What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
September 20, 2016

SF AMATRICE image and website design courtesy of Bureau Jules.

Ciao amici! As you probably know, I’m crazy busy promoting and planning our big fundraiser this Sunday September 25th, SF AMATRICE, which is now at ~54 MINT~. We are going to be taking over their beautiful patio, Americano in hand. Can’t you just see yourself there? I do!

Our all-day fundraiser has a stellar lineup of SF restaurants, local businesses, importers, purveyors, and suppliers, all coming together to raise funds for Italy earthquake relief in Amatrice. It will be quite a spread of antipasti, pinsas, cheese and salumi, dolci, Negronis and Aperol spritzes from Campari America and Rye on the Road, fantastic wine, and Peroni beer too. And, of course, there will be pasta all’amatriciana!

Imagine yourself at your dream Italian bar for two hours, eating and drinking your favorite Italian dishes, all to your heart’s content. You’d totally spend more than $75 on a spread like this! And there’s no tax and tip to worry about.

We are selling tickets in two-hour time blocks, making it easy for you to swing by, no matter what you have going on. I’ll be there all day! It would be great to see you before I leave for New York for the month of October.

You can read more here, but here’s where I really need your help. Can you please buy a ticket now? GRAZIE! We need to sell this out! We will be donating 100 percent of the funds to the Comune of Amatrice! Can’t make it? You can also donate on the ticket page. Anything helps. Truly.

Can you share the event on Facebook (please click “interested,” or even better, “going”!) and Twitter (please RT!) and like and share on Instagram?

Can you print out this flyer and display it in your shop, restaurant, or place of work? Yes, please!

You rock. Thank you. Grazie mille! Anything and everything helps!

See you Sunday Sunday Sunday!
Marcia Gagliardi

September 13, 2016

SF AMATRICE image and website design courtesy of Bureau Jules.

Ciao tutti! I want to keep this week’s intro really short and sweet, because I want your full attention on what I’m promoting this week! On Sunday September 25th, I am cohosting SF AMATRICE, a big fundraiser at Montesacro with a bunch of top SF chefs and Italian restaurants (like Delfina and Piccino!), local businesses, purveyors, and suppliers, all coming together to raise funds for Italy earthquake relief in Amatrice.

While everyone donating funds from selling plates of pasta all’amatriciana is a great thing, and every dollar helps, we’re trying to make an even bigger donation through ticket sales from this all-day event, with a goal of 100 percent of proceeds being donated. It will be quite a spread of antipasti, pinsas, Negronis and Aperol Spritzes from Campari America and Rye on the Road, and wine too. And, of course, there will be pasta all’amatriciana! You know there’s going to be a fun group of folks, and since I’ll be there all day, I’d love to say “ciao!” in person!

You can read more here, but here’s where I really need your help. Can you buy tickets, now? GRAZIE! Can you spread the word on Facebook (please click “interested,” or even better, “going”!) and Twitter (please RT!) and Instagram?

Maybe you can donate your time to help with the event, from serving to cleaning up to greeting people? (The event is 12pm-8pm and divided into two-hour time blocks.) We need extra hands! Maybe you’re a restaurant or shop or you have a lot of wine to donate or you’re just someone who loves to make a lot of food—I’d love to talk with you! We also need compostable plates, cups, and silverware. You can also donate on the ticket page. Anything helps. Please hit reply on this email and let me know how you can help. You rock. So much. Thank you!

I’m leaving for New York in three weeks for the month of October, so it would be great to see you before I leave. Speaking of, I know many of you are planning trips out there, so in today’s New Yawker section, I have some highlights of my favorite New York places I visited this year. Stand by for a whole series of posts!

Baci and grazie mille for all your help and support! It means so much, you guys always blow my mind.
Marcia Gagliardi

September 6, 2016

The chilled nopales salad at El Buen Comer, which can instantly turn anyone into a nopales lover. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Mmmm, how did that three-day weekend work for ya? Mine included an epic and confetti-loaded Tame Impala show at the Greek, dancing at a Sylvester tribute at Go Bang! at The Stud (please show some support by going there for a drink or two if you can), enjoying a fantastic dinner at El Buen Comer (do not miss their mole verde de puerco!), and binge watching the second season of Narcos (whose weekend release was very conveniently timed with me being under the weather yesterday). First time I’ve been sick in about a year, damn it. I even made it through the New York winter and all those gross subway germs without getting sick. Anyway. I guess that’s what pozole is here for.

Speaking of New York, I just bought my ticket to head back there for the month of October! So excited to see NYC fall. Since you guys are kind of like a magic Craigslist crystal ball, I thought I’d throw this out there in case you know anyone with a room or place available October 10th-21st! Manhattan, Brooklyn, Astoria, Harlem, anywhere…I’m game! Thanks for any leads!

More New York tawk: did you read this engrossing New Yorker article about New York Times critic Pete Wells? It’s SO GOOD.

