the Bard). West Goshen Center, 975 Paoli Pike, West Chester; (610) 696-1661, ccbmc.com

[Fried Calamari] 333 Belrose
Forget the standard Italian version. Carlo deMarco’s crispy salt-and-pepper calamari is all that and more—dusted with a robust panko and rice flour coating, flash-fried to a golden brown, tossed with spicy fried jalapeño rings and pumpkin seeds, and accompanied by a lush green pumpkinseed aioli with garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Alas, deMarco no longer doles out tentacles. But with rings this tender and zesty, we’re not complaining. 333 Belrose Lane, Wayne; (610) 293-1000, 333belrose.com

[Frozen Drinks] Brodeur’s on State Street
Since moving to downtown Media, Brodeur’s on State Street has established quite a reputation for its champagne brunch, catering, jumbo lump crab cakes and outdoor patio. Another strength is its cocktail menu. And while the extensive martini list is impressive, we love the frozen drinks—especially the Frozen Razz Sangrita (Jose Cuervo, Cointreau, and margarita and raspberry mixes, all floated with red wine) and the Frosted Lynchburg (Jack Daniels, lemonade, Sprite and sour mix). 1 W. State St., Media; (610) 566-5515, brodeursonstatestreet.com


[Green Tea Ice Cream] Shangrila
Even at two dips per serving, Shangrila’s genuine green tea ice cream is difficult to share. Pure and earthy, it has a flavor all its own, tingling the taste buds like a sherbert to start, then melting into creamy goodness. A naturally pea-green color, the frozen sweet is made by Bindi without preservatives. 120 W. Swedesford Road, Devon; (610) 687-8838, shangrila120.com

[Grilled Calamari] Trattoria Giuseppe
At Trattoria Giuseppe, it’s never a tough decision to opt for grilled calamari over the deep-fried version. Chef Armando Garay always uses fresh squid, grilling then sautéing it with garlic and virgin olive oil before mixing in Italian parsley, lemon juice, a touch of white wine, and pepper and sea salt. Plated with crostini and a side of baby greens drizzled with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, it’s so delish you won’t want to share. 4799 West Chester Pike, Edgemont, (610) 353-4871

[Happy Hour] Flanigan’s Boathouse
Once the weather cooperates, hundreds of young business types from throughout the Great Valley corporate empire and beyond escape to the deck at Flanigan’s Boat House to let off some end-of-the-workweek steam. Happy hour starts at 5 p.m. daily, with $3 draft specials until 7. Thursday night, it’s $3 Miller Lite bottles until 9 p.m. And all day Friday, $5 Three Olive Cherry and Grape Bombs have younger patrons pining for their college days. 16 Great Valley Parkway, Malvern; (610) 251-0207, flanboathouse.com

[Highbrow Pork Sandwich] Newtown Grill
It might be the other white meat, but it’s the dark stuff that gives this satisfying pulled pork sandwich with a South Philly twist its panache. Infused with extra-virgin olive oil and pork jus, the soft ciabatta roll is chewy enough to provide a little backbone. And if you’re not into garlic, get over it: The sautéed, chopped broccoli rabe adds just the right amount of zing, layered atop a warm bed of pork and topped with a hit of sharp Provolone. 191 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square; (610) 356-9700, italiansteakhouse.com

[Hoagies] Valley Market
Bursting with imported ham, Genoa salami, capicola, coteghino and sharp Provolone, Valley Market’s Italian hoagie should be at the top of your grocery list. Of course, you can also stuff that fresh-baked D’Ambrosio roll with fresh roasted turkey, roast beef, tuna or whatever else you’ve got a hankering for. 629 S. Chester Road, West Chester, (610) 436-8688

[Ice Cream] Handel’s
About as decadent and upscale as ice cream parlors get, Handel’s features nearly 100 flavors, with new ones added on a seasonal basis—like cinnamon during the winter holidays, pumpkin ripple in the fall and Girl Scout Thin Mint during, uh, cookie season. And its cakes, pies, smoothies, Hurricanes and chocolate-covered ice cream pops are all first-class diet-busters. 576 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn; (610) 640-1606, handelsicecream.com

[Kids’ Menu] Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
The keys to Iron Hill’s newly revamped kids’ menu are value and quality. Its bevy of options under $5.50 include an entrée, a side, a drink and ice cream. Nothing far-out here. All the basics—like chicken fingers, burgers and PB&J—are represented. But parents are grateful for side items like steamed veggies and applesauce, in addition to the ubiquitous fries. For a little extra, there’s also a kid-size salad, cheese fries and cereal (because there’s no telling when a little one’s tastes will change). Various locations, ironhillbrewery.com

[Local Wine Guru] David L. McDuff
Havertown’s David L. McDuff may not be a household name, but in-the-know wine enthusiasts are quite familiar with him. A longtime employee of Moore Brothers Wine Company, McDuff moonlights as a blogger and Tria Fermentation School instructor in Philadelphia. His “McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail” blog is chock full of intelligent commentary on wines and personal takes on area restaurants. He also does private classes, tastings, wine dinners and charity events through Moore Brothers. mcduffwine.blogspot.com

[Low-key Lunch Spot] Wyndham Alumnae House
Perhaps Wyndham Alumnae House is one of the best-kept secrets in the area because many assume it’s available only to Bryn Mawr College alumnae and faculty. Actually, it’s a fine dining restaurant that caters to the public for lunch every weekday. Offering both an inexpensive buffet and an à la carte menu, this charming gem makes its home in a centuries-old house that dates back to the late 1700s, and also features a picturesque B&B and catering services. Bryn Mawr College, 235 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 526-5236, brynmawr.edu/wyndham

[Lunch for Ladies] Georges’
With the recent additions of the midday meal and the $15 al fresco prix fixe lunch at Georges’, the notion of lunch with the girls has expanded. Sure, there’s the obligatory smoked salmon and salad Nicoise. But there’s also Georges’ famous woodstone pizza and slow-cooked barbecue brisket drizzled with horseradish crème. For the al fresco patrons, lunch is served buffet style, with a choice of classic and exotic salads. As for those crust-less little triangles, chef Joseph Frost wraps his in cheesecloth, a necessary step given their fillings—cucumber and herb cream cheese, and grilled ham and pineapple among them. Spread Eagle Village, 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 964-2588, georgesonthemainline.com

[Lunch on the Fly] Whole Foods
Whole Foods offers a refreshing about-face from your typical supermarket deli, thanks to its vast, constantly changing selection of entrées, sides, soups, sandwiches and sushi. Its team of chefs makes every effort to ensure that items are as healthy as possible, shying away from artificial sweeteners, colors or synthetic preservatives, and relying on natural meats and organic foods. Sure beats Burger King. 821 Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 688-9400, wholefoodsmarket.com

[Meal Deals to Go] DiFabio’s 9th Street Catering Company
Perhaps best known for its catering services, DiFabio’s also offers delivery and takeout. From the traditional (eggplant Parmesan, baked ziti) to the more creative (stuffed portobello mushrooms, sausage scaloppini), everything is delicious—and all of it comes packaged in convenient microwavable containers. 1032 N. Providence Road, Media; (484) 444-0850, difabios9thstreet.com

[Mediterranean Restaurant] Al Dar Bistro
Al Dar’s chefs operate under a “keep it simple” mindset, combining pristine everyday ingredients for fare redolent of the Mediterranean seaside. From appetizers to desserts, intricately woven, sweet, salty and tangy flavors abound. At Al Dar, Grandma’s cooking is channeled through sinfully good spanakopita, moussaka, Ftira Bahm (minced sirloin pie with pine nuts and spices in phyllo) and Roz Bi Djaaj (chicken simmered with almonds and cinnamon stick, and served with toasted pine nuts and rice). 281 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd; (610) 667-1245, aldarbistro.com

[Merger] Café Insomnia
Talk about a winning trio. Café Insomnia is the Main Line convergence of Bucks County Coffee Co., Hope’s Cookies and West Coast Video. With its staff of arts advocates, the place has a full schedule of live music and open-mic nights. Extras include wireless Internet, spacious seating and tasty sandwiches. 916 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, (610) 660-9607


[Microbrew] Pikeland Pils
Brewer Brian O’Reilly recently won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Fest in Denver for his Pikeland Pils. It’s the third gold for this exceptional beer, brewed with imported German pilsner malt and German and Czech hops, resulting in a light body and color, and a dry, crisp flavor. Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, Pikeland Village Square, 519 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville, (610) 935-4540; 312 N. Lewis Road, Royersford, (610) 948-8088; slyfoxbeer.com

[Neighborhood Bar/Tavern] Flying Pig Saloon
This classic corner bar has been a Malvern mainstay for years, attracting beer aficionados from near and far with its vast and impressive selection of more than 140 bottles and 20 brews on tap. Along with a heavy Belgian presence, you’ll find Lancaster Amish Four Grain Ale and seasonal picks like Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Summer Solstice. The Pig also has a great bar menu, with outstanding burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. 121 E. King St., Malvern, (610) 578-9208

[New Bar in Phoenixville] Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
Phoenixville’s newest watering hole boasts 12 beers on tap, three bars, a private dining/party room, live music Thursday-Sunday, and tons of character. The backdrop for this “Guinness concept bar” is a 19th-century building with plank floors, a wooden bar and a tin ceiling. The full-service menu features pub grub and traditional Irish fare, and the new upscale martini/cocktail room Fenix is opening mid-August for weekend revelers with deeper pockets. 197 Bridge St., Phoenixville; (610) 933-9550, mollymaguirespubs.com

[New Lunch Spot] Carlino’s Specialty Foods & Catering
The self-serve café at Carlino’s West Chester location seats about 25 in full view of bustling Market Street. A variety of on-the-go options are available at the food stations, from fresh salads and pasta dishes to hot sandwiches and wraps to order. It’s ideal for a lunch on the clock, a refreshing break from shopping, or a quick bite with a special pal. 128 W. Market St., West Chester; (610) 696-3788, carlinosmarket.com

[New Restaurant] Blue Pear Bistro
The Dilworthtown Inn’s hip younger sibling’s stylish, inviting interior and innovative bistro fare make for a great night out. We could subsist solely on chef David Fogelman’s barbecued short ribs, velvety collard greens and creamy grits. The house-made fries—thin, crispy and light on the oil—make for perfect comfort fare when combined with the grilled cheese and cumin-scented tomato bisque. And if you don’t like what they’re pouring, you can always order a bottle from Dilworthtown’s cellar. 275 Brintons Bridge Road, West Chester; (610) 399-9812, bluepearbistro.com

[No-Nonsense Breakfast] Our Deli & Meats
In an age of new coffee creations, fat-free pastries and a.m. wars among trendy eateries vying for customers, the aptly named Our Deli doesn’t mess around. For one thing, breakfast is served all day—and another, the friendly folks here understand that “have it your way” should go beyond “eggs any style.” Hence, the guilt-free selection of old-time breakfast favorites, from fresh bagels and stacks of blueberry pancakes to fried eggs, creamed chipped beef, scrapple and corned-beef hash. 39 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 296-3350

