What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
July 28, 2015

Chef Sophina Uong’s best in show dish at Lamb Jam. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Actually, I’d just prefer some rosé all day, but brosé has been making me laugh for a few weeks, so let’s run with it. Hope your weekend was quality. Mine had some Amy bookends, starting with being completely gutted by Amy, the Amy Winehouse documentary (if you even remotely enjoyed her music, really, don’t miss it—and I wish every single paparazzo had to watch it so they can see how awful they are to people who are in distress) to catching Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck with a gal pal. I’m still mulling it over—there were some brilliantly uncomfortable comedic moments to shake up the usual rom-com format, but I could have done without the melodrama. But wow, Tilda Swinton!

One of my favorite things about seeing flicks at Sundance Kabuki is getting the spicy tan-tan noodles at Waraku, so that happened too. Post-movie cocktails at The Progress, like the Shiro Drink, also a good move.

Sunday I was a judge at Lamb Jam, where I was completely blown away by second-time-winning chef Sophina Uong’s spin on a Burmese rainbow salad, with spicy lamb shoulder, corn pudding, seeds, legumes, nuts, and more. Wonder if she’ll put this on the menu at Berkeley’s Revival Bar + Kitchen? Here’s hoping.

Thankfully one of my fellow judges had some Ziplocks in her purse (now that’s a true food writer) and I brought home the leftover lamb belly pastrami by Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, which made the most amazing BLT the next day, let me tell you. (Hey, Thirsty Bear, you listening?)

Okay, the sooner I get this column done, the sooner I can hunt down a glass of something cool and refreshing. Have a swell evening. Ciao!
Marcia Gagliardi

July 21, 2015

My kind of shortcake: Susie McCulloch’s strawberry sablé (shortbread biscuits with Dirty Girl Farm strawberries and whipped cream) at The Growler’s Arms. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Buon giorno! I promise, today’s tablehopper issue isn’t as much of a beast as last week’s, so let’s all just inhale, exhale, right now. Ahhhh. Not only is today’s a shorty, I’m taking Friday off to attend to a pile of stories I need to write this week. Oh, deadlines.

But in case you’d like a little extra reading material, why don’t you take a look at my latest piece for Bacchus magazine on Devil’s Gulch Ranch? You can learn all about Mark Pasternak, his rabbits, and more.

Want more? Do you read Italian? Here’s a story I was quoted in for Corriere della Sera on our local tipping changes. My dad was happy with that one. Me too.

There is also an event recap and interview with me on the EatWith blog about the Aperitivo a Rimini event I hosted last week, my background, and more. I also need to share with you this absolutely dangerous piece of information: did you know that you can order from The Italian Homemade Company on Caviar? I know, their sick piadine, tortellini pasticciato, and lasagna can come straight to your door. Yeah, we are all so f*cked. Use my code for $15 off your first order. Buon appetito!

Have a great week, and maybe I’ll see you at Lamb Jam on Sunday? I’ll be sequestered away since I’m judging, but maybe after, yes?

Ciao chow.

Marcia Gagliardi

July 17, 2015

The downright charming Italian Homemade Company chefs making cassoni for the EatWith Tablehopper event. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Woot, it’s Friday! But I am quite sure you already know this. If you have successfully made your way through that monster tablehopper issue from Tuesday, maybe you’re thinking about scoring a burger deal from ABV this weekend, or trying a new brunch in the Mission, checking out the Outside Lands Summer Pairings series (or chili cook-off!), or attending the Broctacular event on Sunday. Collect all four! We also have a new bar opening tonight, Tsk/Tsk, so you can read all the deets in the lush.

Last night was the (very tasty) EatWith Tablehopper event at The Italian Homemade Company in North Beach, with aperitivo o’clock provided by Campari America. Check out the recap today, which has some extra tidbits in there for you, plus I just posted pics from the party on Facebook! (If any of you attended the event last night, don’t forget to tag your photos/posts with #eatwithtablehopper to enter the EatWith ticket giveaway contest!)

We also have some 707 scout news for you, since that’s where you’ll find some real summer.

Enjoy your weekend!
Marcia Gagliardi

July 14, 2015

Stormy afternoons at Tahoe, delivering plenty of sky drama (and lightning!). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy. Did you miss us? We love you too, but we thoroughly enjoyed taking last week off, let me tell you. Yours truly headed up to Lake Tahoe for some quality time at my family’s cabin in Tahoma (West Shore, the best shore!), but sadly the weather got so lousy last week I came back to SF early. It was great to see so much rain, truly, but I had planned on having more beach time than cabin fever. Grrrrr and brrrrrrr—it was practically cold enough for a fire.

No matter, because SF this past weekend was crazy gorgeous! I had a picnic with a dear friend in Golden Gate Park and checked out Flower Piano. Imagine 12 pianos throughout the Botanical Garden, with performers ranging from Kitten on the Keys playing bawdy vintage numbers to a pianist playing Debussy under a dramatic tree. If you have a chance to check this out this fabulous happening, they’re doing it again with a variety of performers this Saturday from 12pm-2pm! Or you can swing by anytime from now through the 20th, when anyone is invited to play the pianos. Go SF.

