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With winter in full freeze, I can’t think of a better time to hunker down in one of my favorite local restaurants. There are many fine places to eat on and around the Main Line, and our hope is that this year’s “Best Restaurants” feature will make the selection process a bit easier.

In assembling the list, our original intent was to limit the number to 25. However, when the smoke cleared, we’d chosen 29. All of them have earned raves from our critics and readers, whether it was through our Epicure section or July’s “Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs” issue. Added to those were 13 local institutions that have become so much a part of the fabric of the communities they serve that they can’t be ignored. We also picked five chains with character and culinary panache to rival the best indies.

So that’s 47. Hardly the 25 we’d planned, but serviceable just the same. My guess is that some of you will disagree with at least a few of our picks. As always, we welcome and encourage your feedback.

And while we’re on the subject, I’d like to introduce our new dining editor, Beth Ceccarelli. A passionate foodie, Ceccarelli is a former editor of MAINLINE magazine, and a graduate of Villanova and Temple universities. She’s worked at several other area publications, not to mention the Today Show in Sydney, Australia. She’s currently working on a second master’s degree, with hopes of becoming a registered dietitian. We’re excited to have her aboard.

And if you happened to stay at one of the area’s finer hotels recently, you may have discovered the latest issue of AmericasCuisine Philadelphia in your room. The local edition of this nationally affiliated restaurant guide is now part of our parent company, Today Media, its pages filled with menus, recipes and more. You can also find it in bookstores, supermarkets and other locations. Or check it out online at philadelphiacuisine.com, where can you download menus and make reservations. Like MLT, it’s also available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

It’s ballot time again. And this year, we’ve tweaked the voting process for our annual “Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs” readers’ poll. We’ve streamlined the mail-in ballot, so it’s easier than ever to vote, and we’ve also made a number of our more popular categories “Web only.” Click here to cast your vote online.

Your opinion counts, so please take a few minutes to support your favorite local businesses. And I hope to see you all at the Best of the Main Line Party on Aug. 4.

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