Our friends at Main Line Today know how to throw a party!

We recently attended the popular magazine’s annual “Best Of” party at Drexelbrook, where we savored some of the finest culinary creations from restaurants along the Main Line and Western Suburbs. We had a great time chatting with both the restaurant owners we know and love, as well as making new friends and sampling foods from a few establishments that have been on our “must try” list.

Honestly, there was more than one foodie could sample in a night. At one point, I found myself sipping a Bloody Mary made with Stoli Hot Jalapeno Flavored Vodka while holding a chocolate confection in my other hand. This was the moment I realized a strategy was needed for tackling this star-studded affair. Food and drink samplings abounded. Here were just a few of our faves on the night, not necessarily in any order:

At Georges’ (Best Happy Hour), a chef was delicately creating art – little displays of hummus with wedges of pita. Looking over the selection, I joked with the exhibitor, asking if the garlic hummus was going to be too garlic-ky. With the impeccable service we’ve come to expect from a Georges Perrier devotee, the man simply smiled as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a tin of Altoids and offered me one. That my friends, is why Georges Perrier and his staff are legendary.

Feastivities (Best Caterer) created s’mores on the spot. Using a clothespin to hold the chocolate covered graham cracker, they dipped the tasty treat into a melted marshmallow mixture and then seared the creation with a blowtorch. We loved the display, the theatrics, and of course, the edible delight!

Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar (Best Guacamole), which is making preparations for their third anniversary in August, was serving samples of their famous guacamole with chips. Hearty and spicy, this whetted my appetite to try more off their menu.

Cakes and Candies by Maryellen (Best Bakery) had an incredible display, and I couldn’t resist trying one of their cake pops for the first time. As I bit into the dense moist chocolate, decadence was the only word suitable for this amazing take on cake.

I had not heard of 333 Belrose (Best Work-Week Lunch), but when I saw they were serving crab cake sliders, I didn’t hesitate to try one. Served with a smile by a crew that was definitely having fun, this slider appeared to be all crab, no filler. It melted in my mouth. Makes me wish I worked in Radnor. Awesome!

Did you know Chef Angela from Carlino’s is also a mixologist? Like a magician, she mixed together an Italian soda—which my date raved over. The sip I tried was fruity and bubbly, a true treat.

Ron’s Original Bar & Grill (Best Low-Carb Menu Options) was serving an assortment of food and drink. I sampled a powerful Maudite Amber Red Ale from the assortment of fine beers they were pouring. I also have to recommend Ron’s Gluten Free Chocolate Pot, which was decadent and delighted my tongue, subduing the jalapeno taste from earlier.

Billy Burger and Bakery (Best Burger and Dessert Combo) served samples of both their astounding Moroccan Chicken Salad sandwiches and their scrumptious strawberry shortcake. Full disclosure: My son works at Billy Burger and the strawberry shortcake was the hit of his high school graduation party last month!

In the next row, they were making S’mores Campfire martinis, complete with a marshmallow on a stick. Using Three Olives S’mores Vodka, this really did taste like a s’more around a campfire.

A new grilled cheese restaurant opened in Wayne. Wait, what? How did I not know this? Meltdown was started by the folks who brought us Peace A Pizza. Their samples were full of cheesy goodness, showing why they were voted for having the best menu for kids.

America’s Pie (Best Pizza) provided samples of their amazing crab chowder and hoagie slices.

Dixie Picnic (Best Lunch for the Kids) was serving up Pork Sliders topped with cole slaw, which is one of their most popular items at the restaurant.

We have to admit, there was no shortage of cupcakes on the night. In addition to Cakes and Candies by Maryellen, we were tempted by Dia Doce (Best Gourmet Cupcakes), Clay’s Creative Bakery (Best Looking Cakes), and Cupcakes Gourmet.

Christopher Calhoun (Best Chef) of the Desmond Hotel’s Hunt Room was on hand serving up his delectable shrimp cocktails. Chef Chris is transforming the restaurant at the Desmond Hotel into a hotspot where locals dine.

After interviewing Front Street Fountain’s Michelle Hanway last month, I had the pleasure of meeting husband Patrick Hanway at the Main Line Today party, where he was dispensing ice cream and humor throughout the night. The Hanway’s awesome, retro soda fountain shop and restaurant in Media had won for best place for kids.

We took occasional breaks to listen to the popular party band Jellyroll and watch the folks who took to the dance floor. We also stopped to meet our favorite morning man, Steve from WMMR’s Preston and Steve show. Trying to sample all the delectable food and drink was quite a challenge throughout the night, but we did our best!

View the full list of Main Line Today’s Best Of 2012 by clicking here. Photographs credited to Allison Benford, Bonsai Doll Fern Photography.