Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to indulge the senses. Along with pinks and reds, an array of hearts and a smattering of X’s and O’s, one of the hallmarks of this day for lovers is sumptuous dining. Of course, we’re partial to the latter and can’t wait to share our Valentine’s Day menu specials with you — for an entire week!

Make plans to visit our newly opened Fork & Bottle restaurant now through Feb. 17 and learn why the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. We couldn’t agree more — that’s why we’ve lined up an inspired list of fare (and a signature drink) that will have you and yours swooning. So what’s on the menu?

First off: the Very Berry Valentini. This heart-winning cocktail starts off with Hangar 1 Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka. Then we add Chambord, a squeeze of fresh lemon, cranberry juice, Grenadine and a strawberry garnish for an irresistible sip.

The end result? A lovely red martini that’s balanced, fruity and extremely pairable. Try its flavors in concert with delectable offerings from chef Chris Calhoun’s kitchen like Italian chestnut soup or warm beef carpaccio (with 25-year-old balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano and shaved cremini mushroom). We’ll also be serving up a variety of dishes featuring prime ingredients from the land and sea.

From the land:

  • Texas akaushi wagyu beef strip loin with port-shallot reduction.
  • Piedmontese flat iron steak with black truffle polenta and grilled artichoke hearts.

From the sea:

  • Chargrilled Spanish octopus tentacle with pistachio pesto, fine herbs, blood orange and olive oil.
  • Sea scallops harvested from Hokkaido, seared with yuzu mousseline and cranberry.
  • Seared Carolina waters wild albacore tuna.
  • Massachusetts shore razor clam chowder with celery root, purple potato and guanciale.

Last but not least, don’t forget dessert! The letter “s” is in dessert twice because you can’t have just one bite (and you might want seconds!). Make reservations between Feb. 13 and Feb. 17 to savor our Valrhona dark chocolate soufflé with pecan praline crème anglaise. It’s made in house, and sure to please.

Reservations are highly recommended to dine with us and celebrate a week of love! Call (610) 269-9800 or make reservations online. It’s always a good time to fall in love with our food.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free WiFi. Our luxury property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you — no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond

Do you need an excuse to be happier? We don’t think so! With all of the responsibilities of modern life, who couldn’t use another way to have fun and enjoy? That’s why we’ve crafted one of Chester County’s most unique happy hours: to give you one more way to improve your week (and one more reason to love us).

Reluctant to start the workweek? Got a case of the Mondays? Whatever the reason, stop by and see what makes our happy hour so … happy!

When and Where

Start early! Our happy hour delights from Sunday to Thursday, 4 to 6 p.m., at the Fox & Hounds Pub.

Food

It’s no secret that our award-winning food is a huge draw. Did you know you get 20 percent off pub starters during happy hour? That’s right! Dig into a selection of inspiring savory plates prepared with ingredients from the finest farms and fisheries. Check out our current menu for this season’s offerings.

Drinks

Libations are central to a great happy hour, and our drinks deliver. Raise a glass to $5 craft beers on draft, $7 house wines and $5 house cocktails. You can also grab $3 domestic bottled beers and $2 Yuengling drafts.

Daily Specials

Happy hour might only be from 4 to 6 p.m., but our daily specials are served from 3 p.m. to close, with select drinks just $5. Now that’s a reason to be happy! Our specials focus on a different drink every day:

  • Sundays: Bloody marys and mimosas
  • Mondays: House martinis
  • Tuesdays: Tropical rum cocktails
  • Wednesdays: Select red or white wine
  • Thursdays: Lime or raspberry margaritas

Come get happy with us! With deals like these, every week is a good week.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo/first photo: Edwin Williams Photography LLC; other photos, top to bottom: The Desmond; Edwin Williams Photography LLC

What happens when you build something from only the best? You create something that’s truly exceptional. When we set out to update The Hunt Room, we knew it wasn’t just about the decor. Our goal from the start was to create a brand-new experience based on amazing produce, meats and seafood sourced from trusted farmers and fisheries, as well as new dishes.

Over the years, we’ve built personal relationships with these producers, and that lets us bring you unique and rare offerings at the height of their freshness and quality. Executive chef Chris Calhoun has crafted a menu that highlights these ingredients while imbuing his own culinary style. You’ll find elements of Continental and Asian cuisine seamlessly integrated with global flavors all in the pursuit of one thing: the perfect composition for every dish. Each menu item is a spotlight on the kitchen’s culinary prowess and the stellar offerings from our purveyors. Here’s just a few of the extraordinary eats you can expect at our new restaurant, Fork & Bottle:

Kauai Shrimp

Known for their amazing texture and sweet flavor, these prized shrimp are sustainably raised on the beautiful island of Kauai. We have them shipped overnight to our kitchen so they’re still alive upon arrival. Our Kauai shrimp are a true specialty, and a rare find.

