November 2012

November 30, 2012

Yuk hae (beef tartare) and banchan at To Hyang. Photo: ©

Well then, is it rainy enough for ya? I am kind of loving it. Since you won’t be heading to the beach or on a bike ride this weekend, why don’t you come visit me at a couple of cool gift fairs! Reminder: I’ll be at Bluxome Street Winery on Saturday and The Bold Italic on Sunday, along with some other fab food and lifestyle vendors selling cool local gear. There are a bunch this weekend; hit up more than one!

I had an early morning meeting in Oakland on Wednesday, which gave me a chance to finally hit up Stag’s Lunchette in Uptown Oakland for a sandwich—check out my review in today’s fresh meat. I also had the honor of interviewing the fabulous Dita Von Teese this month; here’s a transcript of our fun little chat. We also have a bunch of 707 news.

Lastly, a little weekend viewing for you: my third video in the Hungry In… San Francisco series aired today on YouTube’s Hungry channel. This time I take you to Chinatown, showing you some of my favorite spots, from jook at Great Eastern to the delicious baos and green onion bun at New Hollywood Bakery. Can you do me a big favor and like the video/comment/share it if you like it? Would be SO appreciated. Help a hopper out? Thanks!

OK peeps, have a good weekend—keep toasty.

Marcia Gagliardi

November 27, 2012

The matzo ball soup at Wise Sons Delicatessen. Photo: ©

Man, did that four-day weekend rock. From hitting up some tasty brunches (Wise Sons Deli, Central Kitchen) and lunch (Sandwich Shop at Bar Tartine) to taking advantage of popular sushi counters while people are out of town (ICHI) and catching a movie (Lincoln) to drinking bubbles at et al, rocking out to Sharon Jones, and hitting up the Dickens Fair (if you have little ones, you really should take them), well, my weekend was not wanting for things to do (and eat). And I think our family’s Thanksgiving dinner was the nicest yet—the food was so damn good, and the sentiments shared at the table, even better. I hope yours was also fantastic.

So now we’re shaping up for a doozy of a storm (which I just learned at the SF Auto Show potentially has its etymological origins in the nickname for the Duesenberg, which was called a “Duesy”). Even though this weekend is going to be a rainy one, I really hope you’ll consider checking out these awesome holiday gift bazaar events this weekend: I’ll be at Bluxome’s Meet Market on Saturday and The Bold Italic’s Gift Box on Sunday! tablehopper T-shirts in effect.

A couple of notes: first, do you follow tablehopper on Facebook? No? You are missing out on some fabulous food pics and news, people. But if you DO “like” the tablehopper Facebook page, can you take a look at something? Ends up you don’t see all the posts unless you do this: hover over the “Liked” button, and click “Get Notifications” and “Show in News Feed.” Otherwise Facebook decides what you should and shouldn’t see based on their super-mysterious algorithm and whatnot. Just want to be sure you’re not missing all the goods!

Also, have you hopped over to YouTube’s Hungry Channel lately? You’ve watched my Hungry In… videos about my favorite North Beach and Mission picks, right? RIGHT?! Well, this week, my Hungry In… cohort in New York, Josh Ozersky does an awesome pizza tour of the East Village. Wait until you see the slice of Sicilian, it’s ridiculous.

Have a good week, folks—we can survive all five working days of it, really, we can!

Marcia Gagliardi

(Marcia rhymes with Garcia, yo)

November 20, 2012

Weekend pav bhaji at Vik’s Chaat in Berkeley. Photo: ©

I think my brain is only half at my desk today—short weeks like this one make me want to blow everything off and go to the movies (especially with the rain coming in). But no, instead, I have a pretty packed issue for you before we all head off for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Man, I’m so lucky my parents are only a 40-minute drive away. I give thanks for that!)

I was so happy to learn our badass bar community raised $23K for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts at SF Hearts NY on Sunday afternoon—go SF! Big thanks to everyone who contributed. I was sorry to miss the event—after a brunch feast/melee at Vik’s Chaat in Berkeley, I was in desperate need of some exercise (and had to attend to a pile o’ work on my desk before heading to Lucky Peach at the JCC Sunday night).

