June 2010

June 29, 2010
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Baked oysters at Marlowe.

Why hello there. I am certainly much less fussy than last week—that lame weather was ridiculous. Fortunately we got blessed with some epic weather, how fabulous—and even better, I got to go play in it. I enjoyed a couple lunches out: a tasty one at Marlowe (pictured here), and some friends invited me over for a leisurely lunch on Friday (yes, we consumed some bubbles). Sometimes you just have to punch the clock early, right? This past Pride weekend was all about a much-needed break from the computer (dance floors are much more fun). It was great to catch up with so many friends I hadn’t seen in a long while.

But, I have once again traded my dance card in for a dining card, and this week is bizzeee: I’ll be checking out Pica Pica, the revamped Presidio Social Club, and Thursday is the San Francisco magazine Best of the Bay party, always a good time. I am most looking forward to a mother-daughter day in the city on Friday—we’re going to visit our family friend at his new business, The Sandwich Spot, and we’re checking out the Shanghai exhibition at the Asian Art Museum, can’t wait. And then for the holiday weekend, it’s up to Hopland for a friend’s wedding, which is going to be faboo drive in my convertible. Vroom.

As a reminder, my reviews are now coming out on Fridays, so don’t be surprised with the second installment in one week.

Have a sunny, smoky, and meat-tastic holiday weekend. Boom!

Marcia Gagliardi

June 25, 2010
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The burger at Bar Tartine.

Oooh, don’t even get me started on this weather. I’ve been downright cranky over it. But fortunately food is a surefire distraction. Here are two things that have made me very happy this week: two stellar burgers, one at Bar Tartine (with the option of a bone marrow supplement, no joke), and the other, the famed burger at Marlowe, equally decadent with its bacon fat-smeared bun. Both were all kinds of crazy delicious.

I also perked up over a friends and family test dinner at Prospect last night—it was an exciting sneak peek of this much-anticipated restaurant. (You can read my full update on the project in Tuesday’s column.) I’m also going to try to go to Off the Grid tonight since I’ll be too busy partying in Dolores Park to make it to Outside In 5 tomorrow—both events look like so much fun, drizzle be damned.

In today’s issue, I just have a little piece of news for you in the chatterbox, and a review of one of my new favorites in town, ~SPQR~. Have a swell weekend, and see you on Tuesday!

Happy Pride!
Marcia Gagliardi

June 22, 2010
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A16’s sardine crostini with minted peas.

Pride is always one of my favorite times of the year in San Francisco: Market Street becomes a boulevard of billowing and bright rainbow flags, dear friends fly into town from all over, an amazing group of volunteers climb Twin Peaks in order to create a gigantic pink triangle, and San Francisco just skyrockets with megawatt gay energy and smiling people. I remember last year I was toiling away at home on my manuscript, missing the annual Pink Saturday party with all my friends in Dolores Park. But this year, hell no! I am off the chain the entire weekend. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful celebration.

Last Saturday was no slouch, however. Thanks to everyone who came to the tablehopper Indian Street Food Event at Dosa—we had a sold-out room! And the Dosa kitchen staff made sure we totally feasted (quite!), and the Robert Oatley wine pairings were delicious. Here is a link to my photo album of the event, and here’s another set from a tablehopper reader who attended. I also thought I’d include a link to this fun video about the street food of Mumbai. It features many of the places I went to in January—I was missing the food so much I had to have it again, hence this event. Thank you for being game, Dosa!

Last week’s culinary highlights also included Thursday’s StarChefs Rising Stars Revue Gala; my favorite dish was Scott Nishiyama of Chez TJ’s (dear lord, hold me) Moulard duck foie gras “neige,” with blackberry gelee, cashew purée, sliced baby radish, and housemade mustard toast. The “neige” (snow) was a fluffy cloud of frozen and then grated foie gras. In-sane. (No surprise that it won the People’s Choice award at the event.) I also couldn’t resist eating two of Liza Shaw of A16’s sardine crostini with minted peas and topped with pickled onions. Heck, the entire event featured so many impressive dishes, kudos to all.

