What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
August 15, 2017

Solange on the Sutro stage Sunday night. It looked like an album cover that came to life. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Whooooosh, well, that was a marathon of a weekend. Outside Lands is not for the weak, that’s for damn sure, which is the thought I had every afternoon as I was pedaling my bike to the festival into the head wind and mist, a bit slower with each passing day. But all that walking and bike riding and dancing is why you can eat amazing festival food like monkey bread chicken Parms and saturated Philly hoagie/muffulettas and your dream chocolate cookies with impunity, that’s rightttttt. SF, you crushed it, no one does it better. And thanks to Wine Lands, I was never too late for bubbles o’clock each day. Whew.

I kind of can’t believe how many amazing artists I got to see, from Little Dragon to the much-needed musical medicine from Solange (!!!), and I loved the discovery of seeing some for my first time, like Future Islands and Sofi Tukker. Great performers. I caught a little bit of The Who, which kicked up some nostalgia, and now I’m ready for a Quadrophenia viewing party—it has been 25 years since I watched it. But really, the festival belonged to Solange. I feel so lucky to have witnessed that performance. Dreamy.

There is so much work that goes into pulling this behemoth of a festival off, so I just want to say thanks to everyone who worked SO HARD to made it a special 10th anniversary. Except you, A Tribe Called Sorry Not Sorry Enough—way to just keep posts hawking merch up on Instagram instead of addressing your disappointed fans who got dissed two days in a row. Weak sauce.

Anyway, moving on… Thanks to everyone who entered the two giveaways I was running this past week for Eat Drink SF VIP tickets and the Mount Gay rum tiki cocktail party. I hope you folks who won have a blast. And for those who didn’t, there will be more!

Real quick: fellow Hatch chile fanatics, did you know the Mollie Stone’s Hatch chile roasting days are back? I’m heading to the Mollie Stone’s in Pac Heights this Sunday for mine… Check out the calendar for chile roasts around the Bay Area! They’re my favorite thing to have at the ready in the freezer. Well, besides some vodka to go with caviar, but that’s another story.

Okay, one last thing, and I could really use your help. As many of you know, I recently visited Thailand to be a part of the 10th anniversary mission of Pencils for Kids, an amazing nonprofit that raises funds to deliver backpacks filled with school supplies and uniforms to children in Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand every year. In 2017, PFK will deliver 2,200 backpacks to children in need!

I’m helping Pencils for Kids with their annual fundraiser in San Francisco this winter, with 100 percent of the event proceeds going directly to supply children with backpacks. We are currently looking for a venue to host this year’s fundraiser on the evening of Thursday November 16th (although that date is flexible based on availability—it could also be Nov. 8th or 9th!). It’s going to be a walk-around tasting featuring Asian street food, especially highlighting the three countries PFK visits each year. Attendees will include approximately 200 guests.

I’m having a hard time finding a venue who can donate their space, and thought I’d open up my quest to you, dear readers, for any ideas, connections, offers, and introductions. I know it’s a big ask, but we rely on the generosity of local donors so we can ensure that proceeds go where they are most needed: directly to fund the annual mission trips to help the children. Thanks for considering it, it’s for such a worthwhile cause. Just hit reply! Mwah.

Marcia Gagliardi

August 8, 2017

True blue, Lake Tahoe, I love you. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Greetings from 6,207 feet. It’s been so fun hanging out with blue jays and chipmunks and thankfully no bears this year. I’m getting ready to descend from my Tahoe Tahoma perch and head back to sea level tomorrow (sniff sniff), but I’m so fired up to have Outside Lands ready and waiting this weekend (there are still single-day tickets!). In today’s issue, I included a list of things to eat this year at the festival that caught my eye. I have no idea what your music taste is, so I’m gonna leave that up to you.

Since I went light on news last week to make room for the 10 mighty tasty brunches piece, we have some catching up to do! We also have an awesome giveaway in the sugar mama: a pair of VIP tickets to Eat Drink SF (coming at the end of August). Good luck!

I wanted to pass along this fun photo recap by The Taste SF on the tablehopper vintage Blue Fox dinner at Alfred’s. Great pics! That was such a special night. My wheels are turning on what classic SF restaurant the next tablehopper vintage dinner will focus on…

Okay, it’s time for me to pedal to the lake for my last afternoon beach break. Been making my way through the most incredible book, City on Fire, set in New York in the 1970s, and I am determined to finish this remarkable tome before I leave!

See you in SF!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 1, 2017

Chambers Landing in the evening. Yes, it’s for real. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Greetings from dreamy Lake Tahoe, gang. I’ve been enjoying some family time here at our cabin, and bonus, my parents bring their two cats up with them, so I’ve had plenty of entertainment with all the feline shenanigans. Caturday was ON.

