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Greetings, All


My apologies if some of you have seen a glimpse of this before, but due to some technical impediments, bocconcini’s 2007 appearance was fleeting. If you’re new to the magazine, I’m Dawn Warden, the magazine’s associate editor and token foodaholic—a.k.a. the voice behind our Epicure section. Years ago, long before I embarked on a second career at Main Line Today, I owned a small catering company, a venture that was preceded by a number of waitressing and catering gigs, and a lifetime of pigging out on my grandmothers’ and mother’s simple but superb Italian dishes.

Despite what it said on my college diploma (and my dreams of becoming a travel writer), I wound up following the path of least resistance—which, for me, was cooking. Ask me to write a 2,000-word article or prepare dinner for 50, and I’d pick the latter before you could ask, “Sit-down or buffet?” The only thing I don’t love about food is that some people don’t have enough of it.

When people ask me what I’m doing this weekend, my response usually degenerates into a breakdown of what I’ll be eating. Reading cooking magazines and menus has been known to send me into a state of rapture. Show me a picture of Pike Place Market or any gorgeous, open-air market around the world, and I’ll immediately ponder all the things I could make. I’ll dive into a grilled cheese sandwich (on multi-grain bread, with roasted red peppers, prosciutto, fresh basil leaves and Dijon) just as eagerly as I would a piece of seared Hudson Valley foie gras (if that doesn’t get you writing, well…).

When I am not eating or talking about eating, I’m writing—sometimes about food, sometimes about other topics. Either way, you’ll find me hidden away in an office with no windows, the only view of the outside world coming through my computer monitor. Don’t tell my editor, but I spend a lot of time surfing the Web and daydreaming about all the restaurants I want to try—often down to what dish I’d order.

I get invited to a lot of press dinners. But more often than not, I have to decline, which is no fun and has left me with an embarrassing list of restaurants I still haven’t tried. The list includes big-name Philly eats Morimoto, Rae, James, Palace at the Ben, the Capital Grille and Barclay Prime—oh, and don’t forget Panorama, with its highly lauded wine list—plus out-of-the-way places like The Orchard, Twin Bays Café, Black Lab Bistro and Sagami. And while it may smack of culinary travesty, it’s in my job description that my primary focus is the Main Line and western suburbs.

But we all know that new restaurant openings are few and far between in this neck of the woods, and that Main Liners are equally drawn east and west. So you can count on plenty of Philly and Chester County coverage, with a little far Delaware County thrown in.

But I digress: Ultimately, this blog is not about me. It’s merely a vehicle to expand MLT’s Epicurean horizons as I learn what and where our readers like to eat and drink. I don’t care if it’s a dive, a four-star, a farmers’ market, deli, bakery or chocolatier; I want to learn what’s hot and what’s not from regular peeps who, like me, have a sincere appreciation for one of life’s simple yet satisfying pleasures. My palate has nary a bigotous bone (except when it comes to scrapple), so whatever food- or drink-related scoop you’ve got to share, I’m all ears.

Feel free to e-mail me at dwarden@mainlinetoday.com. All opinions, insights and news are welcome, but please suppress any biting or slanderous commentary. We’re all born with different taste buds, and the world already has enough mean people.

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