What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
December 11, 2018

We were not having any fun at all at the tablehopper boozy brunch with Westland Distillery at The Saratoga. Nope. Photo by Tali Eisenberg. © tablehopper.com.

Hey gang! You gettin’ into the holiday spirit out there? I definitely got catapulted into holiday spirits at the tablehopper boozy brunch with Westland Distillery at The Saratoga a week ago. We had a full house, full glasses, full pours, and towers of Jenga tots. Guests also got stoked with some seriously cool gift bags, thanks to Westland Distillery. It was a total blast, one of my very favorite tablehopper gatherings.

Thanks to the generosity of our fab guests, we raised $540 for the SF-Marin Food Bank in our raffle! Many, many thanks to everyone who came, and our amazing hosts! If you want some holiday whiskey cheer (and tots), be sure to swing by The Saratoga this month. (Their burger can also be a good late-night friend if you’ve been out hitting holiday parties and need a mop.)

Now, many of you know about my other venture, mymilligram, my new media brand and newsletter (subscribe!) that is all about featuring low-dose cannabis products and educating people on how to explore cannabis use in a low and slow way. Next Tuesday December 18th, I’m hosting a microdoser holiday bazaar at Lost Art Salon, featuring the latest products from eight top local brands, plus some of their special holiday treats too. It’s a non-consumption event, but will be full of education, non-medicated tastes, and there’s an amazing gift bag that you’ll definitely want to get. Hope to see you there! (Tickets are moving quickly, FYI.)

One more fun thing: I put together a hellavated holiday gift guide if you want to take a look at ideas for cool cannabis gifts and holiday products (and more!).

Okay, let me put down my peppermint bark special marshmallow for a sec (ha-ha) and let’s look at the latest articles I’ve written for Table Talk on KQED’s Bay Area Bites, which are full of good eats. This week’s column features a new Japanese-inspired brunch you’ll want to try (soft-shell crab Benedict, I’m just sayin’!), and the Mission has a cozy ramen spot (with incredible taro soft-serve that y’all seemed to like on Instagram!). The holidays are in full swing with affordable Dungeness crab specials, chiles rellenos en nogada in Oakland, and special lunch service at Bix and Campton Place Restaurant. (I went to Bix on Friday night and had a blast—try to make some time to do the same.)

Last week’s Table Talk includes a new Burmese pop-up that will warm your belly (and your heart) in Civic Center, two new Sunday Suppers that won’t break the bank, and a Dominican Christmas feast in Oakland.

I’m currently working on a piece for Blackboard Eats on holiday meals and specials, so be sure to follow tablehopper on Facebook and/or Twitter so you can see that piece when it’s live.

I’ll be posting other fun holiday-related items on social in coming weeks as well…and here’s one right now: did you know ChefsFeed is hosting a treasure hunt of free bites and add-ons in SF from restaurants like Media Noche, Comstock Saloon, Uma Casa, Marla Bakery, Nightbird, Besharam, and more right now? Click through to see how it works. Happy hopping.

The next tablehopper in two weeks would be scheduled for Christmas Day, so, uh, yeah, that isn’t happening. I’ll be in my jammies hanging with the fam and the cats! But we will be starting the New Year with an issue of the bore, of course—gotta keep with tradition!

Like last year, I’m heading down to LA after Christmas, and either spending New Year’s Eve in LA or Palm Springs, I’m waiting to see how things shake out. If you have any new favorites for me to check out down there, I always appreciate your tips! Mwah.

I hope you all have a joyous and abundant and loving holiday season. May it shine brightly! Grateful for your support and kindness throughout the year, wishing all the best to you and yours.

Marcia Gagliardi

November 27, 2018

Loló’s special quesadilla with Dungeness crab and chorizo (!), with a tortilla made from their new housemade masa! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, gang! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friends and fam—we have so much to be grateful for, starting with all this air-cleansing rain. I got a full blast of fresh air under the blue and sunny skies this past Saturday when I was invited to go crabbing on the ocean with my friends, what a blast. So glad no one fell in. Saturday night dinner was epic. I also had a taste of my first SF rock crab—those claws, so sweet. Sport fishermen eat better than anyone.

