April 2012

April 27, 2012
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Meet Lily, the sweetest little goat you ever did see. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Man, was it good to get outta Dodge for 24 hours. I was honored to be invited by my friend to visit Roshambo Farms, just off Westside Road in Healdsburg. Springtime in Sonoma is the best—we got to tour the farm, walk through the fields, play with the chickens and turkeys and goats and sheep and pigs and cats, and have an amazing home-cooked dinner with vegetables and wine from the land (and yes, there was some goat, and bacon, too). I am going to savor each and every farm-fresh egg I brought home, let me tell you. Also had a fab (as ever) lunch at Diavola in Geyserville before heading home—chef-owner Dino Bugica has a close relationship with Roshambo, so it was cool to go full-circle with the ingredients from the farm.

The highlight, however, was meeting Lily, this precious little goat who was abandoned by her mother at birth, and is currently being bottle-fed around the clock by my friends. She was an adorable shadow, following us everywhere, hopping and twisting in that hilarious goaty way, and bleating when she was tired and didn’t want to walk anymore. Heart=melted. Big thanks to Timothy and Naomi for having me and my friend up for the night, what a delight.

Apropos of the 707, Deirdre Bourdet has a 707 Scout piece for you today about where to eat on Mother’s Day (I’ll have some 415 spots for you on Tuesday).

Well, yours truly has a ton of catch-up to do, so here’s wishing you a fab weekend. The weather is purty, so I thought I’d run a piece on one of my favorite places to eat alfresco: Gitane. Enjoy!

Marcia Gagliardi

(Psssst, Marcia rhymes with Garcia!)

April 24, 2012
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The shrimp po’ boy at Radish. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

How was your weekend of fun in the sun? I’m glad I played some hooky on Saturday, starting with this fab lunch you see here at Radish (including an ice cold beer, natch), shopping in the Mission, an alfresco dinner with my folks and sis in the alley at Gitane, catching a fire performer show at Union Square, celebrating chef Hoss Zaré’s 50th birthday, and finishing the night with drinks and bites at nopa. And I did it all on my cute powder blue Public bike, such a trusty steed.

For the first time in I can’t even remember how long, I didn’t have to set my alarm on Sunday—what a delicious thing. The other delicious thing was the annual Meals On Wheels Star Chefs & Vintners Gala that evening. I am always so blown away with the abundance of dishes and crazy talent in the room. I have to admit, going backstage this year proved to be the most impressive yet: the dishes were full of beautifully plated vegetables (so very Northern California). All the chefs were helping each other out, wielding a sea of tweezers (and, as one chef pointed out to me, there was an entire row of immersion circulators along the periphery—quite a few more than just a couple years ago). The event ended up raising a record $1.9 million, which equates to approximately 475,000 meals to homebound seniors. (I can’t wait for the day when I’m loaded and I can Fund-A-Route for $10,000.) Kudos to everyone there who contributed their time, money, and talent for this oh-so-deserving cause. You can take a look at my photo album of the over-the-top evening here.

While at Meals On Wheels, I had a number of people ask me if tablehopper was going away since I’m the new contributing food editor for 7x7. Again, the answer is no: I am not taking a full-time staff position, so tablehopper will still be in your inbox on Tuesdays. Business as usual, yo. In case some of you missed my announcement on Friday, you can read it here. Although Ms. Busy Lady (yes, me) is looking for some help at tablehopper HQ: check out the ad here.

What a crazy shuffle going on in media right now: Jesse Hirsch is taking over for Patricia Unterman at The Examiner (keep up with Patty on her new website—she is posting a bunch of reviews there), Jonathan Kauffman has left the SF Weekly for Tasting Table, 7x7’s Sara Deseran is now deputy editor at San Francisco magazine, and we just have to wait and see where Jan Newberry is off to next. You got all that?

