This week's tablehopper: a wonderful, magical animal.


Uni on squid ink brioche, topped with lardo di prosciutto (at a prosciutto di Parma dinner). Photo: ©

Am I messing up your sense of reality with this Wednesday tablehopper? Don’t worry, it really is Wednesday, not Tuesday. I decided to push this a day because some dear friends were getting married in Sonoma on Monday, and I was not going to miss that wedding. I had a nice overnight stay at the El Dorado Hotel, right on Sonoma Square, and their hefty ham and Gruyère omelet was just the thing I needed before hitting the road. (Let me tell you, a wedding of bar owners is serious, painful business.)

Although I was on a deadline from hell yesterday, I wasn’t going to miss a special prosciutto di Parma dinner at Cookhouse with chefs Suzette Gresham-Tognetti (Acquerello) and Staffan Terje (Perbacco). Oh hell no. It was such an utterly delicious meal, and they showcased the prosciutto so creatively, from the tiniest rounds of prosciutto butter melting on top of guinea hen breast to roasted peaches drizzled with prosciutto zabaglione. The kicker was prosciutto gelato sprinkled with prosciutto toffee. Yeah, that meal was beyond.

Also beyond? Seeing Paul McCartney perform at Outside Lands this past weekend. My sister and I were totally enthralled (like the thousands of other festivalgoers, all holding our breath as he played an acoustic version of “Blackbird”). And Karen O. makes me say, “Yeah Yeah YEAH!” What a performer, whoa. Kudos to the organizers and vendors for doing our city proud with all the excellent food, wine, and cocktails, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. (It certainly is a lot easier to pay for spendier well-made food instead of overpriced festival crap. Coachella, take some notes.)

Over the three days, I hit up Outside Lambs twice (for the lamb poutine and the lamb banh mi), plus one of Big Chef Tom’s Belly Burgers (the banh baby banh), Azalina’s Malaysian nachos, plenty of cocktails (tried Cantina’s and The Alembic’s drinks, and the Bourbon Fix over at The Roundup was in heavy rotation), and paid a couple of visits to Beer Lands and Wine Lands (scored some pink bubs from Scharffenberger—would like to see more sparkling next year!). I attend a lot of music festivals, and this is the only one that serves rillettes, I gotta say.

So, you gearing up for this weekend’s mega-fab food festivities? I am so excited for the Night Market this Friday evening, and Saturday is the fifth annual San Francisco Street Food Festival. Yours truly will have a table there, with our vintage tablehopper t-shirts and hoodies, come say hi! Folsom Street will be the most happening culinary extravaganza, with more than 80 vendors serving incredible food that is all priced less than $8, holy moly. Don’t forget: come with friends so you can share bites, get a passport (you save money and hassle!), and ride your bike! You can also download the app to rate vendors and plan your itinerary. Let’s do it.

I’ll see you on Friday for a quick post before heading to the Night Market. Enjoy the clear skies and be sure to peek at our pretty crescent moon if you can.

Buen provecho!
Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Wednesday, Aug 14 2013