April 2013

April 30, 2013

Trotter croquettes by chef Thomas McNaughton at Scribe Winery’s riesling release dinner this past weekend at the winery. Yeah, it was dreamy. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oh lawdy, am I really packing my bag for another trip? Uh, yes, I sure am. As a dear friend said to me: “Your train just keeps on moving. The ‘station’ is sort of a metaphysical idea with you.” Couldn’t have said it better. Hey, life is short.

So tomorrow (Wednesday) morning I will be on a plane to the inimitable New Orleans, where my sister and I are scratching off an important item on our mutual bucket list: Jazz Fest. We’re going to be rocking it in the Big Easy through next Monday, so this is all you’re going to hear from me until next Friday May 10th. Well, I will be posting highlights while I’m there on Twitter and Instagram (well, the “safe for work” pictures, ha!).

Since I’m on the topic of music (sorry, can’t help myself, I love it so): one thing I’ll be looking forward to upon my return is seeing Janelle Monáe at the SF Symphony on May 16th for its Spring Gala. (It’ll help with my transition back to my desk.) Like I mentioned last week, she was an absolutely fabulous performer at Coachella, and for this upcoming date, she’ll be unloading some brand-new orchestral arrangements of her songs and new material. I am ready to see her bring the house DOWN.

So I am not the only one hitting the road: A bunch of industry folks will be heading off to New York for the James Beard Foundation Awards on Friday May 3rd and Monday May 6th. Good luck to all the nominees! Have fun in the cit-tay, and come home with medals, people.

I have also been digging these posts from the road by Collin Casey and Tess Bryant as they tour Chablis and Champagne. Enjoy.

Whoa, the weather this week is rindonkulous, and the Giants will be here for 10 days of home games, starting Friday against the Dodgers. Which means it’s a good time to check out my piece for 7x7 on five new things to eat and drink at AT&T Park! Have at it.

Last little bit of reading for you before I release this Kraken of a column on you: Warm weather is drinking weather. May this New York Times piece about our local cocktail scene inspire you to enjoy some of our city’s many fine adult beverages this week.

Okay, fire in the hole, I gotta hustle. Have a fantastic week of sun and fun!
Marcia Gagliardi

April 26, 2013

This is what my idea of heaven in the desert looks like (cold beer not pictured). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Why, hello there. How you durrin’? I’m back from my fabulous desert adventure at Coachella. I can’t even tell you how much a weekend packed with sun and insane music and dear friends and family and warm nights charges my jets. Me, my sis, and dear friend Hilary (just call us the Three Musketeers) ended up catching 55 acts over the three days, not too shabby.

It’s awesome to see so many women rock it out with such panache (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bat for Lashes, Janelle Monáe), and many acts were just so damn fun (like Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand, Pretty Lights, Local Natives, and Tame Impala—and Father John Misty is one hell of an entertainer). Legends like Johnny Marr and Lee Scratch Perry? Epic style. And I now have a pocketful of music to explore more deeply—Disclosure, James Blake, C2C, Alt-J, and FOALS delivered. Of course many of the DJs rocked my sox (DJ Harvey, Jason Bentley, Julio Bashmore, Seth Troxler)—I could have spent far too much time getting my moves on in the Yuma tent. And Major Lazer was as insane as their name. Yeah, I hit it hard.

Monday was spent recovering poolside (thank God for cold beverages) and we had an old-school dinner at Melvyn’s in Palm Springs, where we had a starlet sighting of our own (Tanlines was dining at an adjoining table). Although based on my sister’s bout of food poisoning very early Tuesday morning, we sadly won’t be returning. Seafood in the desert, don’t do it.

It feels like a small miracle that I’m even in your inbox today, but thankfully I have some serious backup, thanks to my 707 and wino writers. I have an overdue review of Capo’s for you (to partner up with the wino piece), and a few other tidbits. And in case you’d like some serious pasta p*rn, hop on over to my guide on Citysearch about the city’s best pastas—I just uploaded that bad boy with a bunch of pics for you.

See you Tuesday, darlings.
Marcia Gagliardi

April 19, 2013

Coconut pudding with spiced pineapple at Hakkasan. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hola amigos.

As promised, here’s round two of my massive news catch-up for you. (I didn’t want to totally overwhelm you on Tuesday—that column was getting out of control.) As for me, well, I am currently rocking out at Coachella, and very far away from my desk, so excuse the short intro!

A couple things I do want to point you to: I did a list of my top 10 places for pasta in the city for 7x7.com—yeah, carb lovers unite. And I also wrote my monthly list of five new restaurants and places to try this month! Check it.

