What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
June 26, 2018
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Dessert at the new location of Nico is a dream: cherry compote, tarragon granita, fig leaf English cream, and pistachio crumble. (And then the warm chestnut madeleines show up!) Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Dobryj dyen’! That’s Russian for “good afternoon,” which I really need to remember how to say since I’m leaving for Russia tomorrow! I know, crazy, right? I’m accompanying my father to World Cup for three weeks—he doesn’t miss one and has traveled all over the world for it, but this will be my first! We are seeing matches all over Russia, bouncing between Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Samara (yeah, we’re doing a lot of travel). It’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime with my pops. (And to my dear mother, I promise to bring him home in one piece!)

I’ll be posting pics of our adventure on @tablehopper (and to Facebook), and if you have any food and sightseeing tips, friends we should meet, or vodka bars we shouldn’t miss, hit me up! I’m also really excited that Julio Bermejo from Tommy’s will be in St. Petersburg the same time we’re there, so there will be an excellent margarita in my near future when I just can’t do any more vodka. Ha.

I’ll be taking a break on tablehopper issues until July 24th, when I will be back in your inboxes! I’ll be trying to continue my weekly Table Talk posts to KQED’s Bay Area Bites while I am away, but it all depends on access to secure WiFi during some pretty breakneck travel. We’ll see! I spent the weekend reading about data security in Russia, so fun.

Here’s this week’s issue of Table Talk (don’t miss the awesome happy hour in there!) and last week’s includes two pop-ups (BBQ and Aina’s box lunches), and more!

Okay gang, I have a lot of packing and life wrapping up to do (I have 24 hours—the countdown is on!), so ciao for now!

I am so ready for caviar o’clock.
Marcia Gagliardi

June 12, 2018
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This is what happens when your friend Matthew Wyne invites you over for a Saturday afternoon of Old Pals. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey everyone, how are you? It has been such a rough past week with the passing of Anthony Bourdain. I know everyone has been profoundly shaken by that horrible, bleak, heart-wrenching tragedy. Such a huge loss. I posted some of my thoughts here. Let’s all take good care of each other.

I also heard our dear chef Jan Birnbaum passed this morning after time in hospice over the weekend (there has been a lot of confusion online about this, and I am so sorry I was misinformed earlier). He was such a kind man and cooked with so much heart and NOLA soul. Love and condolences to all who knew him and loved him. He was a mentor to many, and a friend to many more.

Today’s column is getting to you late because I was personally dealing with my own scare: my grandmother went missing for more than 24 hours, and my family was frantically trying to locate her. (It was the first time something like this has happened, so it was a shock.) Thank goddess she was found by a sweet couple who figured out things weren’t quite right and connected her to us this afternoon. Shout-out to all the good people in this world! There are many. All’s well that ends well, but damn, what a roller coaster of emotions, with a whole lotta angst corkscrews. Looking forward to a stiff drink, a date with my vape, and some sound sleep tonight. So thanks for ignoring any mistakes today, and there were some stories I just couldn’t finish—obviously, I’ve had a lot on my mind.

Just a few quick links for you, in case you have a voracious appetite for even more food news: here’s this week’s Table Talk on Bay Area Bites, including news about the Tacolicious guest chef taco lineup, a rosé tasting, the Refugee Food Festival, an all-cake dessert menu at Bluestem Brasserie, and where to find amatriciana pizza in SF (which I could use a large of right about now—and some cake).

Last week’s Table Talk takes a look at the rebranded Ritu Indian Soul Food (formerly Dum), Alexander’s Steakhouse launches The Feast, check out some fun (and tasty) Father’s Day deals, and more.

I’m also so happy with this spunky write-up about my new venture, mymilligram, in the SF Weekly’s Evergreen section. It’s a fun backgrounder on how and why I’m covering cannabis after writing tablehopper for 12 years. Take a look, it’s a fun piece.

If you’ve been curious about looking into low-dose cannabis products and CBD, I’m hosting my second mymilligram educational event next Wednesday June 20th, come on by!

And with that, I am signing off for the evening, with so much gratitude in my heart. Looking forward to spending Father’s Day with my fam, wishing you the same.

Take good care and all my love,
~Marcia