November 2009

November 17, 2009

Oh. My. God. I made it. My sea of paper is now at low tide. I finished my second pages. Break out the Willett Pot Still Reserve bourbon. Oh wait, I already did. Heh. I believe the worst is over, so I’m fired up and ready to get back to some regular exercise and nights out on the town, and answering my email. Oh yeah, and how about some writing? Oh yeah, that. I’ll have a review for you next week, and in fact, I’m gonna have a whole lot of something else for you next week too. All will be revealed. I don’t mean to be all mysterious and David Blaine-like, but let’s just say I’ve got something in the hopper, and it’s gonna be cool.

Last week’s highlights (when I wasn’t hunched over my book galley with my green pen): the sherry tasting at Stable was awesome (here’s a little video our event chef, James Stolich, took of Neyah White flaming some orange peel for our final cocktail), and the very next night I was invited to a private dinner party at James’s house (gotta love some home cooking). We had a delicious salad of burrata, escarole, and endive. Turns out James demonstrated the dish at a Ferry Building Market to Table session, so here’s the recipe for you (I’d serve it with asmattering of breadcrumbs).

I also headed over to the 510 on Sunday night for some last-minute recon, and I ended the evening with a stellar copa of gelato at Almare Gelato (2170 Shattuck)–the creamy texture and authentic flavors were off the charts, check it out. So nice to have caffè gelato really taste like espresso.

Can’t wait to go to the annual McEvoy Ranch private party this weekend–time to stock up on some olio nuovo. Also on topic: I was happy to see my dad featured in the weekly CUESA newsletter in a piece about his olive-curing process written by tablehopper intern Daisy Chow (she also contributed to the ‘hopper this week, check it out). Carmen’s cracked green olives are really the bomb. More seasonal goodness I’m excited about: yesterday’s local Dungeness crab season kickoff! I’m so ready to swing by the Alioto-Lazio Fish Company and pick up some crab at their storefront at 440 Jefferson Street–it’s time to do some damage.

So, let’s get crackin’.


November 10, 2009

"This is Ricky Machado, and I am reporting to you live from the scene. Ah, yes, Susan, that is correct, we have a three car pile-up on the tablehopper freeway. It appears there was a sherry party bus and a weekly restaurant delivery van both on their planned Tuesday route, and then an Alfa Romeo loaded with book manuscripts attempted to pull an Evel Knievel and jump over them as it was coming off an overpass, but the driver didn't clear it. It was quite a convergence.

"No one is hurt but the driver of the sports car is visibly fatigued. Looks like she was driving hard all weekend, trying to make her delivery on time. So now we have a mess of paper all over the freeway. The sherry party bus is still on target, claro, and the restaurant delivery van lost a little bit of produce in the spill, but is still gonna make its Tuesday scheduled delivery at 3pm.

"As for the driver of the Alfa, I'll have an interview with her shortly asking what the hell was she thinking driving that fast in lane one hauling that kind of a load, let alone trying to jump the van and the bus. Total kamikaze move. The CHP has never seen anything like it. Film at 11."

~ Marcia

November 3, 2009

You coming down off that Halloween candy sugar high? I didn't have one single trick or treater (yeah, a different kind of boo), so guess who has a dangerous amount of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the house? Aw heck. A friend asked what my Halloween costume was going to be, and I said, "A writer at home in her slippers doing book edits." Yeah, it was a really rowdy Halloween, let me tell you. Although it would be an easy costume, complete with a coffee mug, sweatpants, a wrist brace, hair in a ponytail, and a bunch of take-out containers. Maybe a slight hunch in the shoulders. Filing that away for another year—too much reality at the moment.

But up until Friday, I had quite the week off-leash. Last Tuesday I went to Namu to finally experience the "KFC" (Korean Fried Chicken), which was stupidly delicious, and was totally scarfed, but the $32 for half a bird was getting too close to Zuni prices in the Inner Richmond for my taste. Wednesday I went to Omnivore Books to see William Grimes speak (can't wait to crack his book, Appetite City), and then I said, "Bridge be damned!" and caught a BART train for dinner at Commis. One hell of a meal, full of stunning flavors and presentations—and they do really good things to eggs over there, always a plus in my book. My dinner was rather similar to what the Bunrabs ate, check out pics of their meal here.

Thursday was the unofficial Porchetta Tour: 2009: my sis and I split sandwiches from RoliRoti at the Thursday market and Cane Rosso (in the end, RoliRoti's won—Cane Rosso's is more like a really good pork sandwich). But the sneaker fave hit of the day was Cane Rosso's egg salad sandwich. God damn, that sandwich is the best egg salad in the city, total perfection. Aged provolone on top, what a flourish. May they never change a thing.

Friday was quite a memorable evening: I was invited for a New Orleans dinner (click for pics) to celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Perish Trust, where they converted the space into the coolest dinner party set (they are going to start allowing people to host dinner parties there—it's quite atmospheric). We had bourbon, catfish-cornbread muffins, and some mighty tasty gumbo, followed by the chef's own Hooker's Sweet Treats. Maybe I need to do a tablehopper supper there, hmmmm...

And of course my family totally rocked my birthday dinner Sunday night, from the J brut rose, to the Moroccan lamb and carrots my mom made (so dang good), to my dad's fried peppers and homemade spicy coppa, to almond cake, all the way to the remarkable bottle of Naima from De Conciliis that my parents hand carried from their recent trip from Italy (wow, what an aglianico). I am so spoiled.

In the meantime, are you coming to the tablehopper sherry tasting event at Stable Cafe next week or what? Cast away the mental image you have of sherry being sweet or cloying, and get ready to embrace a new frontier of food and wine pairing, trust me. Our tasting leader César is the best guide you could hope for, and chef James Stolich of CookWithJames and I have quite a menu mapped out—it's shaping up to be rather feast-y, check it out in the lush. Since I turn my book edits in next Monday, I'll be ready to raise a glass with you (or two, or three, or four) next Tuesday, hope to see you!

This week I just have a quick bite for you since I have too much on my plate (literally). But thanks to Pete from Green Apple Books, I have a bookworm for you on the much-discussed David Chang's new Momofuku book, plus there are a couple very special out-of-town events in the socialite (hello, Laurent Gras is coming out here!). Since some of you have asked me about Thanksgiving dinner locations, expect a roundup next week.

Hope you get to enjoy this last gasp of Indian Summer,


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