February 2016

February 23, 2016
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My idea of a perfect celebratory lunch: Scottish salmon and sable on an everything bagel (and bubbles!) at Baz. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Buon giorno! Can you see my huge smile beaming from New York? Yes, I have been having an epic first month here, but the grin is about a greater accomplishment: on Sunday February 21st, tablehopper turned 10! Crazy, right?! I sent out my very first tablehopper issue, all the way back in 2006. And here’s the very first tablehopper homepage. Awwww. Memories. Where has the time gone? (The same place as my waistline, I suppose.)

I know a bunch of you have been reading my column for years, so here’s a huge thank you for all your support, kindness, tips, feedback, and enthusiasm for my venture. You are an incredible community! I have so much gratitude for all of you who keep the hopper hopping, but especially to my brilliant team over the years, from my designers to technologists to copyeditor to ad sales managers to interns to associate editor to many contributors—and fabulous sponsors!! Yeah, it takes a village.

While I was a bit sorry to not be in SF to celebrate, I imagine I will be hosting a big party later in the year once I return home. I mean, really, I have a year to celebrate until this thing turns 11! But it was fun to be fully immersed in a New York moment on Sunday, enjoying a bagel and sable at a cute luncheonette counter (at Baz) by myself, bubbles in hand. (I posted this missive about it on Instagram or you can check it out on Facebook—thanks for all the kind words everyone, you got me all misty!)

In honor of the new decade, I thought it would make sense to launch a new section: the new yawker. I’ll be posting mini reviews about places and delicious things I’m eating while I’m here in NYC (like Lilia!) so you can keep track when you plan your next visit (all the posts will be stashed online here). And many of you live here, so I hope you enjoy it.

Speaking of NYC, if any of you are going to the Charcuterie Masters event this weekend in Flushing, let me know! Would love to meet you. It’s going to be meat-tastic. I’m also attending an aperitivo hosted by Elizabeth Minchilli next Thursday, see you there?

With love and thanks from the Big Apple! Here’s to 10 more, mwah!
Marcia Gagliardi

February 16, 2016
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The New York brunch of your dreams at Barney Greengrass. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Greetings from rainy New York, which has already pummeled us with bitter cold this past weekend (it was the first time that the temperature in New York dipped below freezing in over 22 years—how about some -8 wind chill, what?) and more snow (which I like). I know, don’t let me interrupt your Cali heat wave. Fortunately the cold gave me carte blanche to take full advantage of a hearty brunch at Estela on Saturday, followed by a complimentary whiskey and bourbon tasting at Astor Wines, yes!

It’s also good carb-consuming weather (hey, your body is trying to keep warm!), so Sunday brunch was all about finally making the pilgrimage to Barney Greengrass, aka the Sturgeon King (since 1908!), for a meal of eggs, Nova Scotia salmon, and their sturgeon, of course. You gotta love a brunch plate that automatically comes with a bagel and cream cheese, yessss! Am already plotting a return visit for their off-the-menu latkes…and gravlax. Or maybe pastrami salmon. Or sable. Basically I’m gonna work my way through that menu, trust. Meanwhile, you all enjoy that Dungeness crab that is finally safe to eat, I’ve got the smoked fish covered.

Some other highlights from an action-packed week: a loco Tex-Mex dinner at Mission Cantina, with SF representing (Tartine’s Chad Robertson and sourdough tortillas from Loqui!), trying brown sugar kouign amann from Dominique Ansel Kitchen, and a fantastic New Zealand wine tasting, education session, and lunch at Colicchio & Sons.

My February calendar is already getting full, but one item that is shining extra bright is this this upcoming inaugural Charcuterie Masters event from NY Epicurean Events on February 27th here in New York (will be my first outing to Flushing!). More than a dozen charcuterie makers will be there for the competition, as well as dishes from local chefs, like a hog served Caja China-style from chef Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Steakhouse. Can’t wait to explore some local charcuterie/salumi makers, and am so excited ‘Nduja Artisans will be there, love their product.