Wild King Salmon

King salmon is known for its rich, buttery texture and superior flavor. Ours is wild caught and overnighted from New Zealand especially for us. When we say “fresh seafood,” we really mean it!

Allen Brothers Beef

Since 1893, Allen Brothers has been a leader in purveying prime beef. We source the company’s 100 percent true Black Angus — and every piece is meltingly tender with an unmatched flavor. We order whole cuts and hand-carve them in-house before cooking them to order for your table.

Local Bread

We choose our selection of artisan loaves from local bakery La Baguette Magique. Its breads are slow-fermented with authentic starters, and have a crust and crumb that are simply a cut above.

Shy Brothers Cheese

Shy Brothers Farm makes award-winning cheeses that are downright delicious. They’ve been lauded by Bon AppétitFood & Wine and the American Cheese Society. The brothers’ farm in Westport, Mass., produces unique cheeses that truly reflect the terroir of their pastures and salt air.

Housemade Desserts

When it comes to scratch-made desserts, no detail is too small. Our desserts are carefully composed so that your last bite of the meal is as inspiring as your first.

There’s so much on our new menu that’s worth noting, but the best way to find out more is to come see for yourself. We can’t wait to share these dishes with you! Even more so, we want you to come and have the full experience.

Our new dining space has received just as much attention as our new menu. We’ve gone through every detail to bring you something spectacular. You’ll find it’s modern, airy and elegant, with shades of blue and white throughout to create an ambiance that is charmingly serene any time of day, while accents of polished silver and warm earth tones enrich the space. Every aspect, from the lighting to the cozy chairs, eschews a subtle sophistication that is the perfect environment to enjoy our cuisine.

The best thing about all of our changes is what hasn’t changed: our staff. Our team is at the core of every great experience that we offer our guests. They’re also the catalyst behind bringing this brand-new culinary adventure into reality for us to share with you.

At its heart, Fork & Bottle helps us offer you even more. We’ve kept the same superlative service and familiar smiles, and added a world of new flavors set among a fresh new look. Come join us! Make your reservations online or call us at 610-296-9800.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond, Ed Williams

When winter’s chill settles in, there’s nothing like a great drink to warm you up. Although there’s plenty of old standbys like the classic Manhattan, it’s exciting to try something new — especially if it captivates the senses enough to become a new favorite! That’s exactly what we’ve whipped up with our Winter Solstice cocktail.

Our Winter Solstice cocktail starts with Brandywine Branch Distillery’s Solstice Expression Revivalist Gin. This special, locally made gin is flavored with select botanicals blended especially for the wintertime. Orange peel and ginger mingle with a subtle juniper presence and a special bill of herbs, fruits and spices. Solstice gin is then rested in red wine oak barrels, which mellows the spirit and imparts complexity, body and color. The end result? A balanced and harmonious gin with a unique, botanical fragrance and flavor that’s perfect for winter. If you find other gins overpowering, this is the one to try at The Desmond!

We mix this inspiring gin with Cointreau, fresh orange, bitters, lemon and a hint of thyme. It’s all stirred over ice and then strained for a cocktail that is bright, complex and the perfect respite from the cold winter winds.

Try pairing this cocktail with one of our seafood dishes or any of our carefully crafted salads for a refreshing winter pick-me-up!

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond

The holidays mean gathering with family and friends to celebrate the joy of the season. While hosting can be a lot of fun, it also means plenty of planning, preparation and cleanup afterward. Skip the dishes and come have fun with us! We’ve got a number of exciting events coming up to help you get in the holiday spirit.

Brunch with Santa on Sunday, December 10

Kids want a photo with Santa? Easy! Visit with Old Saint Nick and kick off the holidays with a decadent brunch at the same time! Multitasking has never been so fun (or delicious). After you meet with Santa, we treat you to a complimentary keepsake photo.

This very special gathering is the perfect chance to find out why we were voted one of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2017 by OpenTable diners. Join us on Sunday, December 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for an amazing menu, including:

  • Cinnamon and rum brioche French toast.
  • Hand-carved Black Angus beef sirloin with jus and horseradish sauce.
  • Cherry wood-smoked Lancaster ham.
  • Made-to-order omelet bar.
  • Ice cream sundae bar.
  • And many other delicious items from our kitchen.

