January 2016

January 26, 2016

Looking out from my new apartment as the Jonas winter storm/blizzard was just starting to kick in. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Well, THAT was quite a welcome to New York this past weekend—Jonas delivered the city’s second largest snowstorm on record, dumping 26.8 inches of snow in Central Park! Whooooosh! I tromped around quite a bit in it—I had to witness the city all white and snowy! Quite beautiful. Although now the weather has warmed up and it’s a slushy mess on the streets—definitely thankful for my new waterproof SORELs. You can check out my blizzard pics on Instagram (or Facebook).

Another nice welcome to NYC was arriving at the Newark airport and finding my Blacklane driver waiting for me and ready to help with all my extra luggage (if you’re looking for a smooth and business-class level of transport, check out Blacklane with my code, GWHJZ8VJ, and you get 10 USD/EUR/GBP off—and they operate all over the world!). My driver was a New York native, so I got a lot of city navigation tips and even some history on our way into the city. It sure beat waiting in a cab line and trying to wrassle all my bags. Thanks for the smooth ride, Blacklane!

In case some of you missed the memo, the reason for all this New York chat is I won the Time Out Win the Ultimate NYC Life Contest! I just had my first week in the Time Out New York offices, and here are a couple of pieces I wrote for their daily blog on Lil BUB and the blizzard! You’ll see more pieces from me there later this week!

And to recap, in case you missed my note a couple of weeks ago about what this all means for tablehopper and when I am coming home and other questions you may have, read up here!

I’m having a blast exploring my new neighborhood, which borders Hell’s Kitchen/Times Square. There’s Ippudo West very nearby, the delicious modern Korean Danji, and I can’t believe how much I lucked out with this Shanghaiese dumpling shop (Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns & Ramen) just a block away. I also tucked into a pizza at Don Antonio by Starita, my new Neapolitan HQ. Follow along on Instagram for more of my NYC dispatches! I’m also going to be starting a fun series called “Just Visiting” on Instagram, stand by for the first post!

Meanwhile, if that pic just made you crave some pizza something fierce, be sure to check out the new Fiorella, opening in the Outer Richmond on Wednesday night (January 27th).

All righty, it’s time to get back to my double life. I hope you enjoy today’s column. It’s the new shorter format—well, almost, I had two weeks’ worth of news to catch up on, and I don’t have associate editor Dana Eastland to whack away at it with me anymore. Meow. (Missing you!)

See you next week!
Marcia Gagliardi

January 15, 2016

Item #2,385 I will miss about San Francisco: David Best’s Temple at Patricia’s Green (photo from this summer). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Ticktock, man, things are getting hectic over here! I’m leaving for New York on Saturday morning, oy. Like I said to a friend, I feel like I’m in the trash compactor scene in Star Wars right now. To recap, since some folks haven’t heard, I won the Time Out Win the Ultimate NYC Life contest (thanks to all your awesome votes, yeeeehaw!) and will be temporarily living in New York for the next six months. (I promise, I will come back!)

I’m going to be writing a few posts for Time Out New York every week, and fortunately their new offices are very close to my new apartment (situated between Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square). This is a dream come true—what an opportunity of a lifetime to live in Manhattan for six months and write for Time Out! (I’ll be sure to include links to my Time Out pieces in tablehopper!)

So, many of you have asked, what does this all mean for tablehopper? Well, I’m happy to report I am still going to be writing the weekly column on Tuesdays, but it’s going to be much, much shorter. I’d say you can expect four or five items a week, like updates on a few new SF openings, a cool culinary event, some bar news, and maybe a really good starlet sighting. While I won’t be able to report firsthand on how SF restaurants look or taste, I’ll still be able to keep you posted on openings, news, events, and more. Thanks in advance to all of you who send tips, updates, and insider info—keep it coming! The tablehopper community is what makes this column what it is—I couldn’t do it without you.

I so appreciate your patience and understanding as I reformat the tablehopper column into a manageable size—the content will be highly curated and succinct. Basically, you’ll be getting the info each week that you really, really need to know. We are keeping the 707 scout on hold for now (thanks again for all the contributions, Heather Irwin!) and the bookworm too (subscribe to the Green Apple newsletter to keep up on new books and notes from Pete Mulvihill!). We’ll just be running on Tuesday only now, like it was back in the beginning.

Moving forward, I will also be including some tidbits about the New York scene, like something really delicious I ate or an exciting new opening or an older but still fantastic discovery. Because if you are anything like me, you like to keep up on where to go in New York! So expect some hot slices of New York coverage too.

I’m excited about these changes—after almost 10 years (can you believe it?) of writing this weekly column, it’s time for tablehopper to go on a diet: the New York Diet! (Much more fun than South Beach or paleo.)