In case you missed it last week, here’s my Thanksgiving roundup of places to get extra supplies and pies (and I just learned Hayes Valley Bakeworks will also be open Thanksgiving morning from 7am until noon in case you wreck your pumpkin pie and need an extra!). May your turkey be juicy, your mashed potatoes smooth and buttery, your gravy lumpless, and your wine pairings flawless. Heck, it really doesn’t matter all that much—it’s all about who you’re sitting around the table with: your family and friends. And for those who may be gone or far away (but always near in your heart), raise a glass in their honor.

Happy Thanksgiving from the hopper!

Marcia Gagliardi

November 16, 2012

Steak tartare with pommes frites and a Kusshi oyster at Boulevard. Photo: ©

Jeez, this has been quite a week. Someone pinch me. (No, not there! My waistband runneth over.) Tuesday night I attended the opening party for La Maison Cointreau (what a party) and had the honor of not only watching the divine Dita Von Teese perform, but interviewing her as well! Stand by for a transcript soon—we had a fun chat.

Wednesday night I swung by DIFFA’s Table Hop and Taste event for a hot minute (thanks to La Crema wines for the kind invite) and had a chance to catch up with some of my favorite gays and check out some fun table designs. I would love to do one with a designer pal one of these days (and it’s not just because of the event name).

I think I am still recovering from the opening party at Capo’s last night. Yeah, I tried three kinds of pizzas (cast-iron pan, deep dish, and stuffed), they were ridonkulously good. Duh. The joint opens tonight, call and get your reservation now. Oh, and don’t miss the Made Man barrel-aged cocktail, it’s a winner.

One of the highlights of my over-the-top week was a Chablis dinner at Boulevard Wednesday night, probably one of the better wine tasting dinners I’ve ever had. Chef Nancy Oakes slayed me with the steak tartare with pommes frites topped with a Kusshi oyster, a wicked combo I’ve never had before (I am going to beg her to put it on the menu—Nancy, pleeeeease?!). And paired with the 2010 Domaine Séguinot-Bordet Chablis Vieilles Vignes? In a word? Mmmmminerals. (The wine is all-stainless, and for less than $20, a total steal.) Anyway, we tasted our way through seven delightful wines, including the 2008 Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos, which made the table utter a collective “wow” when paired with the butter-poached quail. Yeah, you heard me right. Butter. Poached. Quail. Excuse me, it’s time to make myself a salad.

Have a swell weekend in spite of the rain (I am kind of excited about it), and please consider attending these fabulous fundraisers: tonight is the Taste and Tribute event for the Tibetan Aid Project, Saturday is a pig roast for Share Our Strength at Elixir, and Sunday afternoon is SF Hearts NY at Local Edition.

Marcia Gagliardi

November 13, 2012

Quail egg samosa at Campton Place. Photo: ©

Well, howdy. Did you have a rocking weekend? I think I am finally on the other side of this damn cold, eight days later (it’s so lame, don’t catch it). However, it did not stop me from enjoying Pop-Up Magazine on Thursday night, followed by a boozy nightcap (“La Gran Manzana”) at Jardinière. Robitussin is so overrated, really. (I also did a repeat performance with an old-fashioned at Dixie on Saturday night after the Omnivorious party, and then went right to bed. Zzzzzzz.)

Friday night was rather fabulous—I embarked on a staycation and checked into a room at the Campton Place hotel (it had a wonderful New York gentleman’s apartment feel to it with all the pear wood) and took a scalding hot bath in the deep limestone tub. Glorious. Dinner downstairs at Campton Place Restaurant turned into a four-hour affair, and for anyone who loves Indian flavors and cuisine, you have to check out the refined Spice Route menu by chef Srijith Gopinathan. I really enjoyed the creativity of the menu—stand by for a recap soon. And is there anything better than breakfast in bed in a hotel? And when it’s a masala omelet with chai tea, well, it’s hard to beat. I so loved my Bombay breakfast. Thanks kindly for the hospitality, Campton Place!

