This week's tablehopper: holidaaaayyyy, celebrate!


And a good time was had by all at the tablehopper two-martini lunch at Bix (with SKYY Vodka). Photo: ©

Ho ho ho and fa la la la la! How’s that eggnog buzz? Are you peaking in the Jabba Zone? Personally, I have a list of things to do about as long as Santa’s, so the next 48 hours are going to be, uh, interesting. But I am so looking forward to celebrating my father’s 75th birthday tomorrow, followed by our family’s Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and Christmas morning at the Gagliardi table is always a winner: Dad’s homemade Italian sausage, eggs basted in the fat, and I’ll be bringing a fresh Rulli panettone! Will also be fun to hang out with the family cats (and torture them with holiday bows, mwahaha).

So, a little update for you. A few months ago, before I won the amazing Time Out contest, I booked a holiday getaway to stay with friends on the Big Island in Hawaii! So excited, never been. New Year’s on the beach, I’ll take it. (And so the packing up of my life will just have to wait!) I’ll be away starting next Monday, so this will be the last tablehopper issue until January 5th, when I’ll be back in your inboxes with the bore, oh you know it.

As for my temporary move to New York, it looks like the start of my six-month stint begins in mid-January—I’ll be flying out on January 16th! I will definitely keep you posted, but please know the tablehopper column will continue to feature SF news (plus some New York tidbits too!), but it will be quite a bit shorter! Stand by for more details soon. Mwah.

I have a few food highlights of this past week to share with you: I headed up to Napa last Tuesday to visit some friends and check out the new Ca’ Momi Osteria. We had some fantastic pastas (per usual), and their mortadella and pistachio pizza is epic. Can’t wait to make it a regular pit stop when I’m in Wine Country, check it out.

Back in SF, I visited the Little Italy pop-up at Mina Test Kitchen. What a fun menu of East Coast Italian favorites. Stuffed peppers, meatballs, a soul-warming ribollita…and wait until you try the panna cotta, one of the best I’ve had, so creative with persimmon and amaretti crumbles and Luxardo cherries. Go on, chef Adam Sobel! Be sure to visit before they change the concept again at the end of January! And it’s a steal for $49. (They’re also doing a Feast of the Seven Fishes, FYI!)

Friday was quite the blowout: the tablehopper two-martini lunch at Bix with SKYY Vodka (click for pics!). We grazed on steak tartare and the famous Bix potato pillows with crème fraîche and caviar (so damn good with a SKYY martini, let me tell you) while swaying to holiday numbers from Veronica Klaus and Tammy Hall on the piano. We moved to the upstairs mezzanine, where I had a perfect trout and butter lettuce salad, the Bix burger, martini no. 2 from the SKYY bar, and somehow made room for dessert. What a wonderful “holidayy” celebration—such a treat to be in Bix (holiday HQ!) with such a fun group. Thank you to everyone who attended, and especially to SKYY Vodka and Bix for dialing our holidayy spirit(s) to 11!

This past weekend, Champers the elf had a fun 24-hour getaway with her sis: I was asked to emcee a Sparkle and Savor event at Solage in Calistoga, so back up to Wine Country I went! Casey Thompson was the guest chef for the night, and Sophie Gonet of Michel Gonet was there to present some fantastic Champagnes, what a night. And guess who was so happy to crash in one of Solage’s dreamy beds, waking up to the sound of rain on the roof of our cottage? LOVING this rain, the best holiday gift of all.

Thank you all for such a marvelous year! My 2015 was packed with goodness, although I am really looking forward to my 2016 adventure in New York. What a dream—and your votes helped make it happen! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I’m wishing you all the best the holidays can offer: abundance of love, family, friendship, happiness, peace, a full table, and of course, a really full glass of Champagne.

Best wishes, Buon Natale, and buone feste!
Marcia Gagliardi (aka Champers the elf)

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Dec 22 2015