Lastly, be sure to raise a glass to the inimitable Margrit Mondavi, an inspiring firecracker of a woman who sadly left us last week at 91. Go to a museum this week in her honor. Or stay out late at dinner. Donate money to a cause. Be kind. Take your pick, she was an amazing woman.

Marcia Gagliardi

August 30, 2016

Lake Tahoe, always a study in blue. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey. How you doin’? Already daydreaming about the three-day weekend? In case you want to get some ice cream this weekend, my post on “7 ice cream spots you’ll want to hit before the end of summer” should come in handy. Hit it.

I’m soaking in my last few days here at Lake Tahoe. After living in San Francisco for 22 years, I decided a few years ago that I just can’t be around in Fogust, it kills the Mediterranean part of my soul. Tahoe time also means I’m home cooking each night (god I love having an outdoor grill!) and binge watching shows on Netflix (loved The Get Down more than anything right now, plus Stranger Things (yessssss), and am now deep in Narcos). I also enjoyed watching a preview of A Year in Port, which comes out September 6th on iTunes. So fascinating! The vistas of the Douro Valley are remarkable, and it’s great to see so many old traditions still in play, including some good old grape stompin’ with feet. And songs! Awww.

Lastly, have you had a bowl of pasta all’amatriciana to help with relief efforts for victims of Italy’s earthquake yet? Chow has quite a roundup of local resstaurants donating proceeds to help, or you can always donate directly here, which will go to the Italian Red Cross (if you understand Italian, you can go here). Grazie for any help you can offer!

I’m hitting send on this puppy and pedaling to the beach, pronto. I look forward to seeing a flood of your out-of-the-office messages! Cheers and ciao for now!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 23, 2016

The tomato and mozzarella flatbread sandwich from Tartine Manufactory. (I could use this in my Tahoe beach bag each day.) Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Greetings from Lake Tahoe, which I am ready to call Armageddon based on the unbelievable number of yellow jackets swarming around up here, but hopefully yesterday’s totally insane hailstorm knocked some out of the game for good. If I see any locusts, I’m outta here. Don’t get me wrong, my weekend hours at Sugar Pine Point were marvy, well, except for swatting away the hornets. I have noted they like my black bathing suit best, so guess who won’t be wearing that one anymore? Hateful creatures. Really, the worst.

It looks like I’m going to head to this craft beer and food truck shindig at Homewood Mountain Resort on Sunday August 28th. Let me know if any of you are out and about and maybe we can share a cold one up here!

So, the city is beginning to empty out as the playa-bound Burners start making their way to Black Rock City (have an amazing time!), which means it would be a great time for you to try to do a walk-in at Liholiho Yacht Club or Al’s Place, or score a reso at Octavia. Good luck!

Today’s column includes a hefty feature on the brand-new Tartine Manufactory, and next Tuesday, expect a piece on Nomica, which is hosting test dinners right now and is potentially opening next week. Looking good!

One more note: today I’m including a new sponsorship option for folks seeking eyeballs and support for their crowdfunding campaigns, whether it’s Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe. Here’s hoping we can help get your businesses funded—feel free to hit me up and ask for more details. Please take a look, and remember, if you support tablehopper sponsors, you support me in producing this newsletter, which has been free to you for 10 years! Grazie.

Okay, it’s time for me to switch over to chipmunk TV for a bit since I already finished all episodes of The Get Down (sigh). See you next Tuesday!

Marcia Gagliardi

August 16, 2016

One of my wood-fired pizzas from the weekend, with a mushroom medley (including chanterelles), black olives, spinach, and crema di peperoncino. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

How you doin’? You have Olympic fever like this guy? Crazy frog! Can’t stop laughing. And then there’s this: gymnastics! Also seems like a great time to bust out this Usain Bolt spoof, which makes me laugh uncontrollably every time I watch it. Eight years of laughs from that one.

I was lucky to spend the weekend in Sebastopol, celebrating the 50th birthday of my dear friend. I was on pizza duty on Saturday night, cooking 20 pizzas out of a Mugnaini wood-fired oven (my first time). Had so much fun channeling the pizzaiolo vibes of my dad and Uncle Frank, who both had pizzerias at one point. Huge thanks to Sharon Ardiana for hooking me up with Ragazza dough magic, there is no way I could have done it without her help. Now I’m fired up to take a wood-fired pizza class!

Since Fogust is seriously chapping me (it always does, even after living here 23 years), I’m heading out of town again and making my way to Tahoe this week. I’ll still be running tablehopper next week (with a big piece on the Tartine Manufactory!), while taking advantage of the peace and quiet to catch up on some other writing I need to do, plus cooking, reading, bike riding, swimming, and maintaining my Italian tan. Heh. I am having the best summer—I don’t know how this all came to be, but I am loving every single sunny minute of it. Here’s wishing you the same!

Ciao ciao!
Marcia Gagliardi