The cost is just $26 for adults and $16 for children 6–12 (children 5 and under are free). Call (610) 249-2180 for reservations.

Dickens Brunch on Sunday, December 17

We love the classics as much as you do, and that’s why we’re doing our second annual Charles Dickens brunch! We’ll celebrate the season with themes from the classic tale A Christmas Carol and serve up a chef’s selection of brunch specialties and yuletide favorites. Snap a keepsake photo by our tree to commemorate the day! This event is so much fun, you might just be moved to sing your own carols.

One thing’s for sure: The brunch will definitely be something to sing about. We’ll be serving delicious dishes like:

  • Cardamom and lemon brioche French toast.
  • Alder-planked salmon filet with a spiced crust and mint chutney.
  • Lamb and root vegetable shepherd’s pie.
  • Eggs Benedict.
  • Chocolate and chai bread pudding.
  • Much more from our kitchen.

We’re having this special event on on Sunday, December 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $29 for adults and $17 for children 6–12 (children 5 and under are free). Don’t wait to make your reservations: Call 610-296-9800 or book online.

Christmas Eve Brunch on Sunday, December 24

This is a perfect brunch for the family when you have guests in town. Let us take care of the menu and you can focus on enjoying the time together. We’ll be making spirits bright with amazing food in our warm and cozy dining room. Join us on Sunday, December 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a one-of-a-kind treat! The cost is $29 for adults and $17 for children 6–12 (children 5 and under are free). Reservations are strongly recommended. You can call 610-296-9800 or book online.

New Year’s Eve Brunch on Sunday, December 31

End the year with a relaxing meal at our place! Choose from our award-winning brunch menu that has something for everyone — kids, too! — such as just-baked pastries, donuts and bagels, omelets, French toast, waffles, creamed chipped beef and more. Save room for dessert! It’s just $21 for adults and $12 for children 6–12 (children 5 and under are free). Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 610-296-9800 or book online.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: Michael Kocher Photography; other photos, top to bottom: Party Cam; Kim Mullen

If you’re in the top 100 out of 103, it might not mean much. However, if you’re among the top 100 restaurants in America—yup, the entire United States—then that’s a different story. We don’t generally toot our own horn, but we’re telling the truth! OpenTable diners voted us one of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America, and we’re proud to serve you our award-winning brunch every Sunday.

We love focusing on the finest American regional cuisine and bringing the best ingredients from near and far to our kitchen and to your table. Executive chef Chris Calhoun and his talented team craft amazing food day in and day out—including the early risers. Why settle for a regular old brunch when you could brunch at The Desmond?

So how do you make a great brunch? Every gourmet and aspiring cook wants to know the answer! We asked chef Chris to share some of the elements of a fantastic brunch for the home cook. Don’t cook? You don’t have to. You can make reservations here. Read on to find out how chef Chris makes one of the best brunches in America.

Rule #1: Quality

When everything is good, nothing can be bad. Start with the best ingredients and you’ll end up with the best food.

Rule #2: Variety

Serve a varied menu and you’ll be sure to strike a chord with everyone. Variety is the spice of life—for good reason. Guests with dietary needs and restrictions will especially love a thoughtfully diverse menu.

Rule #3: Mix Hot and Cold

“I prefer meals with hot and cold items,” Chris said. It goes back to variety: Offer your guests a “cold grain or noodle salad, fresh fruit of the season, charcuterie or smoked seafood, juice, good cheeses and bread. Then, focus on hot items—try eggs, pancakes or waffles, and French toast—plus coffee, and make them great.”

How does it all come together? With an amazing brunch experience, of course. Find out for yourself and visit us today!

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: The Desmond; all other photos, top to bottom: Hilton; The Desmond (next two photos)

Some things remain classics, while others continue to evolve. Such is life. One can easily bring to mind great sports cars, like the Ford Mustang, that have seen many changes over the years, but still retain their essence. As we grow and evolve, we keep the best and upgrade the rest.

At The Desmond, we go through change, too.

For instance, we’ve updated our restaurant space. It’s taken some time (change is a process), but we’re pleased with the results—and we know that you’ll be, too. We’ve even done a little name change with one of our eateries—and all will be revealed soon! What hasn’t changed, though, is our wonderful staff and unwavering commitment to offering the finest cuisine. You’ll still find those familiar smiles and favorite menu items.

Our team is the heart of The Desmond, and it’s through them that we’re able to give all of our guests unparalleled service from the moment they walk in the door. Whether it’s a weeklong stay or an evening out, we’re here to make you feel at home.

