August 2016

August 30, 2016

Lake Tahoe, always a study in blue. Photo: ©

Hey. How you doin’? Already daydreaming about the three-day weekend? In case you want to get some ice cream this weekend, my post on “7 ice cream spots you’ll want to hit before the end of summer” should come in handy. Hit it.

I’m soaking in my last few days here at Lake Tahoe. After living in San Francisco for 22 years, I decided a few years ago that I just can’t be around in Fogust, it kills the Mediterranean part of my soul. Tahoe time also means I’m home cooking each night (god I love having an outdoor grill!) and binge watching shows on Netflix (loved The Get Down more than anything right now, plus Stranger Things (yessssss), and am now deep in Narcos). I also enjoyed watching a preview of A Year in Port, which comes out September 6th on iTunes. So fascinating! The vistas of the Douro Valley are remarkable, and it’s great to see so many old traditions still in play, including some good old grape stompin’ with feet. And songs! Awww.

Lastly, have you had a bowl of pasta all’amatriciana to help with relief efforts for victims of Italy’s earthquake yet? Chow has quite a roundup of local resstaurants donating proceeds to help, or you can always donate directly here, which will go to the Italian Red Cross (if you understand Italian, you can go here). Grazie for any help you can offer!

I’m hitting send on this puppy and pedaling to the beach, pronto. I look forward to seeing a flood of your out-of-the-office messages! Cheers and ciao for now!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 23, 2016

The tomato and mozzarella flatbread sandwich from Tartine Manufactory. (I could use this in my Tahoe beach bag each day.) Photo: ©

Greetings from Lake Tahoe, which I am ready to call Armageddon based on the unbelievable number of yellow jackets swarming around up here, but hopefully yesterday’s totally insane hailstorm knocked some out of the game for good. If I see any locusts, I’m outta here. Don’t get me wrong, my weekend hours at Sugar Pine Point were marvy, well, except for swatting away the hornets. I have noted they like my black bathing suit best, so guess who won’t be wearing that one anymore? Hateful creatures. Really, the worst.

It looks like I’m going to head to this craft beer and food truck shindig at Homewood Mountain Resort on Sunday August 28th. Let me know if any of you are out and about and maybe we can share a cold one up here!

So, the city is beginning to empty out as the playa-bound Burners start making their way to Black Rock City (have an amazing time!), which means it would be a great time for you to try to do a walk-in at Liholiho Yacht Club or Al’s Place, or score a reso at Octavia. Good luck!

Today’s column includes a hefty feature on the brand-new Tartine Manufactory, and next Tuesday, expect a piece on Nomica, which is hosting test dinners right now and is potentially opening next week. Looking good!

One more note: today I’m including a new sponsorship option for folks seeking eyeballs and support for their crowdfunding campaigns, whether it’s Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe. Here’s hoping we can help get your businesses funded—feel free to hit me up and ask for more details. Please take a look, and remember, if you support tablehopper sponsors, you support me in producing this newsletter, which has been free to you for 10 years! Grazie.

Okay, it’s time for me to switch over to chipmunk TV for a bit since I already finished all episodes of The Get Down (sigh). See you next Tuesday!

Marcia Gagliardi

August 16, 2016

One of my wood-fired pizzas from the weekend, with a mushroom medley (including chanterelles), black olives, spinach, and crema di peperoncino. Photo: ©

How you doin’? You have Olympic fever like this guy? Crazy frog! Can’t stop laughing. And then there’s this: gymnastics! Also seems like a great time to bust out this Usain Bolt spoof, which makes me laugh uncontrollably every time I watch it. Eight years of laughs from that one.

I was lucky to spend the weekend in Sebastopol, celebrating the 50th birthday of my dear friend. I was on pizza duty on Saturday night, cooking 20 pizzas out of a Mugnaini wood-fired oven (my first time). Had so much fun channeling the pizzaiolo vibes of my dad and Uncle Frank, who both had pizzerias at one point. Huge thanks to Sharon Ardiana for hooking me up with Ragazza dough magic, there is no way I could have done it without her help. Now I’m fired up to take a wood-fired pizza class!

Since Fogust is seriously chapping me (it always does, even after living here 23 years), I’m heading out of town again and making my way to Tahoe this week. I’ll still be running tablehopper next week (with a big piece on the Tartine Manufactory!), while taking advantage of the peace and quiet to catch up on some other writing I need to do, plus cooking, reading, bike riding, swimming, and maintaining my Italian tan. Heh. I am having the best summer—I don’t know how this all came to be, but I am loving every single sunny minute of it. Here’s wishing you the same!

Ciao ciao!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 9, 2016

Raw gamberi rossi from one of my favorite meals in Sicily (at Da Vittorio in Porto Palo). Photo: ©

Ciao, tutti! Yes, your tablehopping zingara (gypsy) is back in San Francisco for the next month or so before I head back to New York for another stint. And I have some visits planned to Lake Tahoe and Sebastopol in the meantime, because this SF “summer” weather is already chapping me, and I have only been home for four days. It’s a good thing the sun is out today because I was on the brink of looking up flights back to Italy, not kidding. But I have also been SO HAPPY eating Mexican food every damn day since I have returned, from tacos to super burritos to ceviche to chilaquiles. Missed you, salsa! And you too, lacinato kale.

Many of you were following along on Instagram and Facebook as I ate my way through Roma, Abruzzo, and Sicilia for almost three weeks—it was sooooo good to be back in the land of pasta twice a day, freshly caught fish, dark espresso, sweet prosciutto, wine wine wine, blue waters, balmy nights, ancient buildings, and kindness everywhere we went. Italia, you warm me to the depth of my heart and soul, I swear. I loved exploring Abruzzo (that region is such an underexplored gem, people!), and my time spent with Rustichella d’Abruzzo was so informative, I can’t wait to share some highlights of what I learned about pasta with you!

I know some of you started getting some serious Italia pangs with all my pics. If you’re feeling a bit capricious, you should book the last few spots in Viola Buitoni’s upcoming culinary trip to Lucca this September 17th-25th—September is always my favorite month to be in Italia, and flights aren’t too horrendous either. Email her and drop the tablehopper name to get 10 percent off your trip! Buon viaggio! And if there’s room in your suitcase for me, let me know, k?

Who went to Outside Lands this weekend? Man, that was a tour de force. Remind me to build in a few more days to get over jet lag before I ever hit it like that again, jeesh. LCD Soundsystem really brought it, Duran Duran and Lionel Richie delivered such sweet and fun nostalgia, and Lana Del Rey was a vision. Was also great to reconnect and see so many of you! Extra thanks to Azalina’s, Three Babes, and Stones Throw for warming me up and putting some gas in my tank with their tasty vittles! Mmmmmeatballs. I love how spoiled we are with the quality food and drink choices at this festival, thanks for all the hard work—SF rocks.

If you feel like you missed out on some special eats this weekend, well, I have a treat for you. Check out this piece I did for Caviar on secret off-menu items at SF restaurants! Did you know about the cherry poppers at Merigan, or bacon fries at Bacon Bacon? Now you do. And you can order them right to your door! Use my special code and get $10 off each of your first two orders.

One more for ya: one of my last pieces for Time Out while I was in New York was for their Time Out San Francisco site on the 25 best restaurants in San Francisco. Yeah, that was a tough one to narrow down, but you gotta start somewhere.

You ready to dive in to some news from the past few weeks? Okay! Let’s.

I look forward to seeing you soon, mwah!
Marcia Gagliardi

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