[Oysters] Brickside Grille
Depending on the day or the month, Brickside customers can enjoy 14 or so varieties of oysters from Canada, Maine, Maryland, Long Island, Nova Scotia and the Delaware Bay, typically served with nothing more than a dash of cocktail, Tabasco or piquant mignonette sauce. And while Brickside’s oyster experts prefer to dole them out as-is, they’re apt to break tradition occasionally, popping a dozen or two in the wood-burning oven just long enough so they’re plump and swimming in flavored butter (choices include crawfish, wasabi and Pernod). Eagleview Town Center, 540 Wellington Square, Exton; (610) 321-1600, bricksidegrille.com

[Pasta Selection] Trattoria San Nicola
Trattoria San Nicola chef/owner Vito Giannandrea has won over legions of Main Line diners with his delectable pasta dishes inspired by his hometown of Bari, Italy. Highlights include linguine Veneziane (black-ink linguini sautéed in caramelized onions, olive oil, white wine and crabmeat) and tortellini alla Bolognese (veal-stuffed tortellini served in a tomato meat sauce with melted mozzarella cheese). 668 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 296-3141; 4 Manor Road, Paoli, (610) 695-8990; tsannicola.com

[Pastrami Sandwich] Landis Deli & Catering
Takeout beer connoisseurs drawn to Landis’ ever-changing selection of microbrews and imported beers might want to find time to sit down and savor this chalkboard addition to the deli’s classic sandwich menu—paper-thin hot pastrami piled high on mild “swirled” rye bread. It may be here today and gone tomorrow, so act soon. 118 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 688-9999, landisrestaurant.com


[Place to Catch Up While the Kids Are at the Movies] Roux 3 Restaurant & Bar
In between playing chauffeur for the kiddies, resourceful parents looking for some alone time should take advantage of Roux 3, which is literally within eyeshot of the Regal Edgmont Square 10 movie theater. Its tasteful, warm design and private dining pods are perfect for reconnecting after a hectic week, while the American fusion fare satisfies the palate. 4755 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square; (610) 356-9500, roux3.com

[Place to Get Smoked] Sugartown Smoked Specialties
Scott Hattersley’s obsession with slow cooking began 16 years ago with a tiny smoker kettle he got as a gift. Now his Sugartown Smoked Specialties offers 19 varieties of seafood, pork and fowl—hot- and cold-smoked creations infused with top-secret blends of natural wood smoke, seasonings and brines. Hattersley’s Tasmanian Trout won the Outstanding Fish or Seafood category at the 2008 Gallo Family Vineyard Gold Medal Awards. 306-1Q Westtown Road,
West Chester; (610) 429-4080, shop.smokedfoods.net

[Place to Quench Your Thirst for Beer Knowledge] The Beer Yard
The numbers speak for themselves: 1,495 beers of 113 different types from 489 breweries in 52 countries. We didn’t have the time or the resources to tally those impressive stats ourselves, so we’re taking owner Matt Guyer’s word for it. And why shouldn’t we? Guyer and his friendly staff of beer connoisseurs are a walking panel of experts on all things barley and hops. 218 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 688-3431, beeryard.com



[Pork Sandwich] Soprano’s Deli & Catering
Soprano’s No. 31—roast pork with sharp Provolone, roasted sweet and hot peppers, and optional broccoli rabe—is a noble sandwich. When the pork jus and other accoutrements meet at the roll’s underside, even diehard carb-cutters will find the explosion of flavor hard to resist. The last Saturday of every month, Soprano’s roasts a whole pig—and anyone ordering a sandwich early in the week gets to enjoy the porchetta leftovers. 3072 West Chester Pike, Broomall, (610) 359-9355

[Power Lunch] General Warren Inne
Many a deal has been struck at the historic General Warren Inne since its inception in 1745. It offers an array of dining rooms suitable for meetings of up to 40 guests. If your power lunch is of a more intimate size and time is a concern, a “quick” menu is available in the Tavern Room, with first-course options like snapper soup or baby spinach salad and entrées such as sautéed flounder Francaise or Wiener Schnitzel. The tavern also offers free wireless Internet access. 16 Village Way, Malvern; (610) 296-3637, generalwarren.com


[Reason to Become a Carnivore]
Main Line Prime

At Main Line Prime, Philadelphia restaurant guru Derek Davis (Kansas City Prime, Derek’s) resurrects the old-time butcher shop experience, with personalized counter service and orders cut to customer specifications. Its cases are filled with the best meats available, including French beef from Charolais cattle (with a taste Davis says is second to none), lamb from Jamison Farms in Latrobe, and bison from Lancaster County. 18 Greenfield Ave., Ardmore; (610) 645-9500, mainlineprime.com

[Reason to Go Raw] Oasis Café
Higher in antioxidants than their cooked counterparts, raw foods increase one’s energy and metabolism. But if you’re thinking rabbit fare, Oasis’ creative, textured and tasty sandwiches, soups, salads and pizza will set you straight, along with owner Tiffany Watts’ handcrafted truffles and chocolate bars. House-made granola, flavored flax wraps, chocolate fudge sauce, artisan butters, cookbooks, prep tools and basic raw pantry items are also for sale, along with health-minded tonics and smoothies. 134 W. Lancaster Ave., Frazer; (610) 647-9797, oasislivingcuisine.com

[Reason to Head West] Inn at St. Peter’s Village
The brainchild of Martin Gagné, this self-contained getaway features seven posh boutique hotel rooms, a handsome pub with an all-day menu, cozy fireside seating in winter, patio dining in spring and summer, and a bakery and café. No sooner had we notified them of their award than we received notice that Francis Trzeciak (Birchrunville Café) was stepping in as executive chef. But while Gagné and pastry guru Peter Scarola may have been the original objects of our affection, we are excited about the inn’s new dream team of Trzeciak and George Cook (of Perrier lineage). 3471 Saint Peter’s Road, Saint Peter’s Village; (610) 469-2600, theinnatstpetersvillage.com

[Reservation (If You Can Get One)] Talula’s Table
Labeled “The Toughest Table in America” by Condé Nast’s Portfolio.com, Talula’s is easily the most coveted reservation in town. What many people don’t know is that you can pop in for an impromptu cheese tasting or make an early supper out of the day’s prepared items. And if you really want a piece of Brian Sykora and Aimee Olexy’s cooking, they’ll prepare dishes off their weekly menu and plate them in your own serving pieces. 102 W. State St., Kennett Square; (610) 444-8255, talulastable.com


[Restaurant Enhancement] Margaret Kuo’s Japanese-style Bar
We’re not exactly sure what it says about Main Liners’ drinking habits when local restaurateurs go big to amp up their bar space, but we’re not complaining. After all, sipping an ice-cold saketini while waiting for a to-go sushi order beats sitting around at home. And if you’re dining chez Margaret, you can extend your evening with a pre-dinner sake flight (there are 60-plus labels) and a round of izakaya (Japanese tapas) while nestled in the lounge’s mood-lit furthest corner, a swank ensemble of modern, white pleather seating. A handsome rendering of a Japanese sand garden encased in glass, the bar top is as soothing as any cocktail. 175 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 688-7200, margaretkuos.com

[Restaurant Makeover] Stella Blu
Owners Marianne Gere and Kim Strengari have revamped their corner bar into an upscale, non-smoking Italian bistro with a 15-foot bar, less kitschy décor, and a contemporary small- and large-plate menu. Culinary highlights: the clam and mussel pot, fried artichoke hearts with balsamic mayonnaise, and lollipop lamb chops with mint-cilantro yogurt and smoked chili oil. 101 Ford St., Conshohocken; (610) 825-7060, stellablurestaurant.com

[Ribs] Bridgeport Rib House
Bridgeport’s tender, succulent top-sellers are marinated for 24 hours, slow-smoked daily over hickory wood, basted with either mild, hot or hot honey barbecue sauce, and chargrilled. It’s easy to tear through a full rack, so don’t be shy about making multiple orders. 1049 Ford St., Bridgeport; (610) 279-1275, ribhouse.net

[Seasonal Fruits and Veggies] Pete’s Produce Farm
Pete Flynn began selling produce in 1989, planting sweet corn on a fraction of an acre and using the back of his truck as a produce stand. Now, Pete’s encompasses 200 acres and an impressive storefront along 926. Recently, Flynn has embarked on an initiative to make his farm more environmentally conscious. But one thing hasn’t changed: Pete’s still offers some of the healthiest, most delicious produce in the area. 1225 E. Street Road, Westtown; (610) 399-3711, petesproducefarm.com

[Self-Serve Eatery] Bear Rock Café
A lively lunch spot championed by KOP’s untold shoppers and professionals, Bear Rock Café offers amicable service, afford-ability, quality and variety. The menu includes hot and cold sandwiches on freshly baked bread, hand-tossed gourmet flatbread “pizzetas,” flavor-packed salads, and 10 soups that change by the day (we love the sunburst tomato and fennel bisque in a sourdough bread bowl). Or mix-and-match a half-sandwich with a bowl of soup, side salad or baked Russet potato. 192 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia; (610) 265-6505, bearrockcafe.com

[Soft Pretzel] Pretzel Boy’s
You know your day is going well when you arrive at Pretzel Boy’s just as a fresh batch emerges from the oven. Our idea of perfection equals a warm, firm crust and chewy insides, plus one of three homemade cheese sauces for dipping. Made from scratch, the dough is twisted and baked on the premises. 2056 Sproul Road, Broomall; (610) 325-3500, thepretzelboys.com

[Sommelier] Robert Amar
If you’ve taken a greater interest in Fleming’s wine program, it’s likely due to sommelier Robert Amar, who came aboard in early December after a stint at the Inn at St. Peter’s Village. Passionate and knowledgeable, he’s earned enormous trust among regulars, often ordering “something special” with them in mind. A wizard at removing the mystery—and the pretentiousness—of wine, Amar challenges collectors to pass on more prestigious labels in favor of less familiar (and often less expensive) bottles. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 555 E. Lancaster Ave., Radnor; (610) 688-9463, flemingssteakhouse.com

[Soups] New Tavern Restaurant
Sure, it’s easy to wax nostalgic if you’re dining with someone who recalls the “Tavern” in the 1930s during its first incarnation. Even if you don’t remember when it became “new” again, there are plenty of carryovers to the old days, including the snapper soup. Served amid white tablecloths and dark furnishings, the snapper is part of a triad of dinner soups that, true to their bistro heritage, are a meal in themselves. 261 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd; (610) 667-9100, thetavernrestaurant.com