After the event, I swung by the Comstock Saloon for a couple oh-so-excellent cocktails (am loving the name, Gill Sans, for a cocktail), and then hit the after-party at Orson, which included Elizabeth Falkner’s deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwich bites. Pure evil. Suffice to say, the next day was all about vegetables, and lots and lots of water.

Cheers! Have a swell week!
Marcia Gagliardi

P.S. A few of you seem to have forgotten, so here’s a little reminder: Marcia (rhymes with Garcia). Heh.

June 18, 2010
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Pani puri at Dosa on Fillmore.

And just like that, the weather has taken a dip. Downright cool, but so not cool! At least tomorrow’s tablehopper Indian Street Food event at Dosa on Fillmore is inside, so we’ll be toasty and warming up on things like spicy chiles and wine. There are still a few spots left in case you’ve decided you would like to feast on a ten-course Indian street food lunch with wine tastes for only $45. Hell yeah you do! I went to the pre-event tasting on Wednesday, and let me tell you, lunch is going to be a tour de force of flavor and texture. Lunch kicks off at 12 noon.

This little Friday installment is all about an update on Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern, opening next Tuesday. It’s quite the project, and the restoration was a wonderful homage to the historical building that it’s in.

This week I also did a few updates to three of my older restaurant reviews: Cha-Ya, Fifth Floor, and Orson. Just scroll to the bottom of each review for the updates, and new pictures are posted as well.

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and while I’m a little bummed my precious papa is far away in South Africa, I know he’s having the time of his life with my sister watching World Cup games, and then going on safari. And with Italy playing New Zealand on Sunday, a win would be the best Father’s Day gift ever, so FORZA AZZURRI! (Just in case you need some last-minute Father’s Day location ideas, here’s my round-up from Tuesday.)

Happy weekend, all.

Marcia Gagliardi

June 15, 2010
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Beet salad at boon in Guerneville.

It’s so good to get the hell out of town. Last week I escaped the gloom and boogied up to West County in Sonoma, checking out the wineries and vittles in Graton, Forestville, and Guerneville (plus a little bit of Sebastopol). I have to head up for one more mission before I can write up a jetsetter for y’all, but I’ll hopefully get to it soon. From the velvety pinot at Paul Hobbs, to the little slice of Palm Springs chic at boon hotel + spa in Guerneville, to a decadent breakfast at Willow Wood Market Café in Graton, with some Iron Horse bubbles on top, I was smitten.

Saturday only continued the assault of the delicious and the tasty: I was invited to attend an In the Kitchen with Lisa tour of the Mission, which was fun for this long-standing local, so someone new to the city (or just passing through) would definitely dig it. Check out my Flickr photo album of the calorie-laden day here.

Will I see you at StarChefs on Wednesday? And on Thursday afternoon at 12:30pm, I’ll be on Pirate Cat Radio (87.9FM) discussing late-night dining in SF on GridLock. Listen in!

And this isn’t exactly food-related, but this Thursday evening I’m going to be at a chic event at MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing) in Hayes Valley called “Women We Love.” I’ll be there signing books, Able & Baker Studios will be doing live screenprinting, and the fab fashionistas behind RosenMunns will also be in attendance. The event is from 6pm-8:30pm, do come by! 387 Grove St. at Gough.

And then Saturday is the big one: the tablehopper Indian Street Food Lunch at Dosa on Fillmore. (Read more here.) Let’s rock a Bollywood style, people—break out the colorful clothing. I’m fired up that I actually have an occasion to wear the beautiful salwar kameez I bought in Mumbai since I don’t seem to have any Indian weddings to attend in the near future.

Oh, and since my life is a bit less squirrely, I’ll have a second installment for you later this week, cheers.

Marcia Gagliardi

June 8, 2010
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At the end-of-the-cleanse celebratory meal (by Juicey Lucy’s).

