January 2008

January 29, 2008

Buon giorno! I'm looking forward to seeing who my fellow diners will be at this Wednesday's tablehopper supper at Aziza! It ends up we have a few seats available, so if you have nothing going tomorrow night and feel like feastin' with some fellow food phreeks, come and join us! Mmmm, perfect weather for beef stew and root veggie couscous.

This week we have the return of the wino, and so while we're on wine, I was wondering if you were aware of this groovy tool, the wine matcher, from wine writer Natalie MacLean. It's helpful when you aren't dating or living with a sommelier, and you're trying to figure out what will go with the wine you have, or what to pair with dinner. Have fun.

Well, I can't talk about wine without mentioning some cheese! My friends and I practically curled up with a wheel of the new Truffle Tremor from Cypress Grove this Sunday over brunch, it's wicked wicked stuff. It's like zombie cheese: Must. Have. More. Goat cheese and truffles, you do the math.

But since I'm not the only one who should be having all the cheese-fueled fun, I'm doing a giveaway this week of three copies of this spiffy new book, “Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials: An Insiders Guide to Buying and Serving Cheese.” She breaks down all the styles so you can get your pride back while mulling over the multitude of formaggi at the cheese counter, and there are some good recipes, too.

To enter the drawing, one, you have to be a tablehopper subscriber, and two, you have to forward this week's newsletter to just two people (or send it to thousands, go wild) in order to be eligible to win. Just cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com when you forward the newsletter to your peeps (it's best if you explain why you're sending it to them). I promise I won't be collecting your friends' emails, those will stay private—I just need to keep track of how many folks you forwarded it to.

The deadline to enter is by midnight, this Sunday, February 3. I will be randomly drawing the winners and will email you to let you know you've won next week. Good luck! And if you don't win a book, you have two weeks to get it for 20% off from Green Apple Books!

January 22, 2008

My past week was quite rich with little jaunts out of town. Go tablehopper go! I was on a non-tablehopper assignment and needed to check out Nick’s Cove and Cottages in Marshall (I know, this is such horrid work—when will these tedious duties ever end?). I just have to tell you, if you’re looking for a dreamy escape during the winter, the cottages are IT (and with the wintertime rates, see if you can afford a waterfront one!). Imagine stunning views of Tomales Bay, a toasty wood burning stove, heated bathroom floors, gorg linens, deep soaking tubs… and total peace. It was like I was at a cozy cabin that has been in the family for years. (I wish.) I wanted to move in and write my book. Pat Kuleto really knows how to do it right.

Also got a chance to head to Sonoma this weekend for the Feast of the Olive Dinner at Ramekins during the seventh annual Sonoma Valley Olive Festival. The multi-course dinner (try eight) was a great way to try some dishes from local chefs (and Sonoma wines, too). Bruno Tison of Sante Restaurant at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn totally blew me away with his refreshing combo of wild shrimp, hearts of palm, asparagus (crazy early), Cali osetra caviar, and Olive Press Limonato olive oil aioli. Dude. And Dana Jaffe of Saddles Steakhouse had a side dish that was so scrumptious, a gratin of turnip, yam, and Asiago. The barbera port from VJB Vineyards & Cellars totally won our table over as well.

I managed to hit lovely weather during both trips, so it made me think January can actually be a fab time to travel—well, if you get lucky. And if you do, jeez, it’s stunning up north. It only took us 45 minutes to get to Sonoma. Think about it. And get outta dodge! Speaking of, I hope you enjoy this week’s recap of where I ate and drank during my recent jaunt to NYC. I heart NY.

Ciao ciao,

~Marcia

January 15, 2008

Well, I am back from NYC, and I think I have finally caught up on my sleep. Catching up on my work is another matter entirely. And I have caught a cold. Blergh. Since I missed you, and the holiday restaurant madness is over, I decided it’s time to host the third tablehopper supper! It’s coming up in a couple weeks—read all about it in the socialite.

This week I’ve also got another fun giveaway for you. This was one of my favorite events last year: tickets to the walk-around food and wine Good Eats event at Fort Mason during the ZAP festival (more on this below, in the socialite). It’s quite the feast, and a really social event. I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky winner! To enter the drawing, one, you have to be a tablehopper subscriber, and two, you have to forward this week's newsletter to just two people (or more is great, you rock star, you) in order to be eligible to win. Just cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com when you forward the newsletter to your pals (it's best if you explain why you're sending it to them). I promise I won't be collecting your friends' emails, those will stay private—I just need to keep track of how many folks you forwarded it to.

Since the event is next Thursday, the deadline to enter is by midnight, this Friday, January 18. I will be randomly drawing the winner and will email you over the weekend to let you know you've won. Good luck!

Ciao chow and meow,

~Marcia

January 8, 2008

A Manhattan-sized hello and MEOW from NYC—it was a miracle I even made it here considering STORM 2008 was going full-tilt when I was flying out of SF on Friday. And miracle number two: it's something like 68 degrees today. I know, huh?!

Highlights thus far: the Richard Prince show at the Guggenheim (yes, I went to a museum), Lucian Freud at MOMA (no, not Momofuku—yet), a gorg omakase linner (that's lunch/dinner) at Blue Ribbon Sushi, a deliciously intimate industry cocktail and bites session at Bouley Test Kitchen with Lillet cocktails galore from talented local bartenders, and Bouley himself and crew turning out gorgeous bites of decadence (I was like pinch pinch, is this all real?), and the Black Flip and Chang Dog I had at PDT Sunday night. I'll be doing a jetsetter recap once I return, promises promises, but for now, let's get cracking, because I have some yakitori places to hit and pizzas to eat!

Oh, but before I dive in here, I wanted to do my own little matchmaker shout-out for a web developer skilled in html. I am looking for someone to code a drop-down menu that my designer will already have designed… You got the skillz? Know someone who does? Please drop me a line!

Doh, I also wanted to let you know about the giveaway I'm doing this week: a pair of tickets for the annual Make-A-Wish Wine and Wishes gourmet food and wine tasting (more below in the socialite). To enter the drawing, one, you have to be a tablehopper subscriber, and two, you have to forward this week's newsletter to just two people (or more is great, you star you) in order to be eligible to win. Just cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com when you forward the newsletter to your pals (it's best if you explain why you're sending it to them). No, I won't be collecting your friends' emails, those will stay private—I just need to keep track of how many folks you forwarded it to. The deadline to enter is by midnight, Sunday, January 13. I will be randomly drawing the winner and will email you to let you know you've won next week. Good luck!

I heart New York (and you too),
~ Marcia

January 1, 2008

Howdy gang, Happy New Year! In an ironic twist of fate, I am writing this mini-hopper for New Year’s Day a few days in advance, and guess who has a raging hangover? Damn, I am hurting. It’s been a few years since I’ve been felled like this. I was finally able to eat something (at 4pm!), and that’s why I am grateful yet again for Brazilian pizza from Mozzarella di Bufala and a Coke, my angels. If you find yourself in pain today, give my cure a try—you can thank me later. Just consider my current condition (painful) field research that is entirely for your benefit.

Good thing I have a couple folks doing my writing for me this week (thanks Jerry and Jeremy!). Well, except for some hung over haikus and the bore, but I’ve had that piece brewing all year. I’m leaving for a week in New York this Friday, but you should have a fully loaded ‘hopper next week! The column, not me, silly. Actually, both are true. Anyway. Never mind.

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy 2k8 (2008)—I hope you’re feasting on some cotechino and lentils or Hoppin’ John today!

Cheers and clink clink!

~ Marcia

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