June 2012

June 29, 2012

Acquerello’s pear and foie gras “raviolo” with dry-farmed, organic Comice pears filled with truffled torchon of foie gras. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Ah yes, such a delightful summer day, full of mist and clouds. Obnoxious.

It’s funny how stories can fall into your lap. Last week, it was the incredible SFChefs Stars Realigned Dinner (you can read my write-up of the memorable evening on 7x7.com here), and just this Wednesday evening, I had another unexpected experience, at Acquerello. See, this is why I go out so much: it gives me a lot to think about, and then to write about. This city is so rich with people and their stories. I hope you enjoy today’s piece, and we also have a 707 scout piece for you.

I need to hop onto some other deadlines, so enjoy the weekend! You have plenty of options to pig out: Pig & Pie is now open, and High on the Hog is this Saturday. There’s also this brewtruc beer garden on Saturday, and quite the farewell-to-foie dinner from the Bon Vivants.

Stay outta trouble.

Marcia Gagliardi

June 26, 2012

The quiche of your dreams, seriously. At Cassava Bakery & Café. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Well, THAT was an epic weekend. I love it when the weather plays nice with Pride festivities. I can’t believe how many friends I got to catch up with, dance with, and laugh with—this is what happens when you’ve lived here since 1994. I was hoping to see Kelly Tunstall and Ferris Plock’s new art show, Edible Complex, that opened on Friday night and go dancing afterward, but I managed to totally burn my hand while cooking at home (damn hot bowl, OW!) and had to pull it on over. Wah. (All better now, thanks—hands are amazing with how quickly they heal.)

Anyway, this week started with a bang: Monday was the first day of my tablehopper Insider Week on Gilt City! I have been working with Gilt City to curate deals and experiences with some of my favorite local businesses, restaurants, and more—subscribe and get ready for two more days of great offers this week!

Also hot this week: where to go for the final days of foie gras. Did you see my article in the June issue of 7x7, where I post five of my favorite foie dishes in SF? Check it out if you’re looking for a hit list—foie gras will be illegal on July 1. Required reading: this article that posted on Bloomberg last night that notes a loophole in the ban, and mentions how there doesn’t seem to be anything in place about enforcing the ban.

I am also planning to try the foie ramen at Ame, and tonight, Hapa Ramen is serving foie terrine on their duck ramen at their pop-up at Wing Wings. You should also know that at Palio D’Asti, you can add seared foie gras to any dish on the menu at lunch and dinner (except happy hour pizza) for only $5. Follow me on Twitter for more up-to-the-minute foie specials this week as I see them.

Enjoy the sun, enjoy the foie!

Marcia Gagliardi

June 22, 2012

Wood oven-roasted shellfish at the Stars Realigned dinner at EPIC Roasthouse. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy, folks. Happy Friday. This morning, as I was running stairs in misty Alamo Square and attempting to burn off at least five bites of the decadent SF Chefs: Dinner Party Project—Stars Realigned dinner I attended last night at EPIC Roasthouse (and maybe some of the Champagne and oysters I had at Waterbar), I was wondering how the hell am I going to get all my work done today? I’m cranking against some big deadlines—and let’s just say someone barely made it home before turning into a pumpkin last night (right at 11:59pm, I laughed).

I’ll be posting a recap of last night’s very special meal on 7x7.com very soon (check out upcoming Dinner Party Project and preview events here). Fortunately 707 correspondent Heather Irwin has some juicy news for you today in 707 Scout.

But I did want to share some exciting news with you today: starting on Monday, I am partnering with Gilt City for a couple “Insider” weeks of tablehopper-curated experiences and offerings! Yup, we’re going to be featuring some of my favorite restaurants, places, and things, like Contigo, Deli Board, Namu Gaji, and Ragazza, along with Public Bikes and Whole Body Tonic. Deals, baby, deals!

Are you a Gilt City subscriber? If not, click here to sign up for the San Francisco edition (it’s free) so you can view and access all these special tablehopper Insider sales next week. Look for more tablehopper picks in July as well! I’m so fired up to be highlighting so many of my favorite local businesses, I hope you dig it.

In case you’re looking for a little something to read, here is a link to my weekly post on 7x7.com—this week is about five of my favorite salads. Yes, I eat salads.

And I also have a link to my weekly You Gotta Eat This segment for KGO Radio: this week I featured the Cambodian place, Angkor Borei, in Bernal. Listen in here. Lastly, did you have a chance to check out my first piece for 7x7 magazine on the new generation of local chefs cooking with soul? It was one of my favorite articles I have written in a while.