Another big change to report is that fabulous associate editor Dana Eastland is going to be moving on to some other pastures as well. We have been talking about this for a few months, and now the timing is right. She has been an invaluable help, keen contributor, ever-insightful (and sensitive, smart, and funny-as-hell) writer, and all-around Girl Friday for the past three and a half years. I’m going to miss working with her, my talented wing woman on this beast of a column (and business). I know we will all be missing her cheeky commentary—the starlet section will not be the same without her! (Thank you, Dana, from the bottom of my heart! Collaborating with you has been such a sincere pleasure and joy! #teamhopper, fo-evah.)

One last note before signing off here: I’m thrilled to announce I’m going to be writing the update to the restaurants, bars, cafés, and “good things” sections for the Louis Vuitton San Francisco city guide over the next few months (I contributed to the first edition in 2013)! Yeah, I am going to be a very busy lady this first quarter. I’ll be coming back for a quick visit to SF in a couple of months to check out the latest big openings, and maybe I’ll need to throw an event so we can hang out!

I’m going to take next week off to get settled in my new NYC digs, but expect the next tablehopper issue in your inbox on Tuesday January 26th! You can always follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as I take some bites of the Big Apple!

Thanks everyone for your support and excitement as I embark on this next bright chapter of my life. (It feels like such a juicy read.) I can’t thank you enough for getting me to New York! 2016 is all about #anythingcanhappen!

With much affection and gratitude,
Marcia Gagliardi

January 12, 2016

I could dive into this right about now: the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at Parallel 37’s new Second Sunday brunch buffet. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

So I don’t think anyone particularly wanted to start the new year with the tragic loss of David Bowie from our planet. We reel. He represented so much, to so many people, for so many reasons. What talent, what style, what an amazingly fluid expression of gender. And then there’s the sheer depth of his music catalog—how many past boyfriends are wrapped up in his songs for me, for all of us? The Thin White Duke played a huge part in the coming of age for so many—and like a true vampire, he was timeless, and transcendent. Bowie, the world is going to have a hard time letting you leave us. Fortunately his music and impact are eternal.

I’m also having a hard time wrapping things up here in SF before my six-month departure for New York this Saturday morning. (SO. EXCITED. But oh my goddess, the list of things for me to do before I leave is terrifying!)

We were playing a lot of news catch-up this week, so we’re going to spill over into Friday as well (stand by for an update on the soon-to-open The Perennial, and more). I’m going to save my “ciao from SF for now” talk and an update on what you can expect from me (and the tablehopper column!) in coming weeks until this Friday. Cool? Cool.

For now, let’s dive in.
Marcia Gagliardi

January 8, 2016

Lizards hanging out on my screen windows in the afternoon sun (in Puna, Hawaii). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Aloha, friends. I just flew back from dreamy Hawaii on Wednesday night, was so sorry to leave tropical paradise, especially to return to chilly-ass, rainy weather (and traveling with a cold, lame). But this weather is going to feel relatively warm by the time I get to New York, which is definitely gonna be frosty. (In case you missed it, I am temporarily moving there for six months starting January 16th, so excited!) I’m quite literally gearing up: I bought a knee-length parka (things are getting real!), now I just need to find a pair of fur-lined rain boots…

Since some of you were asking me questions about where to stay and eat on the Big Island, I thought I’d just bang out this mini jetsetter about Hilo and Puna while I still have a little sun-glow on my shoulders. Here you go. And if you’ll excuse me, I need to hustle back to my to-do list!

Have a good weekend, mahalo.
Marcia Gagliardi

January 5, 2016

New Year’s Day sunset at neighbor Robert Trickey’s gorgeous house (and pool). Mahalo. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Aloha, dear readers! And Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)! I hope you had a shiny transition into 2016 and that the only resolution you made was to enjoy life, because that’s assuredly one you’ll keep.

I’m writing to you on my last full day in Hawaii before returning home to the mainland tomorrow, and you can bet I’m loath to leave the Big Island. It has been a glorious week of balmy tropical weather, the cleanest plants I have ever seen (the rain gives them a constant bath), sleeping in an ohana cottage that is mostly made of screen windows (simply amazing!), waking up to morning rainstorms, mongoose sightings, kooky farmers’ markets, eating my first soursop fruit, learning pidgin phrases, nighttime showers under the stars in an outdoor shower, falling asleep to the chirps of frogs and birds, hanging out with dear friends, partying in Craig Steely homes (thanks to Robert Trickey), cooking (and grinding!), swimming in beautiful water (although the currents here are no joke), catching up on my reading, and going for night walks (the stars here are incroyable). Hawaii, you’re such a beaut!

It has been a precious week of calm before I throw my life into overdrive and prepare for my (temporary) six-month move to New York. I leave for NYC on January 16th, so I’m only going to have 10 days to figure out what to pack and get my apartment in order. Mamma mia. As a friend said, “Coming in hot! Gonna need to foam the runway!” Truth.

Today’s issue is just a shorty since I’m still on vacation (shaka). But you didn’t think I was going to let the new year start and not write up my annual rant, did you? No sir, no ma’am. Here’s this year’s installment of the bore: 10 things I don’t want to see in the new year.

I’ll see you again this Friday, mahalo!
Marcia Gagliardi

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