July 2009

July 28, 2009

As Brenda Dickson would say, "Well hello!" As you can see, I am back after going dark last week. I definitely needed the extra two days for the final push on my manuscript, which is what it usually take to write, edit, and lay out this column each week. Anyway, as I posted on my Twitter feed Sunday night, I can see the light at the end of the feedbag! Can't believe how many places I've been eating (sometimes dining) at the past three months, countered only by how much time I have been spending typing at my desk. A dangerous combination. Which is why I have gained the "first book" equivalent of the freshman 15—so crappy, right in the middle of bathing suit weather. Thank God we're in San Francisco, so I have until September to attempt to firm up a bit, ha!

Two weeks ago I was down in the 650 and 408 to try The Plumed Horse (wow), Kaygetsu (so glad I finally dined there), Madera (I want to move tablehopper HQ into the resort's business center), and some other places, including a night with my dad that included Acqua Pazza in San Mateo and Divino in Belmont, followed by some Remy XO at The Van's (because that's how we roll). And I didn't need a coat the entire time. It's summer somewhere, just not here.

The summery weather continued since I was up in Yountville last week checking out Brix (my lunch there is pictured), Redd, Bottega, and the new restaurant at Bardessono. Yup, this is exactly why I am broke and fat. I can't wait to write all these adventures up, but in the meantime, I had to tell you how stunning Bardessono is—talk about eco-fabulous. Since it's a bit spendy to stay there, I wanted to share this crazy deal with y'all: they're doing a party at the rooftop pool every Wednesday evening called Dive Bar, and are offering a special Wednesday getaway offer for $299. It includes overnight accommodations in a spa suite, two complimentary drinks at the party, and a three-course prix-fixe dinner for two in the delicious restaurant—pretty amazing as far as deals go. Just call and mention the offer, or email Jana.Flahive [at] bardessono [dot] com.

More heat! Am super excited to shut down my laptop and get outta Dodge this Friday and head out to… swanky Fresno! Well, actually Fowler, where I'll be picking magical Elberta peaches very early on Saturday morning. I was so lucky to be included in the adoption of a Masumoto Family Farm peach tree! The most glorious peaches I have ever tasted, truly. (Can you tell I'm excited?)

Want to taste some? And no, I am not hosting a peach giveaway—I'm gonna be a canning and jammin' fool this weekend. Fellow peach tree adoptive parents Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski turned me on to these oh-so-special peaches a couple years ago at Rubicon. And even though they currently don't have a restaurant kitchen, they will be doing a special Masumoto peach dinner at Boulette's Larder on August 11th… read all the details in the chatterbox.

Can't believe how much news I have to cover this week—so much has happened in the past 14 days. And thanks to tablehopper intern Erin Archuleta, we have a hardhat in this issue. So let's get to it. And yes, it's true—I'll be back next week with actual restaurant reviews; thanks for bearing with me during these past two months! I have most definitely been maxed the hell out.

As David Mas Masumoto said in a recent email, peach be with you.

July 14, 2009

Ow. Last week really hurt. I think I popped something in my brain. I swear, my mouse had smoke coming out of it. I am all out of midnight oil. And I definitely know I hurt my wrist from all this typing (not good). I feel like Gollum. Or perhaps my arms (claws?) are more like T. Rex. For those of you who subscribe, you got my "telegram" about going dark last week since the first part of my book was due. It was quite the push—I left my apartment once during the entire week.

So you know I had fun punching the clock (hard) on Friday night after I turned that beast in, and getting into some margies at Tommy's. Thank god Julio, AKA the doctor, was in town, unlike the majority of bartenders who were away at Tales of the Cocktail—a girl could go thirsty. Went to see The Hangover, oh man was that funny. Plus late-night bites at Genki Ramen on Geary. It was a hell of a night. I also communed with the killer chilaquiles at Nopalito the next day (pictured)—healed!

But, it's like Breaking the Waves over here because I am now working on the second (albeit much smaller) part of my book, due July 27th. Which means I am going back down the rabbit hole and will be going dark next Tuesday the 21st—I have a ton of places to check out in the South Bay, East Bay, and Wine Country, so I gotta hop to it. Apologies for not responding to those of you emailing me, but it's not like you don't know what's going on. I'll be more available and responsive in August.

This week I am trying to keep the chatterbox updates (there are a lot) kind of terse—my wrist is actually not doing well from all the 17-hour days of typing last week, so I gotta take care of it.

Thanks much to Eddie Lau for this week's jetsetter piece on Chi-town—I know you'll enjoy this talented chef's perspective on one of America's favorite eating cities.

We also have a special sugar mama giveaway this week for one of the events during the SF Chefs. Food. Wine. event (running from August 6th–9th). Are you planning on going? I'll be moderating the Culinary Matriarchs panel on Saturday morning and I'll be on a panel about food reviewing Saturday afternoon. There are lots of tastings, demos, and more going on. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for all your support, gang—so appreciated during this whoa-nelly-am-I-busy (but very exciting) time of my life.


Am buried (STOP) No tablehopper today sorry (STOP) First section of book due EOD (STOP) See you next Tuesday (STOP) Thank you for understanding (STOP) Can someone do my dishes (STOP)

(end transmission)


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