This week's tablehopper: a slice o' heaven in the 707.

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Scott Beattie’s special touch on my Clover Club at Spoonbar.

Sometimes, you just gotta get outta Dodge. It’s amazing what 24 hours in springy Sonoma can do to clear your mind. I headed out of the city on Saturday afternoon, stopping at Martinelli Winery for a quick tasting before meeting up with my friend (Ziggy the Wine Gal) at her charming homestead. Then we were off to the Alexander Valley Bar at Medlock Ames for a cocktail, and then Francis Ford Coppola Winery for the Eight Perfect Pairings event. After eating our fill of delicious lamb buns, we swung by Spoonbar to commune with a couple of Scott Beattie’s superlative concoctions, and then were off to a house party.

Sunday entailed a nice sleep-in, and then brunch on Ziggy’s patio with a view of her trees and irises. I went for a two-hour walk on Sweetwater Creek Road, complete with mooing cows, bleating sheep, circling hawks, beautiful green grass dotted with wildflowers, and sun, sweet sun. It really couldn’t be prettier up there. Caught a little more sun on the patio at Bovolo on the square in Healdsburg as I ate half of their spring pizza (asparagus, black pig bacon, and a farm egg), and then (sadly) had to hit the road. You can see some pics in my mini “Weekend in Sonoma” album on Flickr.

It took a lot to pry me out of the 707’s clutches, but knowing I had a test “Dux” dinner from chef Eddie Lau at The Summit SF waiting for me later that evening, well, just watch me hit the gas pedal. Dinner was a five-course duck menu at the chef’s counter (with seven other guests), and was all kinds of delicious (check out the first pic in the series here). He’ll be launching these Sunday dinners on May 8th, stand by for further details on tablehopper soon! ‘Cause trust me, you’re going to want to go.

For those who celebrate it, I hope you’re having a fab Passover, and I’m definitely looking forward to Easter with the fam on Sunday. Oh, and on Saturday, I’ll be getting my whiskey on at this CUESA whiskey tasting in the afternoon. See you there?

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy a springtime hike somewhere—seriously, take a couple hours if you can, and go for a stroll. ‘Hopper’s orders!

Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Apr 19 2011