I can’t believe the level of the lake, I haven’t seen it this high in years. It’s totally full! There’s water back up at the piers and lapping at the shore. It’s so gorgeous. (Although I did lose a little too much of my favorite beach at Sugar Pine Point. NOT COMPLAINING.) I’m just so happy to have the sun in my life and zero wind this past weekend. After living in San Francisco for (almost) 23 years, I’ve learned I have to escape the summer fog and BS wind or I go a little crazy. Shout-out to boss of me for creating my mobile job. Have laptop, will travel.

Today, I went super light on the news because I have been wanting to run this SF brunch piece for weeks, and I kept running out of time. I can’t write up places and travel pieces and sift through the onslaught of news all in the same week, so I hope you enjoy today’s piece. Small sidebar: if brunch at Rooh is catching your eye, you might want to wait for an upcoming tablehopper brunch there! Very soon. It’s in the works!

See you next week!
Marcia Gagliardi

July 25, 2017

This is how The Douglas Room pairs party snacks with a whisky tasting: smoky duck confit, Comté cheese, fig jam, and watercress on brioche! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey y’all. Thanks to all 40 of you who attended the tablehopper whisky rooftop event on Friday (click for pics!)! What a great group. That was fun.

Of course, “summery” SF tried to blow us off the scenic roof of the Tilden Hotel, but we had whiskies from Bruichladdich and Westland Distillery to keep us warm, featured in badass cocktails from The Douglas Room, with some killer bites too (they even surprised us with duck confit wings, yasss). Thanks to Maison Corbeaux for offering attendees a sweet discount on bottles for their home bar. And I discovered my new favorite cheesesteak at the end of the night. Yup. Go on, The Douglas Room!

The rest of the weekend was spent running around to a friend’s going-away party, another friend’s 50th birthday, a catch-up dinner with yet another dear friend at Montesacro, shooting a new Italian restaurant (featured in today’s column!), and that was just Saturday. Sunday was all about sleeping in (the hopper’s day of rest), a hike in the Oakland hills (check out the cute goats!), and an alfresco pizza dinner on the dog-friendly patio at the new Navi Kitchen. I’ll be posting pics on Instagram this week!

I’m getting ready to head up to Lake Tahoe this week for some family time at our cabin (West Shore, best shore!), and will be up in the mountains working summer hours for the next couple of weeks (well, hopefully—I may have to come back to the fog earlier, we’ll see). I’ll definitely be back in SF for Outside Lands—see you there?

Until next week…ciao!
Marcia Gagliardi

July 18, 2017

Bless the friends who show up with two homemade pies with fruit from their land. And two tubs of vanilla ice cream. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy. How was your weekend? I had a long one up in Bolinas to celebrate a dear friend who is getting married soon, and I don’t know how we lucked out with the sunniest weather ever, but I’ll take it. We were a happy group, enjoying late brunches and cocktail hours in the garden, two full beach days (with whale and seal sightings!), hikes (complete with blackberry picking), impromptu performances, daily fresh-baked cookies and brownies, and our baked ziti (actually mostaccioli) with Sunday gravy was extra-baked. Heh.

It was hard to drive home yesterday—the glimmering water and warm sun were trying to entice me to play hooky. I seriously considered it. But I knew I had a preview of the upcoming Namu Stonepot I needed to cover, so I hope you enjoy today’s exclusive sneak peek.

This Friday is the (sold out!) tablehopper whisky rooftop party with The Douglas Room crew, I look forward to seeing some of you there!

Enjoy the sun.
Marcia Gagliardi

July 11, 2017

Beautiful squash and blossom frittata with carrot top pistou by Pesha Perlsweig for our elevated brunch with Pot d’Huile. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey there! Hope you had a smashing, sunny weekend. Mine was definitely busy. I helped plan and cohost a 60-person brunch launch event on Sunday for Pot d’Huile, a new cannabis-infused olive oil. It was my first canna event, and a private one, but I hope to host more in the future, that was fun.

Our chef, Pesha Perlsweig (of theKitchenUnderground and Salvage Supperclub), made a carrot top pistou with the olive oil, which we got to drizzle over the tastiest frittata made with squash blossoms. Oh yeahhhh. Fortunately we had some Mr. Espresso nitro cold brew on tap (which I topped with terpene sugar) to keep us all perky, heh. Yes, it’s true, SF is so cool.

Speaking of events, the tablehopper rooftop whisky party with The Douglas Room on July 21st is all sold out, thanks gang! Can’t wait to see you there. Start hydrating now.

One last thing before we jump into the news: this post about horrific restaurant “plating” is too funny to not share, enjoy. It’s just one train wreck after another.


Marcia Gagliardi