As for me, in light of this month of monster truck deadlines, I am taking a much-needed 24 hours away from the computer, and will be driving up to Healdsburg tomorrow to stay the night on my friend’s ranch. Already counting the minutes until I put my car into first gear.

This Saturday is the sold-out tablehopper wine tasting/Languedoc event, I look forward to seeing you all there! Be sure to check out today’s socialite for another upcoming tablehopper event at Ramekins in Sonoma: I’ll be talking (and tasting) salumi with charcutier Peter Temkin!

Ciao/meow.

Marcia Gagliardi

April 20, 2012
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Candy cap mushroom ice cream sandwich at Americano. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Why hello there. As many of you have already heard, I am the new contributing food editor for 7x7 magazine. I’m thrilled to be working with executive editor Chloé Harris Frankeny, who has been doing a bang-up job refreshing the magazine. We will be making some changes to the Eat + Drink section, starting with the addition of a monthly culinary essay that I’ll be writing for the magazine; I’ll also be writing the restaurant reviews and more.

Many of you have asked what this means for tablehopper going forward. Yes, tablehopper will continue to appear in your inboxes each week, but in order to manage my already-intense workload, I will be making some changes to my column. As much as I’d like to continue writing full-length restaurant reviews, I find I have less and less time to write them. Moving forward, they’re going to be more like quick snapshots and overviews—which means you’ll be finding out about more places, with less to read. To use the words of Martha Stewart, I think it’s a good thing. I’m also going to be trimming the overall Tuesday column a bit, which will probably be better for all us. (Well, except for publicists, ha ha.)

Anyway, that’s the gist of things for now—I’ll keep you posted as things move forward. Thank you for all the nice emails and tweets and phone calls about my new position. It was pretty funny: the news was announced while I was leading a private culinary tour and I was totally offline—when I returned home five hours later, let’s just say things were a little kuh-razy. I’m fired up to be on a masthead (my parents are happy about it, too), while still maintaining my independence to run and write tablehopper.

So, let’s party. I’m happy to announce the wines we’ll be pouring at next Saturday’s tablehopper tasting of wines from the Languedoc—check it out, it’s a great lineup. We have just eight spots left for the class! I’m looking forward to eating that French dog at Café des Amis again—very woof.

Have a glorious weekend out in the sun. I’m already counting down the minutes to bubbles o’clock. Since it’s 4/20, I imagine some of you will be partaking in other, uh, relaxing activities.

Cheers!

Marcia Gagliardi

April 17, 2012
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The glowing bar at Restaurant 1833. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Why hello there. It’s a minor miracle that the tablehopper newsletter is even in your inbox today. Between being away at Pebble Beach Food & Wine for four days, taxes, a mountain of writing deadlines, and just as many emails to answer, I am churning pretty hard right now. So is my poor MacBook Pro—I don’t think it can keep up with me. Time for mama to go shopping.

Had such a blast in Pebble Beach, you can read all about it here (and here’s a link to my photo album—really, you don’t want to look if you’re hungry). Thursday night I took a jaunt away from the festivities and unwound in a big tufted booth upstairs on the balcony at Restaurant 1833 in Monterey. The vintage ambiance of this grand adobe is unique and pretty dang enchanting, along with the barrel-aged Negronis (great cocktails at this place), savory biscuits, tender octopus, and a juicy grilled pork chop. (I’ll need to return for the tableside absinthe service.) And I owe a big thanks to my family’s friend Charlene, who always puts me up in her spare bedroom in Carmel, which is literally a 10-minute drive to The Inn at Spanish Bay.

Hey, have you bought your ticket for the upcoming tablehopper Languedoc wine event with Josiah Baldivino of Michael Mina? Tickets are just $35—and there are only eight tickets left! Let’s drink delicious wine and eat French dogs at Café des Amis. Hop to it.

Oh, and today on You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio, I talk about the Irish breakfast sandwich at the Beachside Coffee Bar & Kitchen—it’s a doozy of a sandwich.

Okay, I gotta bounce. Ciao!