Okay, signing off. Have a great weekend full of PRIDE.

Marcia Gagliardi

June 19, 2012

Peach Pimm’s Punch at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, friends. Did you have a stellar weekend? Mine was off the charts—like the heat! I headed up to Sonoma on Friday for my salumi class at Ramekins with Peter Temkin (look for a redux of it in San Francisco soon!), followed by the singular pleasure of a late dinner alfresco on the patio at Estate. Yes, we had more of John Toulze’s housemade salumi (we featured his Mano Formate coppa in the class, and thanks to chef Staffan Terje of Perbacco, we also turned the class on to ‘nduja!). My dining posse and I finished the night with amari and selections from Estate’s extensive grappa cart—my kind of nightcap.

Saturday I enjoyed sleeping in (oh, thank you, sweet Jesus), leftover Estate pizza in bed (I love being an adult), and a swim at MacArthur Place (totally charming grounds, full of flowers and trees and grass). I checked out and headed over for lunch at the girl & the fig (I kept cool with steak tartare and the famed fig and arugula salad), and checked out the new Crisp Bake Shop from darling couple Moaya Scheiman and Andrea Koweek. They make delicious cookies, from sandwich (hello, shortbread with salted dulce de leche) to macarons to classic chocolate chip, and gluten-free folks, you won’t believe the selection (I recommend their version of a Hostess cupcake)! I am so coming back for their sandwiches (hmmm, the Cubano or muffaletta?) and a cake.

I spent Saturday evening in Healdsburg, visiting two friends at their new cottage tucked among the vineyards along Westside Road. Yeah, it’s heaven up there—I didn’t want to leave. Sunday was Father’s Day, so I had to scoot down to San Mateo bright and early. My sis and I spent the day bottling wine with our father (these are my kind of father-daughter activities—sports or yard work, not so much) and had a beautiful family dinner—my mother styled us with delicious Moroccan lamb and a seasonal fruit galette. Damn, that woman can cook and bake.

So it’s one of my favorite weeks in San Francisco: Pride! Desperately trying to get all my work done this week so I can enjoy the weekend celebrating the inimitable and fabulous diversity of our fair city. The energy is jubilant, electric, happy, proud. Say it loud!


Marcia Gagliardi
(Marcia rhymes with Garcia; bonus round: the second “g” is silent in Gagliardi)

June 15, 2012

Raising Cain! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I have such crazy, dumb luck sometimes. As you have probably figured out, I’m not a huge sports fan: I’ll watch the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, the Olympics, World Cup games when Italy is playing, and the occasional baseball game—but that’s really about it. So when I was invited to see the Giants on Wednesday evening and experience the Off the Cove food truck gathering, I thought it would be a blast to catch a game and chow down on some Curry Up Now (oh yeah). I invited my baseball fanatic friend (he offered to be the Virgil to my Socrates, and give me info and share tips about the game) and we plunked ourselves down in some amazing lower box seats, just four rows back from the field. It was a beautiful evening, with the Hangar One blimp lazily cruising around overhead like a big bumblebee.

But what happened Wednesday night still gives me goose bumps. The way the night unfolded was such magic. After the first few innings, it was apparent something very special was brewing, and it only got stronger. Nope, I can’t believe I got to witness a perfect game. The energy, the elation of both the crowd and the team playing off each other is a feeling I will never forget. It was historic and profoundly moving.

As I rode my bike home that night, I was mulling over all the elements that went into making that game perfect. So many moving parts, so many significant decisions. It’s a lot like a perfect meal in a restaurant—all those people and moments and timing that have to synchronize to become greater than the sum of their parts. Or a symphonic piece, or a play, or any performance, really. Wednesday was poetry in motion, and I am so grateful I was there to witness it, and cheer loudly for it. These are the moments that make life extra sweet. You feel it down to your toes.

So here we are. Apologies, no review for you today, but I do want to share a link to my first piece for 7x7 magazine (it’s currently in the June issue), which is about the new vanguard of SF chefs cooking from the heart. I hope you enjoy it. I also have a cheat sheet of five new places to open in the city that was on 7x7.com this week.

As for today’s issue, we have some 707 news for you and a peek at a brand-new watering hole for you to visit. I am hustling to scoot off to Sonoma for my salumi class this evening and a weekend of baking in the summer heat. Hubba.

Have a stellar weekend. Nay, a perfect one.