This week I have a MEGA roundup of Thanksgiving options for you, from were to get turkeys to pie to biscuits. Last night while writing my column, I was also trying out my carving technique on a cooked Diestel turkey that Whole Foods styled me with. Yes, I am already enjoying leftover turkey sandwiches—it’s a wonderful thing—and I am about to make some posole.

One thing I am not doing is a roundup of where to eat out on Thanksgiving this year—my list was going to be almost exactly the same as last year’s list (check it out). You can also look on OpenTable to see who’s serving Thanksgiving dinner if you need to eat out—they always have a comprehensive list.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, did you know Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings will be at Davies Symphony Hall that weekend on Saturday November 24th? Bring on the swagger! Great way to burn off the turkey—and guests seated in the second tier can enjoy cocktails during the show, color me stoked.

Excuse me, I need to put this turkey sandwich down. Okay. Let’s hop to it.

Marcia Gagliardi

November 9, 2012

Rainy-day food: a bowl of pho tai chin (sliced eye of round steak and well-done brisket) at Pho Ao Sen. (Yeah, this broth was an oily one.) Photo: ©

Whoaaaaa nelly—you ready for an action-packed Friday newsletter? First, hot off the interweb wires is my second video for Hungry In on YouTube’s Hungry channel! Today, I take you to North Beach, highlighting four of my old-school favorites in the neighborhood. Do you know about the Africano at Caffe Trieste or the Renzo special at Molinari? Have you ever had sacripantina cake? You are gonna get HONGRY, let me tell you. Take a look, and earn bonus-round rock star points if you “like” the episode, comment on it, or hold the phone, share it! Molto, molto grazie!

Next up: today’s newsletter totally (and unexpectedly!) has become an homage to the Iberian peninsula! We have a wino report from Eugenio Jardim of Jardinière, who is on the road and tasting wine in Portugal, plus news from the 707 about the new Bravas Bar de Tapas restaurant in Healdsburg. Even one of our sponsors is about Spanish olive oil. Buen provecho y salud!

Looks like it’s going to be a rainy one tonight. Fortunately I’ll be happily nested at Campton Place for a fun in-city night of staycation. (I know, it sounds simply terrible!) I’m excited to have dinner and then walk upstairs to my room—almost better than a magic carpet. Tomorrow I’m going to swing by and check out the Omnivorious Party, you going? Check out all the details about the weekend’s events here.

Keep toasty and dry—our fall has finally arrived!

Marcia Gagliardi

November 6, 2012

Merna the cat eyeballing my black magic birthday cake. Photo: ©

Oh dear lord, can the tension be any higher today? I foresee a lot of alcohol and Valium being consumed in the U.S. today. Be sure to check out my list of election night viewing parties so you can hang out with your fellow citizens while you drink the edge off. There are also some awesome “I Voted” freebies as well. Wear that sticker with pride!

I had quite the birthday week, although my trip to LA was sadly canceled. I always make a point to never work on my birthday, so I enjoyed a fab birthday lunch at Perbacco, walked over to the Embarcadero to see the Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel film (a must-see for anyone who is a fan of color and characters), and then headed down to San Mateo for a family dinner (hello lamb and mushroom risotto!). My mother made my favorite cake: black magic cake (the family cat also seems to have a penchant for it!).

I had a packed weekend of dancing (two epic DJs were in town: DJ Harvey at Public Works and Timmy Regisford at Mighty!), and wound the whole weekend up on Sunday night with a gorgeous dinner at Atelier Crenn in honor of the upcoming Olive Oil from Spain Week (more on this on Friday!). I learned I need more hojiblanca olive oil in my life.

Another thing I need in my life (besides some sleep and more kale): I am looking for one more ticket to the Lucky Peach event at the JCC on Sunday November 18th. If anyone has an extra ticket to unload, can you let me know? Grazie!

Lastly, here’s a bit of reading for you: last week on, I wrote up some of the top business breakfast spots in San Francisco. Oh, and here’s the latest Hungry In… episode, featuring three spots in Los Angeles (I so want to track down that hazelnut croissant), and here’s more about me and my Hungry In… cohosts!

Okay folks, I really hoped you all voted today. Voters are so hot.

Marcia Gagliardi

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