What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
October 17, 2014
lanebbia-nduja-pizza.jpg

A rockin’ off-the-menu pizza at La Nebbia, with ‘nduja, stracciatella, garlic confit, and tomato sauce. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Gigantes!!! What a team. After frowning and steaming and getting downright sad over the ignominious closure of the San Francisco Bay Guardian all week, last night’s pennant win was the kind of SF good news I needed. And here’s one more (small but important) piece of good news: the SFBG website is back up, so take some screenshots of your clips, awards, reviews, posts, and more while you can—who knows how long the archive will stay up. (And you can find the paper’s 2014 voter endorsements here.) Stay updated on missives from the SFBG team on their newly launched Facebook page, Guardian in Exile.

Tonight I’m fired up to head to the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace (haven’t been since I was a little girl), will be fun to see some cowboys. Yeehaw. If you’re a beer lover (and 4505 Meats fan), don’t forget, tonight is NotOberfest! And East Bay folks, if you were excited to head to the about-to-open gastropub, Growlers’ Arms, please note we have updated our post to have it reflect an opening date of Wednesday October 22nd.

The weekend, always a good time to go out and enjoy some coffee somewhere. Here’s my post for 7x7.com on five new cafés to check out.

Today, let’s take a look at Causwells, which has a burger I will travel across town for without hesitation, and Heather Irwin has some 707 scout updates for us. Also, don’t miss today’s starlet, it’s a fun one.

Cheers gang!
Marcia Gagliardi

October 14, 2014
thelab-almanac.jpg

An incredible course at The Lab: pumpkin soufflé (with a pumpkin gelato popsicle) and Almanac’s heirloom pumpkin barleywine. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Man, today had a tough start, with the news that San Francisco Media Company has abruptly pulled funding for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Which means tomorrow, Wednesday, is the last day the paper will be released—after 48 years of “printing the news and raising hell.” But the fat lady has not sung her last song for the progressive weekly—there’s still an opportunity and hope that someone could buy it (read that SFist link for more from my kick-ass publisher, Marke Bieschke). Time will tell on this one—for now, everyone in the SFBG office had to pack up their offices today, their emails were shut down, and the website only has a placeholder message up for now. Hard stuff. (At least they managed to retain control of their Twitter handle, so follow along for updates.)

The SFBG is an iconic part of our SF fabric, and I have so enjoyed contributing to it each week over the past year. If you had told me when I moved here 20 years ago that I was going to be writing a food column in the Bay Guardian, I wouldn’t have believed it! It’s a cruel twist that tomorrow is the release of the annual Best of the Bay issue (did you know the “best of” issue was a style that the SFBG started?!). It’s a damn good issue, and if you’re in it, you should be especially proud. Sadly the staff wasn’t able to get the online version of it posted in time before the curtain so cruelly dropped, but here’s the PDF of it! Here’s hoping for a phoenix chapter in the paper’s important tale.

The winds are gusting outside, a storm is trying to form, it feels appropriate. Hey Giants, make some good news for the city today, okay?

Before we dive into the news here, I’d like to point you to this important piece by Dominique Crenn about “female chefs.” Please give it a read, thanks.

See you Friday.
Marcia Gagliardi

October 10, 2014
ferryplaza-mussels.jpg

Fantastic lager-steamed mussels (and fries!) at Ferry Plaza Seafood’s new North Beach location. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Happy Friday, pals! Fleet Week has buzzed into town, bringing a bunch of hottie military men in uniform along with it (North Beach has been full of ‘em this week). I think I know where I’ll be having a drink this weekend. Also on tap: Saturday is FallFest, an alfresco shindig at Justin Herman Plaza, so you’ll see the Blue Angels flying around while chomping on bites and drinks from local restaurants (there are still tickets available, and code tablehopper gets you $10 off!).

Last night I attended a launch party for the brand-new and quarterly Gluten-Free Forever magazine—I’m happy to have contributed an article for the inaugural issue on the best gluten-free eats for visitors to SF! It’s beautifully produced, check it out.

Today I have a review of ABV for you, and we have some 707 Scout news too. I have a couple of 7x7 articles to point you to as well. One is a piece I did on the new ways you can find and experience home-cooked meals and dinner parties in people’s homes—some of the chefs are semi-pro, and it’s a fun way to meet new people. (There are also a couple of home-cooked or home-baked goods delivery services I mention!) And I just did my monthly post on five new places to check out, your cheat sheet on what’s new!

Lastly, I want to thank everyone for all the interest in my tablehopping dinner with Cover! I’m sorry the guest list (and waiting list) is all full, but don’t forget, you still get $25 off your first meal with Cover with code tablehopper! Check it out, there are some great restaurants you can try, both in SF and NYC.