[Sports Bar] Winner’s Circle Sports Grille
Sports fans don’t ask much of their hangouts. Ideally, they should excel in a mind-blowing selection of televised sporting events, hefty portions of hearty food, and frosty drinks served by attractive women. Winner’s Circle more than makes the grade. Both locations feature enough satellite sports link-ups to make any ESPN control room tech go slack-jawed with awe, along with an expansive menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, wings, steaks and on-tap brews. 143 W. Lincoln Highway, Exton, (610) 524-2424; 4803 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (610) 356-7666; winnerscirclesportsgrille.com

[Sticky Buns] The Classic Diner
The line stretching out the door and into the parking lot Saturday and Sunday mornings is a clear indication that the Classic Diner has breakfast down pat. Made fresh daily and smothered in delicious goodness, their “stickiest buns” are about the size of a small dinner plate. Good luck finishing one. 352 Lancaster Ave., Malvern; (610) 725-0515, theclassicdinerpa.com

[Supermarket Bakery] Wegmans
The bakery department at Wegmans puts those at other supermarkets to shame. Serve one of their sophisticated desserts at your next dinner party—like the fruit tarts or fruit-top cheesecakes—and no one will believe it’s store bought. Made in-house, the Key lime and triple-berry pies are favorites among Wegmans devotees. 1056 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown; (610) 518-7800, wegmans.com

[Sushi] Margaret Kuo’s
Margaret Kuo’s sushi menu isn’t built around über-exotic varieties of fish, but it excels at the basics—maguro, tako, tai, sake, hamachi, kampachi, toro, striped bass, king salmon, unagi—plus paper-thin, crispy hand rolls. Kan and Kay are one of the friendliest—and modest—sushi-chef tandems around. The fish itself gets high marks for its supple, melt-in-your-mouth texture and buttery, smoky or delicately sweet flavor. 175 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 688-7200, margaretkuos.com

[To-Go Salads] Fresco Pizza & Grill
This bustling seat-yourself eatery succeeds at healthful, nicely sized combinations of seasonal greens, sweet and tangy vegetables, well-matched cheeses, and a variety of meats like grilled chicken, Black Forest ham, roasted turkey breast, Norwegian salmon and Ahi tuna. The 10-plus dressings range from blue cheese and raspberry vinaigrette to kusabi and mandarin orange. 228 S. Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square; (610) 356-4171, frescopizzagrill.com

[Train-Stop Coffee] Quaker Coffee
Caffeine, carbs (good ones) and a hands-free drive are on the menu at Quaker Coffee in Wynnewood Station. The ticket booth is right next to the coffee counter, so things can get a little busy in the morning. Home-baked goods are their specialty, and they roast their own blend using beans from Mayorga Coffee Factory out of Silver Spring, Md. Grab a bag to brew at home. 75 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood; (610) 642-0544, quakercoffee.com

[Underground Source for Crab Cakes] Mom’s Bake at Home Pizza
Thursday afternoons are a crab fest at Mom’s. That’s when South Jersey seafood institution Bobby Chez drops off a fresh batch of its luscious crab cakes. They start with a mix of jumbo lump meat and roux, which is dusted with flour, dipped in egg wash and coated in panko crumbs. Next is a stint in the deep fryer just long enough to put a skin on them. The final touch comes in your oven—14 minutes at 450 degrees. Various locations, momsbakeathome.com

[Vodka Selection] Riverstone Café
“Tapas to ’tinis” pretty much sums up the experience at Riverstone Café, and if you doubt their vodka enthusiasm, just check out the Chill Tower. This frozen “tap” delivers subzero pours of Ciroc, Level, Absolut and Tanqueray. Also try the Jewel of Russia, Riverstone’s highest-end bottle. But if you’re not up for getting your aficionado on, there are 49 other flavored and non-flavored varieties, along with a “Top 21” list featuring staff-inspired martinis. 143 W. Lincoln Highway, Exton; (610) 594-2233, riverstonecafe.com


[Whole Wheat Pizza] Bella Luna Pizza Kitchen
At Bella Luna Pizza Kitchen—the latest from Stella Blu/Gypsy Saloon power trio Kim Strengari, Marianne Gere and chef Ralph Pallarino—all gourmet pizzas are available with a whole wheat crust so tasty you’ll never go back to regular. Varieties include the Red Luna, with mixed cheeses, San Marzano tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil; the Luna Clam Pie, with chopped clams and sautéed spinach; and the Full Moon, with goat and other cheeses, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and a touch of garlic. 116 Ford St., West Conshohocken; (610) 825-7151

[Wings] The Grog
The Grog’s casual, old-timey look—all mirrors and carved oak—draws a low-key group of regulars. It’s the exceptionally prepared wings, though, that keep people in their seats. Made to share, they’re big and meaty, served with plenty of celery and blue cheese sauce to counteract that addictive burn. 863 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-5870

[Year-round Produce Market] Gentile’s
It’s been decades since the family’s patriarch braved the heat and rain that come with operating outdoors, but Gentile’s really hasn’t changed all that much since then. Maybe it’s the heaps of produce displayed on long metal tables, the stacks of crates or the cement floor, but this place still has the look and feel of an old-time farm stand. Go there for bananas, and you might come home with an armful of fresh corn, cartons of strawberries, a sack of pearl onions—or even a potted geranium. Route 252 and Mary Jane Lane, Newtown Square, (610) 356-9755

Goods & Services

[After-school Hangout] Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos
The name says it all. They provide the candy and the cones; you get the chaos. Kids crave the homemade ice cream and make-your-own-sundae bar, and with irresistible flavors like cotton candy, Smurf, PB&J and Almond Joy, who can blame them—or us? Various locations, candyconesandchaos.com

[Airbrush Tan] Maryanne Christopher
The airbrush tan treatment at MaryAnne Christopher Salon Spa is a savior for all those who want to look “tan-tastic.” In a mere half-hour (drying time included) a technician can cover the entire body with a solution that leaves a natural glow lasting up to seven days. 3618 Chapel Road, Newtown Square; (610) 359-9080, maryannechristopher.com

[All-natural Grub for Canines and Felines] Cutter’s Mill
At Cutter’s Mill, you can expect an impressive inventory of natural, organic and holistic foods from top names like Iams and Newman’s Own, as well as a friendly, helpful staff. Cutter’s Mill encourages clients to bring along their furry pals, and regularly hosts pet caricaturists and pet psychics to entertain weekend shoppers. Paoli Village Shoppes, 43 Paoli Plaza, Paoli; (610) 647-1811, cuttersmillpetstore.com

[Auto Service for Imports] Gene’s Foreign Car Service & Parts
Having trouble with your import but hate to bring it to the dealer? This third-generation enterprise will give your VW, Honda, Audi, Porsche or whatever the attention it deserves. Known for fair pricing and personable mechanics who go out of their way to solve repair mysteries and diagnostic challenges, Gene’s is the kind of place where you never feel alone. 2538 West Chester Pike, Broomall, (610) 356-2389

[Baby Boutique] Peanut Butter & Jane
One side of Theresa Benincasa’s ultra-cute boutique is dedicated to the Peanut Butters, with preppy checkered shorts and polo shirts for the boys; the other side is all about the Janes, with adorable girly-girl sundresses from Trelise Cooper Kids and funky pettiskirts by Kaiya Eve. Moms-to-be will love the birthing balls by Luna Lullaby and diaper bags from Kalencom. Spread Eagle Village, 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 320, Wayne; (610) 254-9300, peanutbutternjane.com

[Banquet Facility] Drexelbrook Catering & Corporate Events Center
Whatever the headcount—be it 100 or more than 1,000—Drexelbrook has the desired space and then some. Its Grand Ballroom offers 15,000-plus square feet, while the intimate Franklin Room comfortably seats 100-225. Coffered ceilings, white-gloved servers and a landscaped walking garden appeal to wedding planners. And for corporate conventions, Drexelbrook provides convenient techie touches like wireless microphones, as well as easy trade-show setup and breakdown. Drexelbrook Drive and Valley Road, Drexel Hill; (610) 259-7000, drexelbrookcatering.com

[Blowout] Emily Bringolf at Chez Raina
This Bala Cynwyd salon is well known for its manicures and pedicures, but Emily Bringolf’s blowouts have their own following (some clients have standing appointments twice a week). She works magic with the brush and blow-dryer, erasing any signs of frizz and curl, and leaving only silky strands worthy of envy. 244 Bala Ave., Bala Cynwyd; (610) 667-7155, chezraina.com

[Boutique for Dresses] VanCleve Collection
Not many boutiques can boast an inventory of dresses perfect for a night out on the town for the mother of the bride. VanCleve can. You’ll find gorgeous gowns from Badgley Mischka, Chetta B and Daymor, and cocktail dresses from Kay Unger and Betsey Johnson. There’s also a wide selection of prom dresses—and to the delight of brides near and far, the Bridal Pavilion next door is dedicated to custom gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses. 68 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli; (610) 647-5055, vanclevecollection.com

[Boutique for the Fashion-forward Woman] Per Lei
A staple in Media for generations, B. Gross Menswear has broken into women’s fashion in a big way with its new in-store Per Lei boutique. Buyer Candice Caprice has an impeccable eye, stocking up on the latest collections from Rebecca Taylor, Pink Tartan, Chaiken and Theory, along with jeans from Joe’s and Hudson. 2 E. State St., Media; (610) 566-1254, perleiboutique.com

[Car Wash Under $4] Pete’s Express Car Wash
Pete’s speedy, cheap and thorough wash won’t beat a hand scrubbing, but it’s the next best thing. Slide the transmission into neutral and let the conveyor do the work, as the jets eliminate the grime with a high-pressure wash and quick blow-dry. Even better, vacuums are abundant and free. 601 E. Market St., West Chester; 18 W. Germantown Pike, East Norriton; petesexpresscarwash.com

[Consignment Shop for Kids] Butterflies & Blossoms
So you buy some expensive new outfits for your kids, they wear them a few times and quickly grow out of them. Sound familiar? Butterflies & Blossoms understands your plight. The shop only takes items that are in nearly new condition, and most are from respected retailers like Gap, Ralph Lauren and Gymboree. Anything that goes unsold after the consignment period is donated to local children’s charities. 3 N. Five Points Road, West Chester; (610) 430-7601, butterfliesandblossoms.net

[Custom Tailoring] Sagets Cleaners & Formal Wear
This family-owned business is practically an institution among those who’ve seen their share of ill-fitting suits. Sure, there’s plenty of so-called tuxedo “specialists” out there, but few offer the reassurances Sagets does. Whether you use their in-house tailor or submit your measurements online, they guarantee the right look and fit. 4310 Woodland Ave., Drexel Hill; (610) 259-3251, sagets.com