In case you didn’t get your fill of leftover turkey sandwiches, you’ll want to check out this week’s Table Talk, which also includes a look at Loló’s brand-new cocktail list, SF’s first pizza a teglia at Barbara Express in North Beach, and a quality Dungeness crab feed at The Alice Collective in Oakland!

Last week’s Table Talk covered the new Maum in Palo Alto (OMG, the galbi!), Indian Paradox’s new look, don’t miss the Made In: Denmark pop-up at Baana (there are still a couple tickets left for the dinner with chef Nick Balla this Saturday!), and you still have this week to try the latest Chef’s Cubano from Reem Assil at Media Noche. No plans tonight? Read about the event at The Mint with the California Historical Society.

Am I going to see you this Sunday at the tablehopper boozy holiday brunch with Westland Distillery at The Saratoga? It’s going to be one for the books. Stretchy waistbands and water will be your friends. We just opened six bar seats, don’t miss it! Hope to see you.

Take good care. And if you’re looking to contribute for #GivingTuesday, there’s an amazing donation match happening for the American Red Cross.

Marcia Gagliardi

November 13, 2018

Sunday evening’s smoky moonrise in Healdsburg, just before TSO Sonoma’s Fall Foraged harvest dinner. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, my friends. How are you all doing out there? It has been such an awful, gut-wrenching week for California, full of terrible loss, heartbreak, and so much smoke. The tales of survivors and loss are equally overwhelming. It’s so defeating to look out at these ash-filled skies, and the claustrophobia is real. Sending all the hugs.

I know so many of us feel quite helpless in the face of all this overwhelming destruction, wondering what to do and how to contribute. One really easy way is to give $10 via the American Red Cross by texting CALWILDFIRES to 90999. It’s that easy. Go ahead, do it right now. Or you can donate via their site, or call 1-800-HELPNOW. The New York Times also put together this helpful post with more charities and ways to donate. Thanks for doing the good deeds you all do so well. I will be keeping you posted on upcoming charity events here. Our precious California.

I’m so grateful to get out of the smoke this week, and am actually heading into another kind of smoke: I’ll be in Las Vegas all week for MJBIZCON, on behalf of my other brand (mymilligram), along with 20,000 other cannabiz folks. (Can you believe I’m on a 4:20pm flight today? That was definitely the flight to book.) I haven’t been to Vegas in years, so if you have any recent food faves and finds to check out, I’m all ears. It’s going to be busy bizeee, but a girl’s gotta eat.

Speaking of that, I’ve been eating all over town for you guys! Last week’s Table Talk on Bay Area Bites includes a visit to Five Happiness (an Inner Richmond Chinese restaurant for classic Shanghainese and Taiwanese dishes), plus there’s a new Le Marais Bakery and commissary in Polk Gulch, and let’s look at three new restaurants opening in the North Bay.

This week’s Table Talk covers a quality brunch and cocktails at The Saratoga, plus the Week of Italian Cuisine returns (featuring Puglia this year!), the off-the-menu Prog Dog at The Progress, and don’t miss the next installment of Chicken and Wine Palace’s pop-up, featuring some truly excellent fried chicken.

If that brunch at The Saratoga is really catching your eye, and I know it will, you’re going to be happy to hear I’m hosting a tablehopper holiday brunch there with Westland Distillery on Sunday December 2nd! We’re so excited to see you at this swanky and boozy brunch, it’s going to be a blast, but tickets are limited, so hop to it!

One last item, and this is a fun one. Many of you know I was an Alfa Romeo driver for quite some time, before the Lipstick Mobile experienced her untimely end when a wall fell on her. So smushed, just like lipstick. Tragic!

Anyway, my Dad is currently clearing out his garage of his toys, and one of them is his 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2.0. If you were ever going to buy an Alfa Romeo, you’d want to buy one maintained, loved, and tuned by my father. She’s a beauty—she’s white, only 38K miles (!), comes with a hard top (great for winter), and she sounds like a beast. Immaculate. Check out his beloved Claudia (named after Ms. Cardinale) here. It would be so amazing to sell the car to someone “in the family,” or at least to fellow Alfisti. Thanks for spreading the word! We’re also going to be selling a silver 1972 Spider, also immaculate, if you like vintage cars—stand by on that one.

Okay gang, I’m off for a crazy week with Snoop (yup, he’s going to be there) and suits and everything in between. Catch you on the flip side.

Big hugs.
Marcia Gagliardi