Home keeps you coming back, and just like some of our “regulars,” some of our staff members have been calling The Desmond home for decades. In fact, we’re so proud to have such an amazing, talented and caring bunch that for this blog post, we wanted to focus on them. Meet Jackie, Collin and Michael—a few of our team members who help make every day special. Read on to hear their thoughts on the new space and life at The Desmond.

Jackie Fong

Jackie has been a server at The Desmond for 21 years, and has an incredible memory for your preferred beverage! Her favorite part about the new restaurant space? “It looks bigger and there’s more light,” she says with a smile. Jackie’s motto is to “treat others how you want to be treated, and you’ll never be wrong.” We couldn’t agree more! “Comfort” is how Jackie sums up being at The Desmond. “Everyone who walks in is more than our guest; they’re family. Even if we don’t have it on the menu, if it’s in the kitchen, it’s yours.” Jackie’s favorite foods at The Desmond? “So hard to choose! Our crab bisque is the best, and everyone can’t get enough of our award-winning mushroom soup and famous bread pudding.”

Collin Walters

Collin has been a server with us for 27 years! He describes the updated style, color and furniture of the new restaurant space as “modern and inviting.” How would Collin describe working at The Desmond? “Stress-free, service-oriented and fun.” He cites the standout quality of visiting The Desmond as “the positive connection that is established between us and our guest.”

Michael Ryan

“Most of the restaurant staff have worked at the Desmond for 5 or more years,” said Michael, who has been a server for 13 years. “I love how we work together and get along like family. Guests notice this and compliment how they feel right at home from the moment they check in until they check out.” His favorite part of the new space? “The colors—they really brighten up the room and makes it appear more open. I also love the new chandeliers and the design of the ceiling.”

We hope you’ll visit us soon to see what’s new—and what’s not—and let our servers welcome you like family.

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: CVC Construction; text photo: The Desmond

When life winds you up, it’s important to take the time to wind back down. Sometimes you just need to sneak off and take a break from the daily grind. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get away without having to hop on a plane? Here at The Desmond, we specialize in creating options for you to do just that! Whether it’s a long weekend or an overnight stay, we’ve got everything you need for fun and relaxation without the travel fare. You can even book a reservation online any time of day—or night. It’s just one more way we’re here to serve you as the area’s finest full-service hotel.

Indulge in Luxury

Like being pampered? We do, too! That’s why we strive to offer the best amenities and cuisine for a superlative guest experience. Get comfortable in our well-appointed rooms, where room service is just a ring away. Relax on our triple-sheeted bed boasting fine linens, hypoallergenic pillows and blankets—with down pillows available upon request. Plug in (or not!) to a home docking station for your mobile device.

Dine in any of our restaurants, where our culinary team showcases only the finest seasonal ingredients from near and far with modern flair. Choose from the elegant newly renovated dining room, the casual but charming Fox & Hounds Pub or, in fair weather, our al fresco Sunset Grille. You’ll enjoy executive chef Chris Calhoun’s exquisite dishes at all three venues.

Get Moving

Feeling sporty and need to get outdoors? Enjoy our walking and jogging trails, completely renovated indoor fitness center or convenient bike rentals. Make a splash any time of year with our indoor pool and hot tub. You can even count on us for complimentary local transportation to stops of interest close to the hotel.

Location, Location, Location

We’re in Malvern, at the center of many of the Brandywine Valley’s unique attractions and just minutes from the rest of the Main Line and Philadelphia. This means that you’ll find fun in any direction you head. Local wineries, great shops and tranquil spas are all within reach when you stay with us. Check out all the things to do in the area.

Our convenient guest room packages combine the best local attractions with our hotel’s world-class conveniences. Select from a diverse roster of experiences that you won’t soon forget or for the perfect gift this holiday season! Each package includes a stay with us and some local adventures—perfect for a romantic getaway or a weekend with the girls!

Our packages include:

  • Pink Out Overnight Package
  • Sip, Savor and Stay
  • A Night on the Bridge
  • The Romance Package
  • The Escape Package
  • The Shop N Stay Package
  • QVC Studio Tour

Stop thinking about getting away and make it happen! Make a reservation online or call us at 800-575-1776.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

–Michael Jordan

In business, just like on the court, team building is important. Whether it’s a small company of just five individuals or a large corporation with hundreds, teamwork is a success essential that must be honed. There’s no doubt that companies are seeing the value of team building now more than ever. From seminars to best-selling books, the world’s experts are telling us to invest in teams to maximize business.