[Dog-walking Service] Pet Nanny
Anyone with a full-time career will tell you it’s not easy taking care of the pups. But with Pet Nanny’s sitters/walkers backing you up, you can check your guilt at the door. Their personalized pet-care plan includes state-of-the-art Web-based scheduling and confirmation, lock boxes for traveling clients, a genuine pet-loving staff, and a variety of service packages. Owners can monitor their pets daily via the Internet, just to find out how much fun they’re having. 4024 Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill; (610) 716-7826, pet-nanny.net

[European Travel Agent] Doorways, Ltd.
Voted one of the top 50 villa rental companies worldwide by Condé Nast Traveler last month, Doorways goes above and beyond by sending members of its staff to experience villas in Italy, France, Spain and Costa Rica before any recommendations are made. That way, you’re privy to all the juicy details, right down to how soft the pillows are. 900 County Line Road, Bryn Mawr; (610) 520-0806, villavacations.com

[Facials] Polished Spa & Boutique
When Marina Selzerian expanded her Polished Spa & Boutique to include a host of other services, including facials and massage, we knew we were in for a treat. The most exciting new menu item: the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment, a favorite of Madonna and other Hollywood stars. Available on the Main Line exclusively at Polished, this non-evasive treatment hones in on fine lines, tone, texture and pores by utilizing the most advanced technology in oxygen skin care. 221 Conestoga Road, Suite 100, Wayne, (610) 688-4181

[Faux Finish Painting] Klose Designs Studio
Denise Klose, co-owner of fine home furnishings retailer In the Details in West Chester, founded her own art studio more than 15 years ago specializing in faux finish painting, which transforms walls, furniture and accessories with elegant textures and styles. Her large portfolio includes Old World designs, wood-graining, marbling, striping and stenciling. 205 Cheshire Circle, West Chester, (610) 436-5957

[Florist] Nancy Saam Flowers
Nancy Saam loves a challenge. Show her a picture of a bouquet or floral arrangement, and she’ll re-create it. Even better, she’ll show you what she’d do to make it even more beautiful and unique. She’s great at evaluating the entire look of an event, ensuring that every detail works with her flowers to create the perfect ambiance. (610) 306-0924, nancysaamflowers.com

[Funky Home Décor] Simple Pleasures
There’s something to match every personality in this boutique filled with fun and memorable home décor for the kitchen, bedroom and anywhere in between. From quirky polished frog sculptures and tiny Treasure Vases for flowers picked by your kids, to spice dishes and vanity-stand mirrors, any item could easily become someone’s simple pleasure—or treasure. 22 S. High St., West Chester; (610) 344-9711, simplepleasuresgallery.com


[Gifts on the Fly] Rosemont Pharmacy
Rosemont Pharmacy owner Tony Romano knows how to shop for the ladies. His gift inventory includes the basics—mugs, hair accessories, Pacifica candles, key chains, notepads—plus costume and semi-precious jewelry from Holly Yashi and Jody Coyote; watches, belts and baby bags; Maggie B. handbags; mock Crocs by Dawgs; and flip-flops and sandals by Silly Sandals and Lexees. 1149 E. Lancaster Ave., Suite 9, Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-0927


[Gifts to Welcome a New Baby]
The Picket Fence

Hidden away in the back of this adorable cottage boutique is a baby wonderland of super-soft blankets, teenie onesies and snuggly car coats from Bunnies by the Bay, adorable hooded towels, soft leather booties by Robeez, thermal totes perfect for on-the-go mommies, and much more. Along with plenty of pink and blue, there’s a wide selection of items in green and yellow—just in case you don’t know if you’re buying for a girl or a boy. 220 E. King St., Malvern, (610) 644-4422

[Graduation Gifts for Girls] The French Lemon
Come May, it’s graduation time, and the French Lemon is ready with frames galore—wooden ones adorned with names of local high schools and metal ones accented with preppy ribbons. Or you can have the school’s name inscribed right on a metal frame. And there are plenty of monogrammed items, from photo albums and note cards to soy scented candles and stationary. 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 687-6744

[Green Printer] Conlin’s Digital Print & Copy Center
The neighborhood copy shop seems like a natural place to push a green agenda. Conlin’s has obtained certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, ensuring that its paper comes from renewable resources like fast-growing eucalyptus trees. They also offer heavier paper and card stock made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled content, and they’ve been recycling its waste paper and corrugated cardboard for years. 1011 W. Eighth Ave., King of Prussia, (610) 337-4460; 52 W. Lancaster Ave., Malvern, (610) 647-6100; conlinscopy.com

[Knitting Shop] Frou Frou
Catering to every skill level, Frou Frou takes the mystery out of knitting. They advise on yarn selection, customize and create patterns for projects, and finish garments for those who find the final stages a bore. The shop also offers private instruction and classes. After all, haven’t you always wanted to knit your own socks? 601 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn; (610) 296-8597, froufrouyarns.com

[Makeup Selection] Plain Jane
Owner Annie Moretti has made West Chester a legitimate beauty destination since opening Plain Jane two years ago. Feel free to experiment with colors and products from Paula Dorf and T. LeClerc, along with the Too Faced, Becca and Kiss Me lines. You’ll also find skin-care products from Trees, Fresh and Mario Badescu. 128 E. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 918-0230, plainjaneboutique.com

[Neighborhood Nail Salon] La Beaute Nails
This unassuming nail salon is a favorite among busy Rosemont and Bryn Mawr females desperate for a little polish on the fly. Waits are never grueling, but it doesn’t hurt to call ahead. You’ll leave with a little bounce in your step after a 30-minute foot and leg reflexology massage. 1149 W. Lancaster Ave., Rosemont, (610) 526-2160

[New Hair Salon] NoelSy Art in Beauty
The former home of Jay Michael Salon & Spa springs back to life as NoelSy. Owners and longtime Main Line stylists Betty Sy and Travis Kraisoraphong make an impeccable team: Sy is a perfectionist with color, and Kraisoraphong is a master with the shears. And be sure to treat yourself to a custom scalp treatment, an hour-plus process that includes a soothing massage. 319 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd, (610) 667-8777


[New Women’s Boutique] State of Grace
State of Grace’s Amanda Barton caters to everyone, from fashionable Villanova girls in search of the perfect outfit for their next sorority mixer, to Main Line moms who want to look fabulous at the next private school fundraiser. The boutique is filled with fashionable finds from names like Max and Cleo, Bobi, and Lu Lu Lame. And there’s plenty of designer denim, with the latest styles by Joe’s Jeans, Rich & Skinny, and others. 1029 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 525-0100, stateofgraceboutique.com

[Offbeat Gifts] Past Present Future
Sherry Tillman gave her store its all-encompassing name to reflect its focus on the quirky, the original and the one-of-the-kind. Part gift store, part mini-museum, Tillman’s decade-old business capitalizes on her long-held ties to the local arts and crafts community, including those working in textiles, wood, glass and found objects. 15 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore; (610) 642-4040, past-present-future.net

[Personalized Shopping Service] Posh Collections
Wonder what it would be like to have your own personal stylist—someone who’d come to your home, sort through your wardrobe, and update your look with the clothes and accessories you already own? That’s just one way Posh Collections’ Tina Corrado caters to her clients. With more than 10 years of experience as a Main Line fashion consultant, Corrado offers chic and sophisticated clothing from Vince, Black Halo and ABS Collection. 103 E. King St., Malvern; (610) 644-7220, poshcollections.com

[Pet Accessories] Buzzy’s Bow Wow & Meow
Store owner Melvin “Buzz” Miller is committed to animal rescue, and at Buzzy’s, people speak of pet companionship, not pet ownership. The store’s organic, holistic and eco-friendly pet supplies reflect an “I’m OK, you’re OK” approach. Buzzy’s has fun with the notion of pet pampering, offering such luxuries as the Furcedes pet bed and the latest toys from Jimmy Chews, Sniffany and Co., and Chewy Vuiton. 701 Montgomery Ave., Narberth; (610) 617-3300, buzzysbowwowmeow.com

[Pet Resort] Wagsworth Manor
At Wagsworth Manor, your dog will experience first-class accommodations in a canine suite, where a decorative mural and a comfy bed are standard. Or opt for the “Silo,” which includes a TV and a window. Felines have their own Catskills Play Room filled with climbing trees, perches and more. 27 Spring Mill Drive, Malvern; (610) 251-WAGS, wagsworthmanor.com

[Place for a Private Business Party] Morton’s the Steakhouse
At Morton’s, a fine dining experience is standard for any private party. The celebrated steakhouse’s private boardrooms welcome up to 100 people for breakfast, lunch or dinner, featuring nearly everything on its extensive menu. Touches like valet service, intricate flower arrangements and a signature wine list add to the exclusive vibe. 640 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia; (610) 491-1900, mortons.com

[Place for Boys’ Birthday Parties] Grand Slam USA
This mammoth sports complex has batting cages, laser tag, a full-size basketball court, videogames and many more of the things that make little men swoon. Five party packages range from $10.99 to $22.99 per guest; all include invitations, a party hostess to assist throughout the event, all paper products, choice of either hot dogs or pizza, a $5 party coupon, all-you-can-eat popcorn and unlimited soda refills. 11 E. Lancaster Ave., Malvern; (610) 647-6622, grandslammalvern.com

[Place for Everything Healthy] Lionville Natural Pharmacy
Education defines the philosophy of Lionville Natural Pharmacy. In addition to offering private consultations, diagnostic screenings, seminars and newsletters, they sell a broad range of natural products, including beauty aids, organic food and flower essences. The pharmacy prides itself on its hormone replacement therapy, which duplicates naturally appearing hormones in men and women to prevent common diseases and ailments. 309 Gordon Drive, Lionville; (610) 363-7474, lionrx.com

[Place for Second Weddings] Duling Kurtz House & Country Inn
Just steps from this historic spot’s 13 rooms, the garden gazebo is as peaceful a setting for small, intimate weddings as it is convenient for guests. Charm and hospitality are implicit throughout Duling Kurtz House & Country Inn, from rooms named after Abe Lincoln and Betsy Ross to Vienna-trained proprietors Michael and Gertie Person. 146 S. Whitford Road, Exton; (610) 524-1830, dulingkurtz.com

[Place to Create Your Own Bag] Pee Dee Bee Custom Handbag Studio
It’s so much fun playing designer at Pee Dee Bee Handbags. This DIY boutique has an incredible selection of more than 300 fabrics, 10-plus handle options and 22 handbag designs to choose from, including wristlets, clutches and an adorable BYO tote. So it’s highly unlikely you’ll find someone walking down the street with your creation. 124 E. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 918-1962, peedeebee.com

[Place to Escape for the Afternoon] Avanté Salon & Spa
When you’re in dire need of some serious R&R, cruising off to the Caribbean isn’t always feasible. The next best thing may be Avanté Salon & Spa, with its enticing menu of “getaway” packages—like the “Relaxation,” which includes a paraffin hand treatment, an anti-stress back and shoulder massage, and a mini-facial; or the “Rejuvenation,” featuring an eye-zone wrap, aromatherapy manicure and a chair massage. And you’re in and out in less than two hours. Bradford Plaza, 700 Downingtown Pike, Unit 120, West Chester; (610) 429-1800, avantesalon.com