So, I made it. My three-week cleanse is over, and I’m feeling fantastic. Sure, it was hard work, and there were some really frustrating moments and times when all I wanted was a bite of cheese or a &*^%^ sip of wine, but the payoff is amazing. It’s very grounding. And now I feel like my intentions and habits have been brushed up and reminded about eating healthfully—sometimes you just have to hit the reset button.

It also means I am beginning my re-emergence back into my tablehoppin’ life. While it was hard to be at COCHON 555 on Sunday and only be able to eat Rancho Gordo’s (delicious) cannellini beans, I’m looking forward to the Street Fixe dinner tonight at Stable (which is actually a vegetarian meal). And then I am leaving on Wednesday for a couple days of touring the wineries and restaurants in Sonoma’s West County—will be a gorgeous time to be up there.

Please remember starting this Thursday (through Saturday) you can dine out and help the Gulf Coast. And Saturday is the Golden Glass, where you will be able to pick up a copy of my book if you haven’t had a chance!

I’m also thrilled to announce in less than two weeks, I am doing an Indian street food lunch at Dosa! I’ve been waiting to do this event for a long time—ever since I returned from India in January—but my book tour had me a little too busy. Just in case you drooled over all the amazing food I got to try in Mumbai, here’s your chance to actually taste a lot of those dishes! It’s going to be a daytime feast on Saturday June 19th, and we’ll be pouring some delicious wines from Robert Oatley Vineyards. Check out all the details here. I hope to see you there!

And lastly, thanks to all of you for your very kind notes and regards last week. It was definitely one of the sadder weeks of my life, and I’m still having to take it one day at a time. Unexpected loss can be so hard. It’s going to be good to get out of town for a couple days, and be in such a beautiful setting.

Affectionately,

Marcia Gagliardi

This week’s issue is lovingly dedicated to the memory of (John) Scott Brooks, my ex-boyfriend who was a big part of why I am a food writer today. He taught me the difference between a brunoise and a chinoise, he made my favorite crème brûlée and margaritas, and is the only man I’ve ever known with a madeleine pan. He forever changed the course of my life, and for that I am deeply grateful. Rest in peace. 6-6-1961 : 6-2-2010.

June 1, 2010
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Grilled asparagus with lemon and shichimi at Ozumo.

I hope you all had a swell Memorial Day. Fortunately I took advantage of the gorgeous weather on Sunday with my friend and hit an amazing (secret) Marin beach—complete with the softest black volcanic sand—followed by a wonderful family reunion dinner at Ozumo with my grandmother, her sister, and other fabulous family members. (And Ozumo was the perfect pick while being on my cleanse—they had plenty of grilled vegetable dishes I could eat, and brown rice—but boy, were the platter of sashimi for the table and the smells of the miso cod and Wagyu beef tongue ridiculously tempting).

Unfortunately my Monday was not so stellar—I got some pretty hard news about a long-lost friend, and I really didn’t have much inspiration to finish writing my column after hearing the news. (He was a big Miles Davis fan, hence today’s title.) So please excuse the brevity of today’s column, but my heart (and mind) just weren’t in it. I may try to rally something for you for Thursday or Friday—but that might not come together, we’ll see. Thanks for understanding.

To end this missive on an upbeat note, I will be on West Coast Live this Saturday, so please tune in to hear me ‘n’ Sedge chew the fat—the show runs from 10am until noon. I’ll also be at a couple signings this weekend; check it out in the chatterbox. And please remember SummerTini is this Friday—it’s an important (and fun) event to support, for a charity that really does amazing work: the CHEFS program. Please consider attending, and the lineup of auction items is awesome, including a signed book from yours truly, paired with a $200 gift certificate generously donated by sebo!

Oh, and guess who is finally joining the par-tay on Facebook? Yup, tablehopper now has a Facebook page, so please head on over and give it a thumbs up! I know, way overdue—better late than never, as they say.

Thanks for all your support,

Marcia Gagliardi

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