May 2015

May 29, 2015
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At Californios, chef Val Cantu’s “Yerba Buena Fruit Cup.” Photo: © tablehopper.com.

And boom, it’s Friday. That was fast. You know what also was fast? How quickly the tickets went for the tablehopper Negroni crawl in North Beach. Wow. Look forward to seeing y’all next week.

If you missed your chance for a ticket, we can still hang out in a couple of weeks, on Friday June 12th, when we will be exploring the terroir of single vineyards in Sonoma through this special tasting of five chardonnays and pinots with Patz & Hall. There will also be Sonoma cheeses and custom-made charcuterie for the event, because those things rock.

More rock: tomorrow is my one-day party at BottleRock, I look forward to getting the eff out of this gray. June gloom, it sure came to the party early. If you need a little cheering up on Sunday, you should swing by Huxley for brunch and eat some damned toast and drink bubbles, the subject of today’s review. We also have some 707 scout updates for you, which should give you even more ideas about escaping the mist.

Wherever you end up, I hope you enjoy the weekend.
Marcia Gagliardi

May 27, 2015
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Tim Stookey putting the finishing touches on a Negroni at Stookey’s Club Moderne. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Wait, what? Why is tablehopper in your inbox on a Wednesday? Because we wanted to enjoy our Memorial Day off too. So here we are, a day later than usual. Hi!

I took full advantage of the long weekend, which included pinsas and Italian vino at Montesacro, two barbecues, Sunday brunch at Huxley (there was toast, oh you know it), dinner at grandma’s (I brought her first pupusas, they were a hit), catching the film Iris, and Monday night burgers at Burger. The weekend was downright delicious, for many reasons.

This coming weekend—which will be here before I know it—is going to rock: I’m hitting up BottleRock on Saturday (there are still one-day tickets available; I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see Robert Plant—Led Zep forever!), and am going to the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival on Sunday with my pop (it’s our annual ritual). Vroom.

Today’s column has a feature on Negroni Week, which kicks off June 1st, and yours truly is hosting a tablehopper Negroni crawl in North Beach next Thursday June 4th. Tickets are a fantastically inexpensive $25 and include three Negronis and dinner too! I know! I’m making you an offer you can’t refuse. Hop to it.

Cheers!
Marcia Gagliardi

May 19, 2015
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The lightly cured salmon tartine (with horseradish cream) at West Coast Wine. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Did you have a nice weekend? I happily dodged the Bay to Breakers mayhem that was taking over my neighborhood on Sunday and went way over the hill and across town for brunch at West Coast Wine on Union (bubbles and toast, it’s a good thing), and then our lady day continued with Far from the Madding Crowd at the Kabuki, where me and my friend and every other woman and gay man in the room was utterly slack-jawed looking at the far-too-handsome specimen that is actor Matthias Schoenaerts. Dear lord, why did they have to build him like that? Oof.

Sunday night, I was invited to a Sunday Gravy dinner with EatWith (use my link for $10 off your first meal!), which was totally fun (complete with huge bowls of Caesar salad, gnocchi in Marcella Hazan’s tomato-butter sauce, and veal Marsala), and scooted home to watch the Mad Men finale. The past 48 hours has been amazing, reading all these insightful post-show recaps and discussions about the symbolism in the episode (the English major in me lives for this stuff). But the one to read is the New York Times ArtsBeat interview with Jon Hamm about what he thought the last episode meant, enjoy. What a show! It will be missed.

It has been a pleasure reading all the emails and notes from fellow lovers of Lisbon responding to my jetsetter city guide and pictures from last Friday’s issue. You make this column so enjoyable to write, truly. Obrigada.

Have a swell week. We have plenty of options for you to make it rock!
Marcia Gagliardi

May 15, 2015
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Pastéis de Belém (because why eat just one?). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Ready for the weekend? I don’t know where this week went, whoosh. If you feel like there should be a killer breakfast sandwich in your near future, I have five picks of some recent ones for you, and you’ll want to take a look at this beautiful brunch I had last weekend at Marlowe (don’t miss the strawberry shortcake for dessert). And associate editor Dana Eastland and I put together this list of five brunch places with nice outdoor patios if you feel like bundling up for an alfresco brunch this weekend with Karl the Fog.

Saturday morning, I’m going to be emceeing a cooking demo and Q&A with Anjan Mitra of Dosa for the Plated cooking series at Two Embarcadero Center (on the street level). It starts at 11am, and tastes will be provided for the first 100 guests (I hear Anjan will be preparing eggplant khatta meetha/”sweet and sour”). Come join us! And parking is free/validated for four hours, you can’t beat that. Get your free ticket here. Best of all, Embarcadero Center will make a donation to Project Open Hand in honor of each chef appearance (the next one is with Joanne Weir on June 20th)—you can also make a donation when you order your free ticket (hint hint).

Today I have a jetsetter piece featuring the first half of my trip to Portugal, starting with where I ate and what I loved in Lisbon (that city is so fantastic). I also have a photo album you’ll be able to tear through quickly—it’ll make you want to book your trip, stat. (Stand by for the second installment, which will be about the wines of Portugal.) We also have a 707 scout from Heather Irwin, with the latest 707 news for you. We hope you enjoy today’s issue.