[Place to Find What You Forgot at the Supermarket] Ithan Market
Whatever you forgot (or forgot you forgot), you can find it here—everything from soup, matzo ball mix, anchovy paste, sea salt, wasabi powder and flavored vinegars to Le Bus breads, rotisserie chicken, dried mango slices, La Colombe coffee, cleaning stuff and drug items. Steak lovers will appreciate the custom cuts and fresh ground sirloin, and there’s even chip steak so you can whip up a cheese steak at home. 613 Conestoga Road, Villanova; (610) 688-0650, ithanmarket.com

[Place to Recapture Your Youthful Glow] Skin Health Solutions
Millie Bell’s clinical, results-oriented spa is the culmination of years of work with area dermatologists, skin-care manufacturers and plastic surgeons. And while she does provide all the latest treatments—including peels and microdermabrasion—it’s the dermHA skin-care line she helped develop (and sells only to physicians) that sets Skin Health Solutions apart. Its pharmaceutical-grade hyaluronic acid makes the glow last. 5018 West Chester Pike, Edgemont; (610) 353-3400, shsclinic.com

[Place to Rent a Cello for Your Budding Yo-Yo Ma] Taylor’s Music Store & Studios
Before you burn perhaps hundreds of dollars on an instrument for your (potential) musical prodigy, it would be wise to stop by Taylor’s and check out the enormous selection of rentals. Instruments are available at daily, weekly and monthly rates—with the option to purchase—and the store offers flexible pickup or shipping, along with delivery to area schools. 116 W. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 696-1812, taylorsmusic.com


[Place to Shop for a Cause] Bling It On! After embellishing a bandana with Swarovski crystals so she had something to wear while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, Barb Gunselman launched her own company, Bella Bandanas. She had so much fun she opened Bling It On!, a shop where you can add bling to anything in the store’s inventory, from flip-flops to wine glasses. Five percent of all proceeds from Bella Bandana purchases goes to cancer research. 134 N. High St., West Chester; (610) 696-6996, blingitonme.com

[Place to Teach Your Teen How to Drive] Street Smart Driving Academy
Street Smart offers a fresh approach to giving kids the skills and strategies they need to feel confident behind the wheel. It achieves this through a combination of active and engaging classroom experiences, virtual simulators, driving lessons with off-duty local police officers, and games and exercises that nip bad driving habits in the bud (cell phones, anyone?). 32 Summit Grove Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 209-8269, streetsmartdrivingacademy.com

[Plus-Size Boutique] Fresh Ayer
Liz Ayerle opened Fresh Ayer with one goal: to offer women sizes 12 and up fashion choices that are modern, sexy and sophisticated. Mission accomplished. Ayerle and her staff help each client navigate sizes, cuts and fits. Among the many finds: wrap dresses from Kiyonna, silk blouses from Olivia Harper, eco-friendly (and super-soft) outfits from Diane Kennedy, and jeans from Svoboda and Karen Kane. 100 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 688-4933, freshayer.com

[Printer] Professional Duplicating
A year after celebrating its 30th anniversary, Professional Duplicating has only become a stronger, more reliable resource for local businesses with printing, copying and graphic design needs. Aside from their extensive array of services, they aim to educate their clients in the “printing language,” providing a glossary of industry terms on their website and always taking the time to explain their processes. 33 E. State St., Media; (610) 891-7979, produpe.com

[Relief for Tired Muscles] Tucker Muscle Therapy
Known to most everyone simply as Tucker, Steven Tucker has been working out of his Berwyn studio for more than nine years. He utilizes a wide range of techniques, including deep muscle, Swedish and therapeutic massage. And though he’s 98-percent blind, his hands have 20/20 vision, and his touch is sure to soothe the tensest, tightest muscles. 20 Knox Ave., Berwyn, (610) 564-5027

[Rug Rehab] Zakian Fine Rug Cleaning & Restoration
Short of bringing a magic carpet to life, this third-generation enterprise can solve any problem. Zakian’s in-house machines wash and rinse both sides of your rug, and its craftspeople are skilled in such techniques as hand fringing, patching, weaving, matching yarns and re-coloring worn areas. 4930 W. Parkside Ave., Philadelphia; (610) 525-2222, zakianrugs.com

[Salon for Curly Hair] Mademoiselle Salon & Spa
Curls can be a blessing and a curse—which is why you need a stylist like Theresa DeLorrenzo, who can manage the unruliness with a dry-cutting technique she calls the Diva Cut, named after the Diva Curl hair-care line carried at her Mademoiselle Salon & Spa. Tired of taming the frizz daily with blow-dryers and straighteners? Ask for the Brazilian—a curl-loosening treatment that leaves hair glossy, straight and maintenance-free for up to four months. 510 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 525-8100

[Shop for Gamers] EB Games
GameStop bought EB in 2005, making it the premier gaming destination—one with a reputation for affable, expert customer service. Today, there are 4,400-plus stores throughout the United States and 15 other countries. Power to the players. Various locations, ebgames.com

[Shop Within a Shop] Kiki Boutique at Jane Chalfant
Jane Chalfant is the older, slightly more formal sister, but Kiki more than holds its own, with unique jewelry, casual separates and accessories. It’s also a great place for jeans, with a friendly staff that won’t let up until you find the perfect fit, wash or embellishment. 123 N. High St., West Chester; (610) 696-0290, kikiboutique.com

[Spa Boutique] Raya Coiffure/Boutique
Some Main Line salons advertise in-house boutiques, but what they really have are a few jewelry stands and some hair accessories. Raya Coiffure/Boutique, on the other hand, is filled with glamorous dresses, suits and skirts from names like Malandrino and Sonia Rykiel. The shoe-obsessed will lust over sandals and heels from Robert Clergerie, Giuseppe Zanotti and Borbonese. 25 Haverford Station Road, Haverford; (610) 645-0707, rayalook.com

[Toys That Teach] Becker’s PArent Teacher Store
At Becker’s, you’ll find an array of educational toys neatly organized according to grade level and learning purpose. Items range from popular name-brand virtual pets and games like Webkinz and Cyberchase Adventures, to dominoes, wooden blocks, floor puzzles, board games and other perennial hands-on favorites. 284 Main St., Exton, (610) 363-4911; 1991 Sproul Road, Broomall, (610) 356-6605


[Veterinarian] Ardmore Animal Hospital
Praise abounds for the Ardmore Animal Hospital’s behavioral and medical expertise, and warm demeanor. The hospital recently received accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association—elite status enjoyed by less than 17 percent of all small animal hospitals nationwide. We’re not sure our pediatricians treat our kids this well. 24 E. Athens Ave., Ardmore; (610) 642-1160, ardmoreah.com

[Vintage Clothing] Malena’s Unique Boutique
With a keen attention to detail, the friendly Malena Martinez chooses only the most distinctive vintage and vintage-inspired items for her Unique Boutique—whether made by high-end fashion designers or talented moms. Current highlights include a ’60s-era three-piece knit outfit by Lilli Ann and an Anne Fogarty black knit gown, along with purses, jewelry and more. 145 W. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 738-9952, malenasboutique.com

[Waxing] Sherry Marjoei at Salon D’ Artiste
A fabulous eyebrow wax ranks right up there with a fabulous haircut. And once you experience the work of Sherry Marjoei at Salon d’ Artiste, you’ll never go to anyone else. Marjoei has more than 20 years of experience shaping, arching and defining brows to perfection. Her “no-scream cream” numbs the area and helps ease the pain—especially in the bikini zone. 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 687-2020, salondartiste.com

[Way to Arrive in Style] Celebrity Jet Charter
Part of the Celebrity Limousine family, Malvern’s Celebrity Jet Charter flies to locales as near as New York City, as far as the Turks and Caicos Islands, and everywhere in between. You choose the size of the aircraft and plan your own itinerary. A flight attendant is available throughout the trip, along with the option of in-flight gourmet meals. 2521 Yellow Springs Road, Malvern; (610) 854-1800, celebrityjet.com

[Women’s Accessories] Sorella Boutique
An outfit isn’t complete until it’s properly accessorized—a fashion rule sisters and Sorella owners Charlene Mulholland and Jeanine Sherry understand perfectly. A remote partner living in Seattle, Sherry designs gorgeous, one-of-a-kind jewelry accented with semi-precious and precious gemstones and pearls set in 14-karat gold or sterling silver. You’ll also find woven clutches and purses by Bahay, elegant jeweled evening bags by Santi, and more. 23 E. State St., Media; (610) 566-2393, sorellashop.com

[Women’s Workout Wear] Lucy
It’s time to ditch those baggy sweatpants and XL tees. Whether your workout of choice is yoga, running, spinning or all of the above and then some, Lucy has apparel that’s both practical and fashionable—exercise gear that’ll take you from the gym straight to lunch with your girlfriends. Another reason to love Lucy: It recognizes that women come in all shapes and sizes—and caters to all of them. Suburban Square, 24 Parking Plaza, Ardmore; (610) 649-2541, lucy.com
 

Health & Recreation

[Conservancy Membership] Brandywine Conservancy
For $25-$65 a year, you get unlimited free access to the Brandywine River Museum and its education programs, a 10-percent discount at the museum shop, a subscription to the quarterly newsletter Brandywine Catalyst, a calendar of events, invitations to preview receptions for exhibitions, discounts on special events, free admission to Kuerner Farm and the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio, plus (our favorite) members-only access to the 170-acre Waterloo Mills Preserve in Devon and the 771-acre Laurels Preserve in Coatesville. Chadds Ford, (610) 388-8341, brandywineconservancy.org

[Design Programs for Kids] Handwork Studio’s Teen Fashion and Interior Design Boot Camp
For teens with style to spare, Narberth’s Handwork Studio offers two summer “boot camps” for fashion and interior design. The fashion boot camp includes trips to Manhattan, Nicole Miller’s showroom and Project Runway’s favorite fabric shop, Mood. Interior design campers pick an inspiration piece—throw pillows, wall art, window treatments—and design their rooms around it. 35 N. Narberth Ave., Narberth; (610) 660-9600, thehandworkstudio.com

[Family Bike Outing] Radnor Trail
Convenient parking, unblemished macadam, obliging passersby—all ideal conditions for a family bike outing, or any sort of wheeled excursion. Scooters, strollers, bladers, skaters, wagons and wheelchairs are welcome on the 2-mile Radnor Trail. Kids to adults enjoy the mostly level, 20-foot-wide multi-purpose path maintained by Radnor Township and groomed by the Friends of Radnor Trails. Wayne, friendsofradnortrails.org