So how do you build your team up? Simple: visit us. We can help! When you host a team building event, you need to pick the right place, atmosphere and activities. Here’s why The Desmond should be the venue for your next team building retreat:

IACC

These are the four letters to look for whenever you’re considering a business venue for your next event. The IACC certification is prestigious and indicates a standard of nonpareil quality. All members conform to a comprehensive global set of criteria and quality standards surrounding the physical meeting room design, refreshments and service. The Desmond is an IACC-certified venue that provides world-class accommodations to the Philadelphia Metro area.

Collaborative Space

As the saying goes: location, location, location. It’s as true for real estate as it is for typing up an important report. When you need the right space for a team building retreat, we answer the call with a floor plan that boasts rooms for every activity and group size. In addition to large conference spaces, there are ample breakout and break rooms, too.

Engaging Activities

Change only comes about through action—all great team building events need an exercise or activity! There’s nothing like rolling up your sleeves and enjoying a new experience alongside your peers. That’s why we offer a number options for you and your team.

Our culinary team building activities are unique and fun! When guests attend one of our dynamic culinary events, they’ll notice that we put the focus on working together in an enjoyable environment. Each event is designed to encourage creativity and team connection, with great food and drink to boot. Culinary events include:

  • Chili Cook-Off
  • M & M Cocktail Party
  • Mystery Basket
  • Kitchen Workshop Clinic

Feeling more crafty? Try our Paint & Sip event! Show off your artistic prowess, or just have fun putting brush to canvas while enjoying drinks in a team setting. Your team gets to express creativity with colors and form, and take home their creations. Request a proposal to find out more about customizing your next team building experience.

Great Food

Even teams have to eat. Make sure you’re running on the right fuel! Our award-winning restaurants provide amazing cuisine that showcases the best ingredients from near and far. Whether it’s a nibble during a conference or a full-on luncheon, we can cater to groups from 5 to 300.

Central Location

Our full-service hotel is nestled in scenic Chester County, close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the regional rail and the Philadelphia International Airport. Our location is equally convenient for guests travelling locally or from abroad. We also offer guest room blocks in comfortable lodging—perfect for multi-day conferences and out-of-town guests.

When you’re planning your next team-strengthening retreat or activity, consider all that The Desmond has to offer. Our IACC-certified venue is perfect for groups of all sizes, and has everything you need for next-level team building retreats. Our business is to help you strengthen your business. You can request a proposal anytime online, or give us a call at (800) 575-1776.

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: Pictures by Todd; all other photos: The Desmond

Ever wish you could get a recipe for your favorite restaurant dish? Us, too. That’s why we caught up with executive chef Chris Calhoun for the details on this delicious starter from our menu.

Spaghetti squash is abundant in late summer and early fall. In this recipe, he’s amplified its natural sweetness by roasting it with honey. Then he’s dressed it up with citrus juice to counter the sweetness and to match the acidity of the goat cheese and balsamic walnuts. The ingredients are simple, the flavors are complex and the presentation is impressive. Try this for your next dinner party, or stop in to dine with us and chef Chris can make it for you.

Spaghetti Squash Salad with Goat Cheese, Balsamic Walnuts and Sprouts

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • Grapeseed oil, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower sprouts, as desired

Special equipment: 4”–6” ring mold

Method:

Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Split squash in half and remove seeds. Drizzle interior with honey and olive oil. Place rosemary sprig in each half and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place in shallow baking pan, shell side down, with the interior facing up. Add an inch of water to the pan and cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 60 minutes.
  5. The strands of squash should just start to pull away from the shell when scraped with a small fork. If so, keep covered with foil and set aside to rest for 60 minutes as it cools.
  6. If the squash is still extremely firm, cover with foil and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Goat cheese:

  1. Soften goat cheese to room temperature.
  2. Stir in heavy cream.

Syrup:

  1. Add sugar and vinegar into a small saucepot. Boil down to a warm syrup.
  2. Add walnuts and salt.
  3. Cook together, stirring constantly. Continue until walnuts are well coated and most of the syrup is reduced and clinging.
  4. Scrape nuts out onto waxed or oiled paper to cool.
  5. Crush the nuts gently when cool.

The finished dish!

  1. Scrape the flesh from the cooled squash into a mixing bowl. Season to taste with grapeseed oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a ring mold, use the squash mixture as the base. Cover with a layer of goat cheese, smoothing it with a wet spoon.
  3. Remove ring and repeat process for each guest served.
  4. Garnish plates with sprouts, walnuts and additional olive oil as desired.

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: The Desmond; other photos, top to bottom: Bigstock; The Desmond