Marcia Gagliardi

April 10, 2012
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Pulehu beef tongue, barley, miso, cucumber at LihoLiho Yacht Club. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, peeps. (Did you have some of those on Sunday?) Besides trekking down to San Mateo on Sunday for an Easter feast with the family (pasta al forno, how much do I love you, let me count the ways), I took it easy this weekend, in an attempt to beat a lame cold that was trying to take me down. I won, killing it with homemade Brazilian chicken soup and pasta e fagioli (was fun to stay in and cook for a change). I couldn’t get sick—I have so many writing deadlines the next 10 days, I don’t know what to do with my damn self. Ay yi yi.

I did play a little hooky last night, leaving my computer on a very rare Monday night out to go check out Ravi Kapur’s LihoLiho Yacht Club pop-up at Citizen’s Band. Am so glad I did, because that was quite the memorable feast (and I mean FEAST—thank God I rode my bike there and back), from housemade lap cheong sausage in delicious sticky rice, to the fantastic smoked octopus with turnips and avocado. Try to catch it the next two Mondays if you can, it has a great vibe.

I am getting ready to head down to Pebble Beach Food & Wine this Thursday, for four days of true culinary debauchery. I’ll be tweeting from the fray. The weather is registering high on the lame scale, but fortunately it looks like it will mellow out by the weekend. There are still some tickets available for a few of the events, so if you get the whim to cruise on down, go for it. I’ll see you there.

And now, let’s go to the opposite end of the spectrum and chat about frugality: today on You Gotta Eat This, I talk about the rotisserie chicken dinner at Green Chile Kitchen, and how I stretch that thing into a three-day meal. My grandmother would be proud.

Keep dry!

Marcia Gagliardi

April 3, 2012
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The beautiful table at the Meatpaper bollito misto supper on Sunday. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Whoa, what a weekend. Friday night I got to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday while at the ForageSF Basque dinner and fundraiser; Saturday was an epic brunch at Bar Tartine (have you had the blood sausage yet?), followed by Whiskies of the World (where I thoroughly enjoyed more than one taste of my new obsession: Breaking & Entering bourbon by St. George Spirits—it’s like bananas Foster in a glass), and then a late-night prime rib dinner at Original Joe’s (and a much-needed Averna nightcap/digestif at Gino & Carlo’s).

Sunday was a restorative brunch at Park Tavern—whoever came up with the Boozy Smoothie there (banana, Bulleit bourbon, espresso) is a genius and I want to be friends with them. And the pièce de résistance was a spectacular bollito misto dinner on Sunday night at The Perish Trust—a group of us were invited for supper and to be a part of a photoshoot for an upcoming feature in Meatpaper. I can’t wait to see the piece in the next issue. The food, the company, the atmosphere—it made me so grateful to live in San Francisco (and I was still reeling from the creativity of the OPENharvest event last Thursday). Yeah, this city does “it” like none other.

So, I have a few upcoming events for your radar. This Thursday is Gastronomy night for the Exploratorium’s After Dark program, and FYI, tickets are selling quickly for my upcoming tablehopper Tasting at Café des Amis: The Wines of the Languedoc—tickets are limited and we are more than halfway sold, so if you’re interested, get yours now! One more thing: Pebble Beach Food & Wine is next week, and there are still some tickets remaining for the Grand Tastings (and a few other stellar events), so check it out and maybe I’ll see you down there. Let’s par-tay.

This Sunday I’ll be heading down to San Mateo to celebrate Easter with my family—for those of you who don’t have a father preparing baby goat like mine is (trust me, this used to traumatize me as a child), you can find plenty of Easter and Passover events on tablehopper.

I also took a trip down memory lane today (well, the 280, to be exact) for You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio, talking about my favorite Italian deli sandwich of all time, the Godfather at Woodside Delicatessen—you can listen here.

Now excuse me while I go get some fresh air—am loving today’s springy weather.

Marcia Gagliardi

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