[Female Bonding Experience] PRG Climbing Centers
You and the girls have had every spa treatment there is, and now you’re ready for something different. PRG offers top-notch climbing instruction—everything from working the safety ropes and tying knots on the climbing walls to safe falling techniques and spotting practice on the bouldering wall. Sensitive to novices and experts alike, PRG makes learning to climb an exercise in communal fun. E-520 122 Mill Road, Oaks, (610) 666-7673; 255 S. Mount Airy Road, Valley Township, (610) 466-9408; philarockgym.com

[Fitness Classes] MLS Fitness
MLS fitness queen Marilu Sutter has gone big-time, moving from her cramped one-room studio in Wayne to an impressive fitness space in Rosemont, with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a premier workout facility. But she hasn’t lost focus on what clients love the most—sweat-inducing, heart-pounding fitness classes. Rosemont Square, 1149 Lancaster Ave., Rosemont; (484) 380-2116, mlsfitness.com

[Hiking Trails] Ridley Creek State Park
What makes Ridley Creek State Park perfect for hiking? Location, location, location. A convenient distance from just about anywhere on the Main Line, this 2,606-acre patch of wilderness offers 12 miles of unpaved trails and 5 miles paved—plus the new Orange Trail on the park’s east side between Providence Road and Ridley Creek. 1023 Sycamore Mills Road, Media; dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks, (610) 892-3900

[Late-night Social Scene] Spamps Restaurant
Our 20- to 30-something critics love Spamps’ always accessible, rectangular copper bar, stocked spirits and brews, airy atmosphere, lively dance floor, and contemporary, urban vibe. A late-night menu—cheese-steak bruschetta, wings and more—is available in the bar or dining room. 16 E. First Ave., Conshohocken; (610) 825-4155, spampsrestaurant.com

[New Pilates Studio] Vertex Fitness
After seven years in business, Vertex Fitness owner Dwayne Wimmer has firmly established his personal training studio as one of the best on the Main Line. Last fall, he expanded his commitment to clients by adding a state-of-the-art Pilates studio, offering private one-on-one and duet sessions on mats or Vertex’s full range of machines. 24 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 525-6604, vertexfit.com


[Nutritional Counselor] Gretchen La Londe
Certified holistic health counselor Gretchen La Londe believes in nurturing all facets of one’s life. That in mind, she’ll help you develop a program tailored to your specific needs and experiences, with the goal of achieving maximum, lasting results. She’s also a culinary whiz who’ll add a whole new set of recipes to your culinary repertoire. 233 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore; integrativenutrition.com, (610) 642-1324

[Over-40 Singles Scene] Big Easy Saloon
The Cajun-inspired menu may be what draws most people to the Big Easy Saloon, but it’s the spirited—and now non-smoking—atmosphere that keeps them hanging around long after dinner is served. Seven nights a week, there’s live jazz and blues in the bar area, which inspires plenty of meeting and greeting among the patrons as they sip signature hurricanes and classic martinis. 128 Paoli Pike, Paoli; (610) 296-9166, thebigeasysaloon.com


[Place to Catch a (Legal) Fight] Sports Extreme’s Cisco Arena
Known for its group fitness classes and lessons in personal combat and self-defense, Sports Extreme has hit on an unexpected sideline in its new Cisco Arena. Be it traditional boxing, kickboxing, karate or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you can probably catch it here at one time or another. 422 Business Center, 99 Brower Ave., Oaks; (610) 650-8450, sports1extreme.com


[Place to Practice Your Swing Indoors] Play-A-Round Golf America
If your golf swing has lost its sizzle, there’s no better place to get back on track than Play-A-Round Golf America. This indoor golf course has 10 3-D simulators with state-of-the-art technology to capture the good, the bad and the ugly of every move. On-staff PGA- and LPGA-certified golf pros then analyze the results and offer pointers. Sound good, Tiger? Lincoln Court Center, 225 Lancaster Ave., Malvern; (610) 725-9155, playaroundgolf.net


[Spa Treatments] Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon
Joseph Gaglioti Jr.’s 22,000-square-foot Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon is chock full of unique treatments that go above and beyond traditional facials and massage. Ever hear of a Lotus Massage? Neither did we until we visited. Now we’re hooked. 243 W. Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills; (610) 459-4663, josephanthony.com

[Trainers] Main Line Health & Fitness
Roger Schwab understands fitness. He knows how much exercise is too much, what his clients need to know to be successful, and which techniques are the safest and most effective for all body types. And when it comes to his staff at Main Line Health & Fitness, that extensive knowledge and experience shines through on a daily basis. 931 Haverford Road, Bryn Mawr; (610) 527-2200, mlhf.com

[Yoga for Teens] Verge Power Yoga
Verge’s Cara Bradley has designed a popular yoga series especially for teens—an hour of inspiring music, challenging poses, breathing exercises and meditation techniques that encourages them to explore and accept their changing bodies at one of life’s most awkward times. Bradley also works with hundreds of teenage athletes each year through her Balanced Athlete program. 250 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 971-0518, vergepoweryoga.com

Media, Sports, Culture, Trends, Etc.

[Blog for Sinners] The Confessions Blog: Saint Augustine
Thanks to MySpace, Saint Augustine of Hippo, one of the most influential characters in the history of the Catholic Church, is now offering his Confessions online. Often considered the first autobiography ever penned, the famed work relates in vivid detail Saint Augustine’s exceedingly human struggle to find something greater in life. This stuff is as relevant today as it was in the 4th century. myspace.com/saintaugustineofhippo

[Cinderella Moment] Local Writer Brad Ingelsby
Selling His Script to Leonardo DiCaprio

Berwyn native Brad Ingelsby, 27, became one of the hottest online “tags” after his screenplay for The Low Dweller—written back in 2005 as part of his film school thesis—landed in the hands of superstar movie hunk Leonardo DiCaprio. Two readings later, a deal was struck with Relativity Media, putting $650,000 into Ingelsby’s pocket, with an additional $550,000 to follow once the film goes into production. Talk about hitting the jackpot.

[Comeback] The Hooters
Read our Q&A.

[Dogs’ Best Friend] TIE: Larry Levin, Bill Smith
In April, we wrote about Penn Valley’s Larry Levin and his appearance on Oprah’s Amazing Love Stories with Oogy, an Argentinean Dogo who suffered extreme physical trauma as a puppy after he was thrown in a cage with a trained-to-kill pit bull. While it was a friend who urged Levin to contact Oprah, Main Line Animal Rescue’s Bill Smith was a bit more direct: In February, he spent $10,000 in donor money for an anti-puppy-mill billboard near Oprah’s studio. It pictured a cute dog pleading, “Oprah—Please do a show on puppy mills; the dogs need you.” Smith wound up on the April 4 episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Larry Levin, international.recoveries@verizon.net; Bill Smith, Main Line Animal Rescue, mainlinerescue.com

[Drama Queen] Conestoga High School’s Caroline Kane
This talented senior shined in CHS productions of Footloose, Annie, Music Man and Sweeney Todd. She sings, she dances, she does it all. And now that she’s graduated, Conestoga’s drama department has lost the equivalent of a 250-pound linebacker.

[Guys’ Day Out] Harness Racing at Harrah’s Chester Casino
What could be better for a day of hanging out with the fellas than watching some of the finest examples of equine athletics compete outside Harrah’s newest casino? With live races Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays April-December, it’s easy to forget the clattering din of the slots inside while you enjoy the action on the track. 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Chester; (800) 480-8020, harrahs.com


[Local Pro Sports Celebrity] The Phillies’ Chase Utley
Since the beginning of this season, the stellar second-baseman has had little regard for the distance between home plate and the outfield fence, hitting .360 with 11 homers in April alone. In fact, the 29-year-old Californian may well be headed for National League MVP status, potentially raising to three the number of consecutive MVP honors the Phillies have earned. philadelphiaphillies.com

[Local Sports Moment] The Phillies Winning the National League East Division
Jimmy Rollins’ pre-season prediction that the Phils were the team to beat seemed to tempt fate. Yet, despite being seven games out of first place as the season drew to a close, the Phils took advantage of the Mets’ subsequent 15-game, 4-11 implosion by coming back to win the division title in the final game of the season. philadelphiaphillies.com

[New Addition to the Chester Waterfront] Pro Soccer Stadium
Believe the hype: A Major League Soccer franchise is coming to Delaware County in 2010. The 16th team to join MLS will play in a new 20,000-seat stadium scheduled for construction along the Delaware River right next to the Commodore Barry Bridge. See you there. mlsphilly2010.com

[Outdoor Exhibit] Totally Terrific Treehouses
Now through Sept. 28, Tyler Arboretum’s Totally Terrific Treehouses features 16 unique works built by local artists and craftsmen. Find your perch in a human-sized birdhouse, play music on a tulip tree decked out in bells, or explore a replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond. 515 Painter Road, Media; (610) 566-9134, tylerarboretum.org

[Radio Icon] Pierre Robert

Read our Q&A.

[Reason to Watch the Summer Olympics] Brendan Hansen
He’s lightning in the pool. He’s hot. He’s homegrown. Enough said.

[Township Initiative] Narberth Greens
Headed by passionate, enthusiastic volunteers, this group serves as Narberth’s informal environmental advisory council, and its website is an outstanding go-to resource for information and tips on simple ways to conserve energy and live a green lifestyle. narberthgreens.org

[Website for Localvores] farmtophilly.com
If you’re still wondering where to buy locally grown foods, FarmtoPhilly.com has it all spelled out for you. Well-written and informative, the site aims to raise awareness of the impact our food choices have—politically, environmentally, economically and health wise. FarmtoPhilly.com offers the scoop on where to go to pick, buy, dine or sell locally grown foods, along with interesting recipes, a calendar of local events, colorful writer bios and more.

