February 2008

February 26, 2008

Hey gang. It's like my month of anniversaries—last week marked tablehopper's second year, and this is the 100th issue! (I know, there should be 104, but a few interruptions came up over these past two years, like Coachella and Burning Man.) So I got a hare-brained idea on how to celebrate: 100 drinks! Kidding. Actually, at four of my favorite watering holes around town, Alembic, Absinthe, Cantina, and Presidio Social Club, they'll be serving up their version of a special tablehopper cocktail for the next week, starting today.

All will be bourbon- or rye-based, of course. I hear Daniel at the Alembic is making one up with Kentucky Bourbon, and calling it the stablehopper, clever lad. And Absinthe is calling their version "100 Tuesdays." Brill. And Tim Stookey over at Presidio Social Club is calling it 100 Reasons Rye. (Guaranteed to make you slur your words.) Collect all four! LOL. For any of you fellow tablehoppin' cocktailians out there, if you hit any of these bars this next week and take a (phone) camera shot of you enjoying a tablehopper drink, send me the pic(s) and I'll enter you in a drawing to win a copy of Jeff Hollinger's fab book, The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics Have fun hoppin' out there—maybe I'll see ya! Cheers yo.

Hey, have you been thinking about coming to the tablehopper supper this Sunday at Piccino? It ends up a party of folks had to cancel, so we have some seats available! The dinner is going to be scrumptious—I always have memorable meals here—everything is so fresh, and we'll have a little something special added to the already-stellar line-up of Donnafugata wines that will be poured. I'd love to see you there! Are you worried about flying solo? Don't fret—everyone is super friendly and social. Let's cin cin over some cena! See you Sunday!

Congrats to the winners of last week's giveaway—thank you all for entering! This week I have a pair of tickets to give away to the Artisan Marketplace at the Artisan Cheese Festival, on Sunday March 9 from 11am–4pm, in Petaluma! The four-day festival has all kinds of cheese-related events, from demos to seminars to tastings. All you have to do is reply to this email with the name of the next restaurant in San Francisco you want me to visit and write about—I'd love to hear what you're interested in! Deadline to reply is Sunday, March 2, at midnight.

Lastly, this week I'm doing a jetsetter recap from my trip last summer to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail (more on the event in the socialite), plus Jeff Hollinger wrote a piece on absinthe in the wino. This recap has been a particularly tough one to write, and a lengthy one, but here we are. I dedicate this issue to all the brave, strong, beautiful, and spirited people in the Crescent City who have tragically had to endure one of our federal government's greatest missteps, a tremendous atrocity, really. Those poor people—it's simply unfathomable what they have had to go through. Our government may have failed them, but we need to show them that we as a population have not abandoned them. The waters may have receded, but that magic city could really use our help rebuilding.

~ Marcia

February 19, 2008

So, dear readers, after too many late nights, business cards, calories, and cocktails to count, this issue marks tablehopper's two-year anniversary! I know, crazy—it's been a blast. So of course I have to do a giveaway to honor the occasion, and all prizes have a tablehoppin' theme. Three lucky winners get to take their pick of these goodies: one is the book "Trail of Crumbs: Hunger Love, and the Search for Home" by Kim Sunée, a memoir and food adventure that weaves a trinity of topics (cooking, traveling and eating!), with recipes, too.

Another prize is a copy of the 2008 Green Zebra coupon book—do you know it? I used mine last year for all kinds of things, from a discount on shopping at Rainbow, to a bath at the Kabuki, to dinner at Green Chile Kitchen. This year there are three editions (SF, Marin, and Peninsula) so the winner gets to take their pick. And if you choose to buy one right now (for $25), I gotta say it pays for itself pretty quickly. I even got a free groovy LED nightlight from PG&E with it!

The last prize is a deck of the crowd-pleasing CozmoCards! I just got my 2008 deck, and was happy to see restaurants like Café Claude, Foreign Cinema, and Metro Kathmandu in there—52 in all. (With a CozmoCard, spend $50, and you get $15 off your bill.) So I have one deck to give away, but if you want to order a set right now, tablehopper readers get 10% off the $30 price—just type "tablehopper" into the order form for the discount! Presto!

To enter the drawing, one, you have to be a tablehopper subscriber, and two, you have to forward this week's newsletter to just three people (or send it to thousands, go nuts) 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 24. I will be randomly drawing the winners and will email you to let you know you've won next week. Good luck!

Speaking of Sunday the 24th, I am excited to be a guest on the radio show "A Matter of Taste," which started in New York in 1992! The show is broadcast from 4pm–6pm, and is on "Green960" KKGN-AM (formerly "The Quake"). Have a listen before watching the Oscars!

And hey, I thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and support these past two years—I couldn't do it without you!


~ Marcia

February 12, 2008

Why hello, and happy Wednesday. I know we normally don’t see each other on this day, but that’s the joy of technology snafus totally messing with our relationship (I know BlackBerry users can feel my pain).

So Thursday is the day of the red rose brigade, when almost every table in every restaurant is converted into a two-top. Well, except the large round table where I’ll be feasting on some Chinese with my best buds. We’ll play “spin the lazy Susan,” with frisky prizes like a pot sticker or a crab leg!

Since romance is on the collective brain this week, I thought I’d highlight one of my fave date spots, Baraka, in the regular since it recently got new owners who have spruced it up nicely. And the food has only gotten better too—in fact, super duper delicious. Checkity check it.

Love and kisses,
~ Marcia

February 5, 2008

Pssst, hey, Californians. Did you vote? I really hope so. I had Stevie Wonder wake me up this morning, calling to say, “I love you” and urging me to vote. I am no Stevie, but by the time you get this, there is still time. Please don’t let the primary slide by. Okay, I’ll step off my soapbox.

Last week’s tablehopper supper at Aziza was so special: we had a swell time in the atmospheric private room. Chef Mourad Lahlou really whipped up a delish spread, from a scrumptious series of passed bites to his famous kefta skewers, couscous, and basteeya, and don’t get me started on the spoon-tender Marin Sun Farms beef stew. The desserts from their new pastry chef Melissa Chou (formerly of Quince) were so very good—she’s one to watch! Also, I promised everyone in the group I’d report back what the fantastique bubbly was that we were sipping in the beginning: François Pinon Vouvray Pétillant Brut of the Loire, France (you can get it at K&L).

I really dig the unpretentious, friendly, and passionate group of people attending these dinners—find out their favorite two places in SF here—thank you all for coming! The next supper is coming up in March, stand by for more details on the who, what, and where!

So I know I already reviewed DOSA a while ago, but the brunch I recently had there was so unique and delish, I had to add this full-length update in the regular. Go go go.

Speaking of go-go, yours truly had her first national TV appearance this weekend. Meow! And no, it wasn’t on ABC. Let’s just say if I wrote the name of the show and channel down, it would get this week’s newsletter all caught up in your spam folder. Suffice to say, it was on Hugh Hefner’s special channel (think bunnies), and nooooo, I did NOT take my clothes off—“Birthday Suited Food Writers” would not really get that many viewers, if you get my drift. I was actually interviewed about San Francisco restaurants while kicking it at NOPA for the new San Francisco series of “[Birthday Suit] Happy Girls”—so don’t be embarrassed to tell me if you saw me on TV, wink.


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