Have fun out there. Oh yeah, and MALALA!
Marcia Gagliardi

October 7, 2014
IMG_0249.jpg

Mini lobstah rolls at the Hamel Family Wines Badger Grab party. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I hope you have been taking full advantage of this gorgeous weather, and even if you haven’t, I have been doing it for both of us, because I love you hard like that. Thursday night included margaritas and the awesome empanadas they make (and chicharrones de carne!) on the roof at El Techo de Lolinda—what a perfect night for a party.

After I posted my column on Friday (did you read my review about the tasty vittles at The Farmer and the Fox in St. Helena?), I scooted up to Sonoma (actually, I sat in traffic for two hours, semantics) for the party to celebrate the new Williams-Sonoma landmark location. What a gorg and balmy evening on their back terrace, with SPQR’s Matthew Accarrino and Flour + Water’s Thomas McNaughton cooking up a feast, and that Duskie Estes makes a killer bourbon ice cream. Thanks for the bubbles, Gloria Ferrer!

Saturday started with brunch with Sheana Davis at her welcoming shop right off the plaza, The Epicurean Connection. Her housemade burrata for brunch, yes! We headed to the new tasting facility and house for Patz & Hall, tasting through their single-vineyard designate chardonnays and pinot noirs, delightful. Next: the Hamel Family Wines party, which was over the top. Lobster rolls from Barbara Lynch and other East Coast-inspired vittles, and hello, rosé all day. Way to go, Sonoma, on the killer tasting rooms.

The weekend finished with dim sum with grandma, sis, and my cousin at Koi Palace (we wrecked so many dumplings) and Sunday evening was picture-perfect weather for the sold-out CUESA Sunday Supper. Such a beautiful evening, what a fabulous gathering! And now, this week needs to be all about the gym.

I have some exciting news about a tablehopper event this month, check it out! Today’s column is so huge, I can’t even handle it. Dana and I cranked this mofo out, we hope you enjoy it.

Toodles!
Marcia Gagliardi

October 3, 2014
farmer-bread.jpg

An array of breads and treats from Butterscots at Cairdean Estate. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey there, how you doing with this stunning weather? I know, right? I am loving these warm nights. SF Indian summer, you never disappoint! I am actually going from the frying pan into the fire: I’m heading up to Sonoma this afternoon to check out the new Williams-Sonoma landmark store opening right off the plaza (our fab 707 Scout Heather Irwin writes about it in today’s column, read all about it) and to raise a glass to Chuck Williams for reaching his 99th birthday, just wow.

I will be staying the night so I can visit the new Patz & Hall tasting room tomorrow, and hit a fun New England-style party (a “badger grab”—I’ll report back on what the hell that is) at Hamel Family Wines—when I found out Barbara Lynch was going to be there with lobster rolls, I was like, yeah, I need to make that happen. Don’t want to be stupid in life.

Today we also have a review of my experience at The Farmer & the Fox (which is where you’ll find chef Joseph Humphrey these days) and Cairdean Estate, just north of downtown St. Helena. Maybe it’ll inspire you to head up for a getaway? If so, you’ll want to read my recent piece on St. Helena for the Bay Guardian before you go.

Okay, I need to pack my overnight back and hustle up to the 707 before the traffic goes from bad to worse. Have a swell weekend, yeehaw!

Marcia Gagliardi

September 30, 2014
IMG_8388.jpg

Now that’s what I call a soufflé. Late-night treat at Bistrot Paul Bert. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Why hello there! Did ya miss me? I think I only missed my bed and my espresso machine, to be honest—I definitely did not miss my desk. I had a fantastique family vacation in France for a couple of weeks, spent in Paris, Champagne, and the Loire Valley. We had Champagne every day, and croissants and cheese also got some heavy airplay (of course). We changed our nickname from the Griswolds to the Gésiers (gizzards), inspired by a particularly fabulous salad I had one evening, but we also got christened “The Bubbles Family,” which cracked me up to no end. It was a trip of a lifetime to be with my parents and sister in such a beautiful country. France rocks my world on so many levels, it was two weeks of beauty overload. Thanks to everyone who shared their tips and recommendations with me. Can’t wait to tell more about our trip soon…

Now that I’m back, today’s issue features a lot of catch-up on stories that broke while I was away. Look for some exciting stories in next week’s issue (including the opening of the new Marlowe, which is happening on Thursday October 2nd).

And just in case you missed these stories in the Bay Guardian while I was gone, here’s one on upcoming fall openings and another on recent brunches to join the scene. Oh, and I ran a recap of where to eat in Rio for last week’s Moveable Feast travel issue, check it.

Let’s dive in here, shall we? I look forward to seeing you out and about. Cheers!
Marcia Gagliardi