June 2011

June 28, 2011
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Helllllo, amazing party! (The Juanita MORE! pool party on Sunday at the Phoenix Hotel and Chambers.)

Woooowheeeee. San Francisco knows how to throw one hell of a Pride weekend—and the fantastic news from New York on Friday evening only sprayed more glitter and gas on the fire. It was a weekend of spontaneous reunions with friends everywhere I went, from Dolores Park to the streets of the Mission to the epic Juanita MORE! pool party at the Phoenix and Chambers on Sunday. I can say with some confidence that I laughed more than I slept this past weekend. Ha ha! So if you’re wondering why today’s issue appears to be a bit more petite than usual, well, there’s your answer. The ‘hopper is tired and pulled over with her hazards on. Am contemplating an espresso IV drip.

As promised, here’s a link to my New York photo album on Flickr to accompany last Friday’s jetsetter piece. Finally had a chance to upload the pics with all the captions (such a tedious task—why can’t my computer just remember what I ate?).

And hey, thanks everyone who voted for tablehopper for the San Francisco magazine Best of the Bay Area 2011 Readers’ Poll! Guess who won for Best Email Action? (And can I just say I love how dirty that sounds?) So I hope this means I’ll see you at the Best of the Bay Party on Thursday. You have your ticket, right? Right.

Now excuse me while I go stomp in some puddles! Argh! I know you’re with me on that sentiment.

Marcia Gagliardi

June 24, 2011
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Cheers (in Chelsea).

Why hello there. I know, what the hell am I doing in your inbox so late on a Friday? Well, this damned jetsetter piece I just finished doing on New York was kind of a monster. Oy. And I was determined to get it out today, even if that meant it’s late in the day. It doesn’t help matters that my poor little MacBook Pro practically has smoke coming out of it, I’ve been working it so hard. I’m trying to move quickly, but things are mooooving slooooow.

Oh, and I wasn’t able to get all my scrumptious NYC pics uploaded to Flickr in time. That’s a whole other beast. Whatever. One thing at a time. I’ll tweet later this evening when they’re up—I always think they make a nice companion to the jetsetter pieces.

I have some other tidbits for you, including some 707 Scout entries, a sugar mama giveaway, and this marks the return of the wino! My buddy Alex Fox is going to be doing some ongoing tasting notes for us in coming weeks called Re-Wined—today is the first installment, I hope you dig it. It made me thirsty.

Okay, I’m signing off—it’s time for me to get lost in Flickr land with these pictures of New York.

Have a swell Pride weekend, everyone! I am so ready to kick things off! You? Rock!

Marcia Gagliardi

June 21, 2011
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Cucumber soup, by chef Jeremy Fox at SMITH@Saison.

This gorgeous heatwave definitely makes it easier to return to San Francisco after my week in balmy New York. Helllllllo, summer solstice! Am trying to be outside as much as possible, but this dang deadline of mine is kind of getting in the way. I did get to enjoy a memorable meal with a friend by chef Jeremy Fox at the hearth at Saison on Friday night (j’adore that terrace), and Father’s Day dinner was spent in my parents’ backyard in San Mateo—man, I love alfresco dining.

Happy to see the sun will continue into the weekend, as the city blows up with Pride! I’ll be tearing it up in Dolores Park with my friends for Pink Saturday, but do note chef Dominique Crenn will be with Liam Mayclem (CBS5’s “Eye on the Bay” and “Foodie Chap” on KCBS) at Macy’s Cellar doing a free cooking demo on Saturday at 2pm.

Since I took last week off, I had some serious catch-up to do for you—you’ll find plenty of news about new openings in this week’s issue. And I’m aiming to have my New York jetsetter writeup for you this Friday, stand by.

Have fun out there—and please raise a glass to the memory of the vivacious Shirley Fong-Torres, who sadly passed away this weekend after a battle against leukemia. I know many will miss seeing her smiling face out on the town. She was such a feisty lady.

To feistiness!

Marcia Gagliardi

June 7, 2011
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Hello little honey bee, nestling into the flowers of the lamb’s ear plant (at Campovida).

I can’t believe I’m going to be disembarking a plane in New York in 48 hours, somebody pinch me. This month’s jaunt was inspired by a friend who’s getting married there this weekend, but of course I had to add on some extra days for visiting friends and eating and drinking my way around the city. On my short list: The Dutch, Roberta’s, Torrisi, Souvlaki, Épicerie Boulud, Szechuan Gourmet, and hopefully some return visits to Russ & Daughters and Xi’an Famous Foods (cumin lamb burger, I’ve been thinking about you—a lot). I might need to go back to Taim for some of their incomparable falafel as well.

So you know the drill: I’m going to be taking the week off, and will be back in your inboxes on Tuesday June 21st. This week’s column has plenty of content to keep you occupied (including some exciting news about Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s new project, State Bird Provisions!), but I’m not going to be able to write up the details about a few places until after I return (and after they’ve opened), namely Bluestem Brasserie (heading there tonight for some preview cocktails!), Cupola in the Westfield Centre, and it looks like Wing Wings in the Lower Haight will be going into a soft opening phase any day now.

Oh, and before signing off, I had to tell you about the spectacular Campovida, a retreat in Hopland that has one of the most beautiful (and organic) gardens I have ever seen—13 acres in all—along with a working vineyard and a tasting room of Magnanimus Wines, and simply stunning grounds. I got to visit for an overnight stay this weekend, which included a delicious family-style dinner prepared by Janelle Weaver of The Bewildered Pig; she used a ton of just-picked ingredients from the garden, along with a “boar-chetta” made from locally caught boar. The next “36-Hour Farm Dinner” will be in October, check it out. I just posted pictures of the grounds for you, you have to take a look. Truly heaven on earth—and totally lush from all the rain we’ve been getting. The new owners are restoring and creating a magical place. Le sigh.

Have a swell week—and I’ll see you on the 21st.

Marcia Gagliardi

June 3, 2011
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Namadako sunomono: seaweed, cucumber, and octopus (complete with torch-seared suckers!) in a yuzu kosho dressing at Sebo.

How wrong: I was supposed to be spending the weekend inner-tubing on Cache Creek and camping, but the rainy forecast sadly made me change my plans. I’ve had a rough week, and reenacting a campsite at the Glastonbury Festival (without the music) wasn’t really in my cards. At all. Plan B now involves sleeping indoors, thankyouverymuch.

Since we’re queued up for a weekend of crap weather, I thought it would be a good time to highlight a few of my favorite off-the-radar delivery options, especially since Mission Chinese Food is closed for most of the month, so no dice there. In case you feel like staying in, watching a movie, and not trying to concoct a mystery dish out of your barren fridge, I’ve got you covered.

Keep dry, well-fed (don’t forget there’s the COCHON 555 event on Sunday—and it’s indoors!), and if you’re in the mood for getting tipsy, there’s the new Churchill to check out, and starting today, both Mijita locations are offering $5 margaritas all day long on Fridays (except on game days at the ballpark location) throughout the summer. Or should I say “summer.”

Cheers!

Marcia Gagliardi

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