 

 


 

HoneyWorth the Drive: Doylestown's Best

[Bakery] The Night Kitchen
The decadent frosted brownies, seasonally shaped and decorated shortbread cookies, sinful sticky buns, Le Bus bagels and homemade organic dog biscuits should be enough to lure you in. If not, the whimsical, ultra-moist wedding and specialty cakes sure will. Of course, you’ll have to choose your design first, which won’t be a problem with all the books and mock cakes displayed around the store. Then pick your flavor—carrot, German chocolate, mocha/chocolate mousse, praline/hazelnut buttercream, or yellow/lemon curd and cream cheese icing with cheesecake. 45 E. State St., Doylestown; (215) 348-9775, nightkitchenbakery.com

[Boutique] Shop Sixty Five
If you can’t find a comfortable pair of jeans at Shop Sixty Five, you might as well give up searching. With more than 20 upscale designer names in stock—True Religion, Citizens of Humanity, 7 for All Mankind and Rebecca Taylor among them—Linda and Pavel Bidlo’s “denim bar” caters to men and women of all ages. You’ll also find trendy designer handbags, quirky cocktail dresses and gowns, and an assortment of jewelry. 53 W. State St., Doylestown, (215) 348-8250

[Kids’ Bookstore] Booktenders’ Secret Garden Children’s Bookstore & Gallery
The oldest bookstore in the region that caters exclusively to children, Booktenders mixes fun, interesting reading with a helpful, knowledgeable staff. The shop prides itself on its hands-on approach, helping customers find the right books for kids of all ages. The store boasts a vast and eclectic selection, along with a delightful gallery of original artwork available for sale. 20B Donaldson St., Doylestown, (215) 348-7160

[Live Music Venue] Puck Live
This trendy spot features mostly local acts—though you never know when a bigger name might pass through. Puck’s urban edge belies its small-town setting, with outdoor seating and tasty offerings like baked Brie with fig and bourbon jam, brisket sliders, Cuban-style pulled pork, and crème brulée. Puck is also home to Michael Lightkep, one of the area’s most sought-after sound technicians, who single-handedly makes Puck one of the best listening rooms for miles. 1 Printers Alley, Doylestown; (215) 348-9000, pucklive.com

[Restaurant] Honey
Honey boasts a tantalizing, globally inspired small-plate menu and a cozy, relaxing vibe. Self-taught chef/owner Joe McAtee and wife Amy (who runs the front of the house) get their culinary thrills from mixing familiar flavors in unexpected ways—as evidenced by the black-tea-glazed ribs served with spicy ginger ice cream, a lip-smacking contrast of chilly spice and smoky sweetness. And the chocolate-chile crème brulée is not to be missed. 42 Shewell Ave., Doylestown; (215) 489-4200, honeyrestaurant.com
 

CakeWorth the Drive: Chestnut Hill's Best

[Bakery/Café] Cake
On ambiance alone, Cake is a great place to tuck into. Worn slate flooring, lots of greenery, a three-tiered (non-functioning) fountain and lots of sunshine lend it a relaxing backyard feel. Yet the sight of all the pretty iced cakes, cupcakes and Martha Stewart-perfect tarts will make your heart palpitate. And if sweets aren’t your thing, there are wonderful soups, salads and sandwiches—and on Thursdays, the café is open for dinner. 8501 Germantown Ave. (rear), Philadelphia, (215) 247-6887

[Live Music Venue] Pastorius Park
When the weather gets warm, local folks flock to the sprawling 16-acre Pastorius Park to take in its midweek concert series. This summer, the tradition continues as part of the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s 16th anniversary celebration. Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., the amphitheater hosts a varied lineup of shows—from groups performing classic rock and country, to international folk artists. Terraced into a hillside, this unique venue is ideal for picnics. Abington and Lincoln drives, Philadelphia; (215) 248-8810, chestnuthill.org

[Restaurant] Citrus
Fans of this petite Chestnut Hill BYO rave about the meat- and poultry-free menu and eclectic ensemble of seafood and vegetarian offerings. Health-conscious and politically correct (there’s a no-fur policy), Citrus also features wheat- and gluten-free, and vegan dishes. Highlights include the ceviche, organic salads and homemade desserts. 8136 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia; (215) 247-8188, citrusbyob.com

[Spa Treatments] Spa Elysium
This Anthropologie-reminiscent salon and spa has been wooing Main Liners with its laid-back ambiance and talented team of stylists, massage therapists and treatment specialists. Recent additions to its services menu include a full-blown shiatsu experience, makeup from former celeb magician Kevyn Aucoin, airbrush tanning with customized color, and treatment products from Red Flower. 55 Bethlehem Pike, Philadelphia; (215) 247-2008, spaelysium.com

[Sushi] Osaka Japanese Restaurant
This former sib of Wayne’s Osaka has seen several Nobu and Morimoto alums in the kitchen, so expect flashy presentation and unexpected ingredients like truffle foie gras, crab cakes, lobster ravioli, and rolls napped in trendy sauces such as uzu crème fraîche, avocado brulée and coconut aioli. 8605 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia; (215) 242-4084, osakachestnuthill.com
 

Worth the Drive: Kennett Square's Best

[Bibliophile Hangout] Thomas Macaluso Rare & Fine Books
There’s much more than meets the eye at this beloved bookstore. Avid readers and collectors alike delight in the two stocked floors of rare, scarce and out-of-print hard covers. The more than 20,000 unabridged books cover a vast range of subjects (and some are signed). Plus, there are over 4,000 maps and prints. Veteran bookseller Thomas Macaluso is an exceptional guide. 831 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square; (610) 444-1063, abebooks.com/home/macalusobooks

[Handcrafted Creations] Equinox Jewelry & Gifts
Since 2001, Equinox has featured sundry works from predominantly Canadian and American artisans, including some from the Philly area. Eye-catchers include hand-woven handbags, hand-forged metalwork, colorful and fully functional glass objects, Pennsylvania pottery, plus sterling silver and 14- and 18-karat gold jewelry. 831 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, (610) 444-8275

[Restaurant] Sovana Bistro
Time seems to stand still at Sovana, where a calm, accommodating staff and adroitly prepared fare turn a night out into a night to remember. The contemporary dining room feels “uptown,” but fresh, locally grown ingredients make you glad you’re in rustic Southern Chester County. Now in its 10th year, the BYO features pizza, cheese plates and dishes that fuse American, French and Italian influences. 696 Unionville Road, Kennett Square; (610) 444-5600, sovanabistro.com

[Stationery Boutique] The Paper Market
Whatever the occasion—birthday, wedding, just because—The Paper Market has the perfect “tools for social expression.” This stationery boutique’s international line of greeting cards, journals, photo albums, wine bags, wax seals and handcrafted writing materials from California to Nepal provides special gifts for special people. 103 W. State St., Kennett Square; (610) 444-9484, thepapermarket.com

[Woodsy Walk] Anson B. Nixon Park
A great place to hide while waiting to be seated at one of Kennett Square’s better restaurants, Nixon Park’s three miles of walking trails weave through 106 acres of woodlands, meadows and fern-laden forest, passing streams, fishing ponds and a disc golf course. Free summer concerts are held Wednesdays at 7 p.m. through Aug. 6—a good reason to return after dinner for some live jazz, rock or Celtic music. North Walnut Street, Kennett Square; (610) 444-1416, ansonbnixonpark.org
 


The Last Supper: Associate editor Dawn E. Warden prepares the ultimate meal.

There are few things a woman enjoys more than having her favorite cocktail served just the way she likes it—something Fleming’s dashing dynamic duo, Ralph Romano and Christian Fittipaldi, have down pat. Before I can say “shaken, not stirred,” I’ve got an icy-cold martini, boutique Zin or double-decade scotch sitting in front of me, topped off with stimulating conversation.

It’s hard to imagine such delicate creations being fashioned by brawny Philly boy and Lacroix super-stud Matthew Levin—and even harder not to fall under his culinary spell. His pork belly and baby Portuguese rock octopus bring me to tears.

I swoon over Blackfish chef Chip Roman parsnip puree. Luscious, silky and slightly sweet, this simple side is the perfect complement to his melt-in-your-mouth short ribs.

Many of the area’s chefs are huge supporters of sustainable farms and artisan foods. Nectar’s Patrick Feury and Restaurant Alba’s Sean Weinberg are truly a farmer’s best friend. Breakfast chez Patrick features freshly laid eggs, sweet strawberries and cream, and fried heirloom tomatoes. This time of year, a five-course tasting à la Sean is made with nearly 90-percent local ingredients.

Tinto’s Jose Garces might be a little too busy now that he has three restaurants and a spot on Condé Nast Traveler’s 12th annual Hot List, but with his so-nice-you-can’t-believe-he’s-a-culinary-mogul persona, I have no doubt he’d make time to throw an order of those meaty, earthy, chewy hongos a la plantxa my way.

A well-worn harvest table would make the perfect stage for my lavish dream feast—one made all the more glorious with Juliska onyx-colored glassware, Simon Pearce’s black epoxy Geneva flatware, opulent gilded porcelain plates from L’Objet, shimmery AnnieGlass salad plates, and decadent Juan de Chrome dessert plates from my favorite tableware source, Homegrown.

THE GUEST LIST:
[Best Bartenders] Ralph Romano and Christian Fittipaldi, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 555 Lancaster Ave., Radnor; (610) 688-9463, flemingssteakhouse.com
[Best Culinary Scientist] Matthew Levin, Lacroix, Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia; (215) 790-2533, lacroixrestaurant.com
[Best Chef] Chip Roman, Blackfish, 119 Fayette St., Conshohocken; blackfishrestaurant.com, (610) 397-0888
[Best Sustainable Chef] Patrick Feury, Nectar, 1091 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn; (610) 725-9000, tastenectar.com
[Best Chef’s Tasting Menu] Restaurant Alba, 7 W. King St., Malvern; (610) 644-4009, restaurantalba.com
[Best New Restaurant in Philadelphia] Tinto, 114 S. 20th St., Philadelphia; (215) 665-9150, tintorestaurant.com
[Best Place to Dress Your Dining Room Table] Homegrown, 393 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford; (610) 356-7416, homegrownpa.com
 


Home, Sweet Home: Senior editor Tara Behan outfits her dream home—inside and out.

If I’m wandering around the Main Line and happen to see an estate with jaw-dropping curb appeal, chances are Chuck Gale and his team at Gale Nurseries are the masterminds behind it. Gale is a third-generation landscape designer who works for some of the same families his grandfather did more than 45 years ago. He’s meticulous—going as far as consulting with interior designers so exterior plantings complement color schemes inside. Not surprisingly, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

When my green thumb starts to itch, I head over to The Garden Shoppe at Braxton’s. Here you’ll find hundreds of colorful annuals and perennials—and a helpful staff who’d be glad to help out if you don’t know the difference is between the two.

As much as I admire a contemporary aesthetic, my personal preference veers toward the traditional. That’s why I love Stevens Antiques, with its huge inventory of antique and semi-antique furniture, from massive armoires and dining room tables to decorative mirrors and lighting. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, Stevens’ staff will try and find it for you on their next buying trip.

At Linda Ritter’s UpHome Ltd., one of her top sellers is husband Bryce’s custom furniture. A true artist, he makes 18th- and 19th-century reproduction furniture using century-old pine wood and old square nails. The imperfections in the wood bring character to the furniture, and all of it is painted with aged milk paint for a unique color and texture.

Nancy Koltes at Home’s namesake was among the first to introduce luxury linens to the U.S. marketplace. Her store features soft angora blankets, sumptuous mix-and-match bedding ensembles, the most comfortable pillows you’ve ever laid your head on, and even high-end mattresses. You’ll also find a variety of home accessories, including glassware, table linens, chandeliers and more. Trust me—if I could, I’d move right in.