Today is my one-month anniversary of arriving in New York, where does the time go? It’s flying. Like me, gotta go. See you next week!
Marcia Gagliardi

February 9, 2016
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The famed NoMad roast chicken for two (isn’t it great when dishes surpass their hype?). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

How y’all doing? Did you survive SB50? I keep hearing how everyone is happy to have the city return to normal…although today is Mardi Gras, so some folks’ livers just can’t catch a break.

If you want a quick reminder on who’s doing what, you can head to Town Hall for their annual party, Boxing Room, The Elite Cafe, 1300 on Fillmore, and in the 510, Penrose will have special cocktails, food, and beignets all night. Let the good times roll. And be sure to play Beyoncé’s latest tour de force one more time before heading out. (Question to self: How many times is too many to watch a video? I can’t stop. It’s one of the most powerful things I’ve seen her do.)

Here in New York, I have been up to some definite shenanigans, from enjoying last week’s Slow Wine event, to a hearty dinner at Rosemary’s, and a gut-busting brunch at The Brooklyn Star, adventures in halva, and some culcha at the new Whitney.

Last night was a decadent one: when Eugenio Jardim tells you he’s in town for the West of West tasting with Ernest Vineyards, and they invite you to a late dinner at the NoMad, the answer of course is yes! That roast chicken—what a truly extravagant wonder of a dish.

I’m having a great time assimilating—am learning my subway lines, finding my local markets, and figuring how long it takes to get around (with some definite curveballs). So I figured it was time to write this piece for Time Out on 10 Things Out-of-Towners Will Immediately Notice About New York. (I forgot to add all the smoking on the street, ugh.) Oh, and let’s look at owl cafés in Japan, shall we?

Bisous from chilly NYC! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Marcia Gagliardi

February 2, 2016
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It may not look pretty, but this was one of my favorite dishes of the week: kaima idly at Saravana Bhavan (deep-fried mini idly sautéed in regional spices served with raita). WOW, so much texture and flavor. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy! Things sure are busy in SF, and it’s kind of funny to not be there for Super Bowl 50, and Lunar New Year, and Mardi Gras! I guess I’m celebrating Groundhog Day over here in New York, and feeling pretty damn lucky to see a high of 52 today, and 59 tomorrow, thanks, Punxsutawney Phil!

I’ve had a busy week writing for Time Out (let’s talk about advanced espresso drinks and Barbie and Facebook Live, shall we?) and doing a bunch of city exploring—I love being in a city of fellow fast walkers, YES.

I’m excited to announce I have kicked off my #justvisiting series on Instagram, featuring the wonderful people I’m being introduced to here in New York via my SF posse. I hope you enjoy meeting them with me as they share some NYC secrets with us!

Last week I attended an engaging class on Aussie wines with Gordon Little at Astor Center, and I’m so glad I went downstairs after the class into Astor Wines to make use of my 20 percent discount on the featured wines (the elegant 2012 Moorooduc pinot noir definitely needed to come home with me). And bless, Astor Wines delivers, because I haven’t found a good wine shop in my neighborhood—yet.

More wine: had a fantastic experience at The Four Horsemen in Brooklyn (their “French nachos” with Camembert, housemade potato chips, and black truffle was all kinds of wrong but so right), and the wine list is going to keep me coming back, a lot.

Sunday night was the one-year anniversary party at the stylish The Finch in Clinton Hill, which also turned my crank with their wine pairings. The food was so creative and fun, with tasty touches like a pine nut brittle in the beet salad, and the lightly smoked beef zabuton was so beeftastic—it’s a tender cut of Wagyu, the flap under the eye of chuck. Yup, you learn something every day.

I also hit up some amazing pizza, and dosa, and a panino too—you can follow my culinary and cocktail meandering on Instagram!

Am looking forward to Slow Wine tomorrow (if any of you had some can’t-miss favorites from the SF tasting, let me know!).

Have fun this weekend and good luck making your way around the SB50 madness.
Marcia Gagliardi

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