I will still be pretending I’m on the beach this Thursday evening—Rimini, to be specific—when I take my first bite into a piadina at the EatWith tablehopper event at the Italian Homemade Company in North Beach. We’ll be enjoying Aperol spritzes and more, thanks to Campari America and Rye on the Road, and you know there will be pasta. Tickets are currently sold out, but if someone cancels last minute, I’ll be sure to offer up their tickets on Twitter and Facebook! Keep your eyes peeled.

Happy Bastille Day everyone, you know Belden will be complètement fou tonight! And right now New Orleans is packed with bartenders for Tales of the Cocktail, so don’t be surprised if your favorite bartender is MIA this week.

We have a bunch of catch-up news for you, so let’s get started, shall we?


Marcia Gagliardi

June 30, 2015

SF City Hall was making me so damn happy all week. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Well, that was a Pride for the books—the BIG books. It’s always one of my favorite weekends in San Francisco, but this one was a blockbuster. There was a lot of Champagne, and dancing, and rainbows, and cheering, and weddings, and marching, and parties, and so many beautiful messages posted by my friends on Facebook from around the world. Although one of my favorite texts was Friday morning from a friend who was out dancing late with me at Horse Meat Disco the night before at Mighty: “I passed out—and woke up all equal n shit!” Indeed.

An extra-special shout-out to the Hard French crew, who hosted a marvelously fun and frisky Sunday Pride party at Mezzanine. Mega points for booking ESG, what a show! Also, big gold stars to Little Star Pizza for letting me order a takeout pizza 10 minutes before they were closing as I was leaving the club on Sunday night. (Nothing like having your Lyft drop you off so you can pick up your pizza on your way home. I love that move.)

Another move I love: going dark on tablehopper while I head up to Lake Tahoe for a break. YES. The next tablehopper issue won’t be until Tuesday July 14th. Soooooo, publicists and restaurant and bar owners, please don’t pitch me anything over the next two weeks unless it’s happening after the 14th, thanks. The less email I have to read the next two weeks, the better my headspace.

When I return, I hope to see many of you at this fun event I am hosting with EatWith at The Italian Homemade Company in North Beach on July 16th, complete with aperitivi from Campari America. And piadine! And pasta! Yeah, it’s going to be all kinds of delicious. Tickets are a killer deal and rather limited, so hop to it!

I hope you all have a fantastic Fourth of July. A lot of restaurants close for the weekend, so be sure to call or check Twitter before heading over somewhere. And even if you end up with our typical colored fog on the Fourth, hopefully Tiny Hamster will get you into a flag-waving and BBQ-munching kind of mood.

See you in a couple weeks!
Marcia Gagliardi

June 23, 2015

A hefty French 75 (made with sparkling rosé) and the Diablo, both on Beretta’s brunch menu. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Happy Pride, SF! I look forward to kicking things off tonight with a performance by local treasure Veronica Klaus at the Oasis, who will be singing the Peggy Lee songbook, backed by the talented Tammy Hall Trio (there are shows at 7pm and 9pm, in case you’re in the mood for some fantastic entertainment).

The city will be exploding with parties, marches, shows, and more this week. We have a few fun Pride-related items outlined in today’s socialite, but be sure to check out the 48 Hills Ultimate Pride Guide for mucho más! With all this rainbow powah partay action going on this week, yours truly is taking Friday off, so we’ll see you next Tuesday.

Since we’re talking rainbows, we may was well talk kittens too! I am about to head off to go pet some kitties at a media preview at the about-to-open KitTea (trust, I was not turning that invite down!), so let’s just wrap this up right, meow!

Have a faaaaaaaabulous week, everyone!
Marcia Gagliardi

June 19, 2015

A beautiful start to a meal at Lord Stanley: onion petals and sherry vinegar, olives, and a Negroni Sbagliato. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello dearies. Happy Friday to you. I have DJ Koze’s brand-new DJ Kicks album on, feeling some weekend vibes. My sense of freedom started a day early: I was called into jury duty on Thursday morning, and fortunately the stars aligned and I was excused in the afternoon, just in time to go enjoy a honking D. Rubin sandwich (well, half of one) from Deli Board. Silver linings. It was also pretty funny to run into three people I know there. (Hey, misery loves company.) And I love our small city.

This weekend, we have the newly refurbished northern section of Dolores Park to enjoy. (All that fresh grass! Bathrooms! New tennis courts! Benches!) Tonight, our City Hall turns 100. Sunday is the solstice, and also is Father’s Day, although our recap of where to go includes a Saturday pig roast as well!

I know, Sunday is all about dads, and I can’t wait to celebrate mine, but today’s issue includes a little weekend hot sheet I put together, featuring some news and stories all about women, from kickass things they are making, to different ways you can support them, to projects in their honor. And you don’t think I was going to let you miss the first National Kouign Amann Day, did you? Anything to give you a reason to indulge, I’m here for you.

Enjoy your weekend. Charleston, you are on our mind and in our hearts.
Marcia Gagliardi