Have a rockin’ weekend.
Marcia Gagliardi

May 12, 2015
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Mini éclairs at Marlowe, currently with a lemony coconut custard filling. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Buon giorno. Since you last heard from me, I have done quite a bit of tablehopping, from catching a special F-Market train taken over by Anchor Distilling (the “F” is for “fiesta!”) on Cinco de Mayo, to having breakfast with the charming Sorted Food chaps at Outerlands for their U.S. #lostandhungry food tour, to attending one of the nicer tailgate parties of my life, hosted by Napa Cellars (complete with amazing pizza from Del Popolo) before watching a Giants game (sadly a losing one). I told the Napa Cellars folks they need to take that media event and make it into a paid-for event, it was all kinds of fun. Will let you know if that happens.

I totally snagged an evil pothole on Oak Street and managed to pop a flat (thanks, San Francisco!), but that did not slow me down. I still made my reservation for dinner at Aster that night, a rather fabulous brunch at Marlowe on Saturday, and that evening was Dalla Terra’s 25th anniversary, and you can bet I took a cab that night—all the Italian producers in their portfolio were there! Amazing. Auguri! Mother’s Day with the family included this totally delicious green strata with goat cheese (thanks, Melissa Clark, for the awesome recipe—perfect for brunch). Sunday night, I rested. Yeah, shocking. But I had a date with Don Draper.

If you’d like a cheat sheet on where to eat right now, here are my five places to check out this month. And if you’re planning to head to KronnerBurger, please note they had to move their dinner service to this Thursday May 14th—it’s lunch only for now! FYI.

Also, in case you missed it last week, I am hosting a fab wine tasting with Patz & Hall on Friday June 12th—not only will we be pouring their sparkling, well-crafted chardonnays and beautiful pinot noirs, but there will also be some killer charcuterie that chef Peter Temkin is making with some of their wines! Plus there will be some special Sonoma cheeses. God forbid, I can’t have you go hungry! Join us!

And hey, don’t blow away this week.
Marcia Gagliardi

May 5, 2015
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Probably some of the most-tender octopus I’ve ever had, at Pathos in Berkeley. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Last night was an exciting time on Twitter, simultaneously watching the news of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards roll in from Chicago—huge congrats to local winners Shelley Lindgren for Outstanding Wine Program for A16 (FINALLY); Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski for Best Chef: West for State Bird Provisions; Rajat Parr for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional; and Rising Star Chef Jessica Largey of Manresa—while watching image of starlets arriving at the Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (RiRi’s omelet dress!!). I was laughing thinking of all the inspired food these chefs make, while looking at all these stars who don’t get to really enjoy it because they have size zero bodies to maintain. Clash of the Titans, food and fashion. (Speaking of starlets, associate editor Dana Eastland was on a roll with today’s starlets, I hope you enjoy.)

The whole night’s celebratory tone came to a screeching halt with the tragic and almost unbelievable news of food writer and personality Josh Ozersky’s death at the young age of 47. Everyone in the food world is still reeling with the shocking news, deep condolences to his family and friends. Too soon, way too soon.

Josh would want everyone eating a damn good burger in his honor, and fortunately KronnerBurger is opening tomorrow, so you can do that. Read all about it in today’s issue, plus we have a look at Trestle too.

As someone who likes to ride a bike around town, I’m hoping you will all mark your calendars for Bike to Work Day, which is on Thursday May 14th. Click here to learn all about it, how to champion the day at work, how to volunteer, and more. Thanks.

Have fun out there celebrating Cinco de Drinko.
Marcia Gagliardi

May 1, 2015
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Risotto alla Milanese, topped with bone marrow, by Matteo Clivati at his current pop-up at The Palace Restaurant. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Happy May Day (“it’s just a spring clean for the May Queen”). I’m trying not to freak out that it’s May already. The days, they keep flying. I know going out every night doesn’t help slow things down, that’s for sure, but how can I say no to a pop-up with the chef from Yardbird in Hong Kong, a pop-up from a Milanese chef, and a preview to the brand-new Trestle?

If I were staying home, I know what I’d be doing: cooking from April Bloomfield’s latest cookbook, A Girl and Her Greens, and binge watching all the episodes of the new documentary series Chef’s Table on Netflix, by the same director who did Jiro Dreams of Sushi (David Gelb). I have only watched the Massimo Bottura episode, and I’m hooked. Check it out.

Today we have my recap on what to eat at Cockscomb (I’ve had a bunch of people asking me about it), some 707 news from Heather Irwin, and an inaugural wino from Peter Granoff, who I enjoyed traveling with when I went on that wine trip to Portugal in November (speaking of, I’m just about to finish my first Lisbon post, stand by!).

Since many of us are bona fide pizza fanatics, I wanted to point you to this piece I just wrote on four of the latest pizzas to track down. (Last week it was burgers!)

Enjoy the glorious weather, catch you on Tuesday!
Marcia Gagliardi

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