RESOURCES:
[Best Garden Design] Gale Nurseries, 1716 School House Road, Gwynedd; (215) 699-4714, galenurseries.com
[Best Place for Green Thumbs] The Garden Shoppe at Braxton’s, 616 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 687-8800
[Best Authentic Finds for the Home] Stevens Antiques, 627 Lancaster Ave., Frazer; (610) 644-8282, stevensantiques.com
[Best Custom Furniture] UpHome Ltd., 1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore; (610) 458-3226, uphomeltd.com
[Best Place to Dress Your Bed] Nancy Koltes at Home, 379 Lancaster Ave., Haverford; (610) 645-6030, nancykoltesathome.com
 


Readers' Picks: Food & Drink

[Appetizers] Georges’ Spread Eagle Village
503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 964-2588, georgesonthemainline.com

[Authentic Ethnic Cuisine] Yangming
1051 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr; yangmingrestaurant.com, (610) 527-3200

[Bagels] Bagel Factory
511 Old Lancaster Road, Suite 4, Berwyn, (610) 647-7747

[Bakery] Bakery House
604 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-4139

[Bartender] Joe Belsa Old Guard House Inn
953 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne; (610) 649-9708, guardhouseinn.com

[Beer Stop] The Beverage Store
218 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-3431

[Birthday Cake] Clay’s Creative Corner Bakery
700 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 647-2119

[Bottled Beer Selection] Gullifty’s Pizza Grille & Bar
1149 Lancaster Ave., Rosemont; (610) 525-1851, gulliftys.com

[Best-Kept Secret] Catherine’s Restaurant
1701 W. Doe Run Road, Kennett Square; (610) 347-2227, catherinesrestaurant.com

[Breakfast] Nudy’s Cafe
292 E. Conestoga Road, Wayne, (610) 687-1345

[Brunch] Desmond Hotel and Conference Center
One Liberty Blvd., Malvern; (610) 296-9800, desmondgv.com

[Burger] Bistro Cassis
175 King of Prussia Road, Radnor; (610) 293-9411, pondrestaurant.com

[BYO] Meridith’s
10 Leopard Road, Berwyn; (610) 251-0265, meridiths.com

[BYO in Philadelphia] Matyson
37 S. 19th St., Philadelphia; matyson.com, (215) 564-2925

[Caterer] J. Scott Catering
189 Pennsylvania Ave., Malvern; (610) 725-9420, jscottcatering.com

[Cheese Steaks] Jim’s Steaks
Various locations, jimssteaks.com

[Chef] Abde Dahrouch (Pond Restaurant)
175 King of Prussia Road, Radnor; (610) 293-9411, pondrestaurant.com

[Cocktails] Nectar
1091 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn; (610) 725-9000, tastenectar.com

[Coffeehouse] Milkboy Coffee
2 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 645-5269; 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-0690; milkboycoffee.com

[Deli] Michael’s Restaurant & Delicatessen
Valley Forge Center, 130 Town Center Road, King of Prussia; michaelsdeli.com, (610) 265-3265

[Diner] Minella’s Diner
320 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; minellasdiner.com, (610) 687-1575

[Draft Beer Selection] Teresa’s Next Door
126 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 293-0119

[Eclectic Menu] Black Lab Bistro
248 Bridge St., Phoenixville; (610) 935-5988, blacklabbistro.net

[Family Place] Ruby’s Diner
Various locations, rubys.com

[Gourmet Grocery] FoodSource
633 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 581-7209, afoodsource.com

[Gourmet Meals to Go] Delaware Market House
357 Righters Mill Road, Gladwyne; (610) 642-7120, delawaremarket.com

[Gourmet Pizza] Peace a Pizza
Various locations, peacepizza.com

[Happy Hour] Glenmorgan Bar & Grill
593 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 341-3188, glenmorgan.com

[Hoagies] A Cut Above
3523 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square; (610) 353-4543, acutabovedeli.com

[House-made Desserts] Cosimo Restaurant & Wine Bar
209 Lancaster Ave., Malvern; cosimorestaurant.com, (610) 647-1233

[Microbrew] Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Various locations, ironhillbrewery.com

[Neighborhood Bar/Tavern] Kelly’s Restaurant & Tap Room
1107 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 520-9344, kellystaproom.com

[Neighborhood Market] Trader Joe’s
Various locations, traderjoes.com

[New Restaurant] Cosimo Restaurant & Wine Bar
209 Lancaster Ave., Malvern; (610) 647-1233, cosimorestaurant.com

[New Restaurant in Philadelphia] Osteria
640 N. Broad St., Philadelphia; (215) 763-0920, osteriaphilly.com

[Overall Restaurant] Old Guard House Inn
953 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne; (610) 649-9708, guardhouseinn.com

[Place for Kids] Christopher’s
108 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne; (610) 687-6558, christophersaneighborhoodplace.com

[Power Lunch] Pond Restaurant
175 King of Prussia Road, Radnor; (610) 293-9411, pondrestaurant.com

[Prix Fixe Menu] Fayette Street Grille
308 Fayette St., Conshohocken; (610) 567-0366, fayettestreetgrille.com

[Restaurant Bar] Sullivan’s Steakhouse
700 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia; sullivansteakhouse.com, (610) 878-9025

[Salads] Saladworks
Various locations, saladworks.com

[Seafood] Legal Sea Foods
90 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia; (610) 265-5566, legalseafoods.com

[Special Occasion Place] Dilworthtown Inn
1390 Old Wilmington Pike, West Chester; (610) 399-1390, dilworthtown.com

[Steakhouse] Morton’s the Steakhouse
640 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia; (610) 491-1900, mortons.com

[Sushi] Kooma
151 W. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 430-8980, koomarestaurant.com

[Traditional Pizza] Bravo Pizza
26 N. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 520-7455; 24 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 647-5122

[Vegetarian Dishes] Desi Village
145 S. Gulph Road, King of Prussia; (610) 265-8500, desi-village.com

[Water Ice] Rita’s
Various locations, ritasice.com

[Wine List] Savona
100 S. Gulph Road, Conshohocken; (610) 520-1200, savonarestaurant.com

[Wine Store] Ardmore Wine & Spirits Shop
56 Greenfield Ave., Ardmore, (610) 645-5010

 

Readers' Picks: Goods & Services

[Baby Boutique] Piccolini
932 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 527-4505, piccolinionline.com

[Bookstore] Borders
Various locations, borders.com

[Bridal Boutique] Suky
102 E. Montgomery Ave., Ardmore; (610) 649-3686, sukyoccasions.com

[Bridal Registry] Bed Bath & Beyond
Various locations, bedbathandbeyond.com

[Consignment Shop] Greene Street Consignment Shop
848 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 519-0878, greenestreetconsignment.com

[Day Spa] Onde Spalon
224 S. Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square; (610) 356-4378, ondespalon.com

[Florist] Accents by Michele
4003 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (610) 356-5683

[Garden Accessories] Waterloo Gardens
200 N. Whitford Road, Exton, (610) 363-0800; 136 Lancaster Ave., Devon, (610) 293-0800; waterloogardens.com

[Hair Salon] La Difference Salon and Day Spa
830 Paoli Pike, West Chester; (610) 429-1808, ladifferencesalon.com

[Home Furnishings and Accessories] Albert’s Interiors
3510 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (610) 353-3636

[Hostess Gifts] Blue Tulip
Various locations, bluetulip.com

[Kids’ Clothing] Kylee’s Kids
3515 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square; (610) 353-6020, kyleeskids.com

[Men’s Clothing] M.L. Lawrence & Co.
385 Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 649-8899


[Party DJ] DJ Howard
spectrasound.com

[Place for Private Parties/Receptions] Pond Restaurant
175 King of Prussia Road, Radnor; (610) 293-9411, pondrestaurant.com

[Teen Clothing] Just for Girls
Various locations, justicejustforgirls.com

[Women’s Clothing] Skirt
931 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 520-0222, shop-skirt.com

[Women’s Evening Attire] Tancreeds
1 E. State St., Media, (610) 566-2300

 

Readers' Picks: Health & Recreation

[Health Club] Philadelphia Sports Clubs
34 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 645-7600; 555 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids, (610) 688-3342; mysportsclubs.com

[Health Program for Kids] Varsity Fitness
913 Montgomery Ave., Penn Valley; (610) 668-4333, varsityfitnessclub.com

[Park] Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia; (610) 783-1077, nps.gov/vafo

 

Readers' Picks: Media, Sports, Trends, Etc.

[Local Pro Sports Celebrity] The Eagles’ Brian Westbrook
philadelphiaeagles.com

[Music Radio Station] 88.5 WXPN-FM
xpn.org

[News-Talk Radio Station] 91 WHYY-FM
whyy.org

[Party Band] Jellyroll
thepartyband.com

[Pro Coach] The Eagles’ Andy Reid
philadelphiaeagles.com

[Pro Sports Team] The Phillies
philadelphiaphillies.com

[Radio Morning Show] Preston and Steve Show
93.3 WMMR-FM, prestonandsteve.com

[Radio Music DJ] John DeBella
102.9 WMGK-FM, jdbshow.com

[Radio Talk Show Host] Michael Smerconish
1210 WPHT-AM, mastalk.com

[Sports Radio Personality] Howard Eskin
610 WIP-AM, 610wip.com

[TV News Anchor] Jim Gardner
6 ABC, abclocal.go.com/wpvi

[TV Sportscaster] Gary Papa
6 ABC, abclocal.go.com/wpvi

[TV Weatherperson] Bill Henley
NBC 10, nbc10.com

[Volunteer Group] Gladwyne Fire Company
1044 Black Rock Road, Gladwyne, gladwynefirecompany.org

 

Web Picks: Winners of Main Line Today’s first-ever online ballot.

[Dinner Under $50] Bistro Cassis
175 King of Prussia Road, Radnor; (610) 293-9411, pondrestaurant.com

[Getaway] New Hope
(215) 862-5030, newhope.com

[Kids’ Menu] Ruby’s Diner
Various locations, rubys.com

[Local Blog] Tikaro.com
Tikaro Interactive, 17 Wilmont Mews, Suite 309, West Chester, (610) 624-3250

[Local Website] InWayne.com

[Mom and Pop Pizza Shop] Bella Italia Pizza
12 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore; (484) 649-1700, bellaitaliapizza.com

[Picnic Place] Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia; (610) 783-1077, nps.gov/vafo

[Unconventional Workout] Kettlebells at NICKSGYM
600 Old Lancaster Road, Bryn Mawr; (610) 996-1799, nicksgym.net

[Unknown Charity] Indigenous Pitch Dance Collective
First Position Movement Arts Center, 17 Mifflin Ave., Suite 101, Havertown; (610) 853-9656, firstpositionmac.com

[Vintage Jewelry] Malena’s Unique Boutique
145 W. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 738-9952, malenasboutique.com 

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