February 2018

February 27, 2018

A beautiful start to an omakase tour de force at the ICHI Sushi counter last week while celebrating tablehopper’s 12th anniversary. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Of course the one Monday I sneak away from my desk to enjoy a special Sardinian dinner at 54 Mint, and the week just blows up with news. Ha! Well, I’m glad I went, even if I’m a little short on sleep, because now I have a new favorite amaro: mirtamaro from Bresca Dorada. And it’s always wonderful to meet the maker, especially when they come from a remote place like Sardinia. Grazie, Paolo Melis, for coming to San Francisco! We had such a fun industry table of Italians and Italophiles.

It gets me excited for Tre Bicchieri next week, when all the Italian winemakers descend on SF, which is also on Festa della Donna, so it’s going to be a very extra kind of day. (Note to self: no morning meetings that Friday.)

Next week, La Cocina is celebrating International Women’s Day all week with A Week of Women in Food (March 5th-11th). Take a look at the special dinners hosted at locations around town, pairing La Cocina chefs with local chefs, plus beer and spirits partners. Book your spot now!

I’m gearing up for a big Sunday: it’s the Academy of Friends gala (you coming?), and the restaurant lineup this year is making me hungry. From Nightbird (in VIP) serving waffles with caviar (provided by The Caviar Co.), smoked egg yolk, and crème fraîche, to my favorite Sichuan “working hands” dumplings from China Live, and all the fun desserts (thanks to the vintage carnival/circus theme!), well, it’s going to be a wonderful night and benefit. Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who is participating (scroll down here to see). Get your ticket for the best Oscars party in town!

And now, I need to get back to my own three-ring circus over here. Bisous!
Marcia Gagliardi

February 20, 2018

Celebrating the Lunar New Year with Martell Cognac at Cold Drinks bar is the right way to roll on a Sunday evening. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oh hi. Did ya miss me last week? Sorry I went dark on you, but I was feeling like Princess Leia in the trash compactor with all the work I have going on. The walls were closing in and something was slithering around my ankle—I’m swamped with planning for the Academy of Friends gala happening in two weeks (you wanna try coordinating 15 restaurants?!), I’m hosting a blowout private dinner for 40 guests one week later, and I had an article due for Ambrosia magazine. Ahhhhh! You can see why I needed to hit pause. But, I’m back. Hope you had a wonderful Lunar New Year celebration, Valentine’s Day (mine was more green than red), and three-day weekend!

I’m so ready to pop Champagne tomorrow (well, I am every day, who am I kidding?) because tablehopper turns 12! Whut? I know! And many of you have been reading me all along, so thank you! A friend tells me the 12th anniversary is all about silk and linen (representing luxury and comfort), and I am all about it. Cheers and thanks for all your support! Do me a favor and forward today’s newsletter to some friends and tell them to subscribe—that would be the best anniversary gift, truly! Mille grazie.

More to celebrate: the James Beard Foundation semifinalists were announced, and it’s always great to see our local talent be recognized. Stand by for the list of finalist nominees on March 14th.

All righty then, let’s get to the news. And the champers.
Marcia Gagliardi

February 6, 2018

Celebrating sparkling rosé weather at the Gastropilgrims dinner at Airbnb (featuring spumante brut rosé of nebbiolo d’Alba from 460 Casina Bric). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hi chickadees. How’s this gorg weather working for ya? Uh-huh. Yeah. I totally had the best sunset beach walk on Saturday and am already fast-forwarding in my mind to springtime. Some of the blossoming trees are with me on this. My sunny mind-set fit perfectly with the Jamaican vibes over at Kaya in Mid-Market. You really should go and get the Deep Dub cocktail and piri-piri chicken (and swirl soft-serve for dessert) so you can feel the island juju too. (And the price is right.)

I have also been on such a ramen tear lately (I still blame the movie Ramen Heads), be sure to zip through my Instagram feed if you’re looking for some new spots. I’ll be writing about a new and amazing discovery soon—but I gotta go back one more time.

So next week is Valentine’s Day, and most dinners and deals make me want to scratch my eyes out, but Alfred’s is doing a nice offer ($65 for a three-course dinner, with a choice of porterhouse with roasted bone marrow or a filet rossini with black truffle and foie gras butter, to share), or you could have some real fun and attend this cannabis pairing multicourse dinner with The Opulent Chef, whether you’re single, coupled, or going out with your girlfriends for Galentine’s Day—all that and then some! Another aphrodisiac- and bloom-filled night you can check out will be this special Valentine’s Day event about tropical flowers and their sex lives at the Conservatory of Flowers. Heh-heh.

Enjoy the week. Get outside. Drink some beer.
Marcia Gagliardi

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