Marcia Gagliardi

June 12, 2012

The famed pomme d’amour from Knead Patisserie. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Yeah, that was a pretty gorgeous weekend, right? Shame I had to spend most of it indoors writing (sometimes I HATE the boss of me!), although I was lucky to be invited to dinner at friends’ homes both Saturday and Sunday evenings. Nope, there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. Am hoping the nice weather holds up for Off the Cove at the ballpark tomorrow evening!

I’m already looking forward to heading up to Sonoma on Friday for a real weekend. The reason for my trip? Friday evening I’m co-hosting a salumi class (There Will Be Meat) with charcutier Peter Temkin at Ramekins. There are a few tickets left; care to join us? We’ll be tasting a bunch of locally made cured meats, drinking lambrusco, and talking mmmmeats! I’ve been watching the weather, and it’s looking like it’ll be a gorgeous evening.

Since Sunday is Father’s Day, I thought you’d like to see the updated list of Father’s Day dining options, plus a cool Japanese whisky tasting.

Yo, fellow self-employed types: don’t forget your tax quarterlies are due Friday. I know, it’s enough to drive one to drink. Fortunately there are options for you to help numb the pain in the lush, like punch bowls.

Later, alligator.

Marcia Gagliardi
(Marcia rhymes with Garcia; bonus round: the second “g” is silent in Gagliardi)

June 8, 2012

The famed focaccia di Recco at Farina. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Well, buon giorno to you. I hope you had a hearty or at least mildly fulfilling lunch, because today’s fresh meat review of Gioia Pizza might make you a little hangry. I also have some 707 news for you and a ticket giveaway in the sugar mama. Meow.

I was lucky to be invited to the five-year anniversary party for Farina on Tuesday evening, celebrating the launch of their beautiful new cookbook, Old World New: Family Meals from the Heart of Genoa, and the unveiling of their new rooftop terrace. Take a peek in the chatterbox for details since I wanted you to have some good alfresco intel for the weekend.

Well, I have a million things I need to do right now before heading out the door, so I am just going to sign off now. Time is in short supply for me these days.

Here’s wishing you a fabulous weekend! See you tonight at SummerTini?

Marcia Gagliardi

June 5, 2012

The roast beef sandwich with fonduta and pickles on a pretzel roll by Firebrand at Salumeria. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

How was your weekend? I was thrilled to finally not have a weekend full of writing, mamma mia. Instead, it was about reading, riding my bike, trying the sandwiches at the new Salumeria, an impromptu dinner at the counter at Bar Crudo, catching Moonrise Kingdom (a wonderful escape), and Sunday night udon and gyoza at Iroha after the flick. Yeah, it was a good weekend.

This week has all kinds of events, including the sold-out 7x7 Best of the City party, but it’s still not too late to get tickets for SummerTini this Friday, a very important fundraiser for CHEFS—see you there? And coming up on Sunday June 17th is Father’s Day—we have a few fun options for you in the socialite.

And today on You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio, I talk about my favorite dishes from a recent meal at Bellanico in Oakland.

Don’t forget to vote today, folks.


Marcia Gagliardi
(Marcia rhymes with Garcia; bonus round: the second “g” is silent in Gagliardi)

June 1, 2012

Summertime perfection: white bass crudo with squash and blossoms, pistachio, and Calabrian chile with iGreco gaglioppo rosato at A16.

Helllllllo, weekend. I don’t even care that it’s been a short week, I feel like I’ve been stuck in fifth gear since last Friday. Pant pant. What do you have on tap this weekend? One thing that’s on tap this afternoon is some beer at Dynamo Donut in the Mission: today is National Donut Day, and they are celebrating on the patio from 4pm-7pm, with donuts and beer. No word if Homer Simpson is making an appearance. Today was also the start of Machine Deli at Laszlo, and Salumeria opened on Thursday. Yay, sandwiches. And Sunday is the one-year anniversary of the Yellow Building in Dogpatch, with a fun street party planned, check it out. Monday evening is the Wines of Portugal event—click here for a tablehopper discount code. I hope those of you who bought the first 100 tickets enjoy receiving a signed copy of my book!

Today’s issue features a fresh meat review of Namu Gaji, my latest favorite (shhhhh), along with some 707 news in the 707 Scout, and a bookworm for your reading pleasure. Last but not least, tablehopper is partnering up with Meatpaper and Edible San Francisco in a quest for an ad sales professional. Know anyone fabulous? Send them on over! Schwanks.

Have fun out there.

Marcia Gagliardi

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