Oh, and here’s a bonus: Tuesday’s sponsor (The Golden Glass event) is going to be giving away a pair of tickets to the event to one lucky tablehopper reader. Follow me on Twitter and like tablehopper on Facebook for details on how to enter to win next week!

I’ll catch up with you next Friday the 26th once I’m back. Have a fab and sunny weekend—and I promise to wear my sunscreen! Looks like you’ll need to do the same.

Marcia Gagliardi

April 16, 2013

The “spring pot” course at Campton Place. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Man, here we are as a country, going through another really awful, violent, tragic happening. Oh, Boston. Those poor families, the runners, and spectators—so many people touched by this senseless tragedy. All of us are. There is a massive amount of emotion to sort through while we are left here hanging in the balance, wondering about the who, the why, the how. And our sense of safety keeps being compromised—which makes us need to commit even more strongly to taking good care of each other. To look after one another. To be kind, and good, and loving, and be our best selves. There were some amazing examples of bravery yesterday—we can all learn from those bright souls.

I don’t really know how to segue into my weekly missive since we all have such heavy thoughts, so bear with me. Maybe my column will be a nice distraction for a moment.

I will say, Sunday was really a cool day for the local food and wine and restaurant community at Cochon 555. It was a great event, with a wonderful turnout of chefs, and winemakers, and farmers, and brewers, and bartenders, and everyone who loves them. Since it was on a Sunday, it was nice to see so many hardworking chefs out and having a good time. Congrats to chef Adam Sobel of RN74 who won the “Prince of Porc” title—he’s the new chef at RN74, and that’s one hell of a way to get noticed. (You can check out his winning plate here—here’s hoping his ahhh-mazing pork fat mapo tofu shows up on a menu soon.) Thanks to everyone who stopped by the tablehopper table and picked up a hopper t-shirt or two. You rock.

Today’s column is a hefty one, with more than two weeks’ worth of news in it. It was so big that I had to break it up into a second one to run on Friday, oof. I will actually be rocking out with my sister and one of my dearest friends at Coachella when that thing posts Friday afternoon. Oh, the wonders of technology. I know, I have barely been home a week and I’m already off for my next adventure (I’m taking this year’s vacation in one-week increments). Am looking forward to three days packed full of all kinds of music, dancing, sun, warm desert nights, and people having a damn good time. And beers in the pool. Yeah.

Since I’ll be driving back next Tuesday, there won’t be a tablehopper on Tuesday, for those of you who keep track of this thing. Thanks for bearing with me with my wonky publishing schedule this month. I am way off the chain.

Oh, and did you sign the petition to extend last call to 4am in SF? The deadline is today, please show your support and improve SF nightlife!

Take good care.


Marcia Gagliardi

April 12, 2013

The stunning view at Brancott Estate Heritage Centre in Marlborough. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Kia Ora! (That’s my Māori hello to you.) I returned from New Zealand on Tuesday afternoon after an action-packed and food- and wine-filled 10 days in that gorgeous country. Seriously, whoa. I had some of the best shellfish of my life, was so impressed with many wonderful wines I tasted (Central Otago is full of incredible winemakers and wines), plus some killer beers and coffees, and was blown away with all the beautiful skies and sunsets and greenery everywhere (including some serious rainbows). And the Kiwi kindness and hospitality is no joke. They are also really funny and sassy people—I got a good dose of banter everywhere I went, from airline pilots to street food vendors.

I’m just about to start editing through my 1,800 images, stand by. (Cue Memories.) Thank you all SO MUCH for the great recommendations you sent before I left—my hosts couldn’t believe all the fabulous tips I showed up with. That’s because my readers rock, plain and simple.

As you can imagine, I am still catching up on emails and news, so we’ll have a pretty packed hopper on Tuesday. For now, I have a few news tidbits on some new openings, plus a wino, 707 scout, and a bookworm for you. I hope you enjoy your afternoon (or weekend) reading.

And I’m not sure what your plans are for this gorgeous weekend, but on Sunday, I’ll be judging at the Cochon 555 event, which is going to be quite the spread. In addition to seven chefs and butchers serving dishes from seven different hogs, there will be winemakers, butcher demonstrations, oysters, a Manhattan bar and chupito bar (mezcals in the house!), plus a cheese bar, beer from Anchor Brewing, pork-spiked desserts, and cold-brewed coffee. Yeah, you will be pummeled.

And just in case you haven’t had a chance to pick up a tablehopper vintage t-shirt, there will be a table where you can check ‘em out! Just don’t get your greasy fingers on that quality cotton, okay? Thanks. See you there!

Enjoy the weekend! With springtime weather like this, it sure is good to be home.

Marcia Gagliardi

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