What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
September 19, 2017

Also part of my health regimen: the Nothing Sacred at Cold Drinks. Hey, it had honey and ginger beer in it. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey there gang. The past couple of hours have certainly been distracting, watching the horror unfold in Mexico City. As earthquake veterans, it’s all too scary and close to home. Our hearts are with you, CDMX!

I am just getting back up to speed after a week of being knocked on my tuchus with a nasty cold that I just couldn’t shake. I did quite the tour of pho and ramen and caldo tlalpeño and turmeric on my toast and in cashew ice cream all damn week, and I think it’s finally left town. Ciao!

Good thing, because this Saturday is the tablehopper Indian brunch at Rooh! There are just four tickets left, which I kind of can’t believe because this elegant meal is a total steal! I’m talking a generous five-course tasting menu, four gorgeous brunch cocktails featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin, tax and tip included for just $68! Whatcha waiting for? And I’m also excited that my cute parents and sister are coming, so you get to meet the rest of the Gagliardi clan! Hop to it!

I’m also thrilled to announce I’m going to be hosting my first East Bay event—I know, about time—to celebrate the opening of the new Donato & Co. coming to Elmwood! The party is on Friday October 6th and is going to feature a ridiculous spread of cocktails and wine and antipasti and pasta and a roasted pig, so get your ticket now! We’re going to introduce you to the magic of apericena, which is no relation to the Macarena, but you’ll need to read today’s post to learn all about it. I look forward to hanging out with a bunch of you as we welcome chefs Donato Scotti and Gianluca Guglielmi to the neighborhood, and they can’t wait to feed you!

I have a ton of news and updates and even more events for you in today’s column, so let’s dive in. And I hope to see you soon. Take good care.

Marcia Gagliardi

September 12, 2017

The thunder and lightning is in this bowl of Rooh’s paneer and red pepper makhani, let me tell you! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy friends. How you guys doing? It’s a tough time in the world right now. A lot to take in. Hopefully last night’s spectacular electric-sky show over the Bay Area helped bring some wonder back for you.

On Saturday, I had the great honor of officiating the union of two oh-so-dear friends, one whom I have known for 17 years! It was a magical wedding in the Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park—you know this English major loved that! It’s a pretty cool thing to marry two people you adore, let me tell you, but I’m also glad the pressure is off—that was intense! Shopping at the Alamo Square flea market on Sunday with sis was a great way to decompress (and cool off in the park). Plus a badass sundae from Bi-Rite Creamery, oh hell yes.

Maybe you’d like a little distraction? I mean, yeah, food is always good for that. I was recruited (read: paid, to be clear!) to be part of the launch of a new app called Jeeyo, which is all about having conversations on all kinds of topics, from your favorite spots in your city to books to coffee. I’m just starting to post over there about brunch spots (pancake chat!) and dim sum (let’s talk XLB!). Download the app (on iOS or Google Play), follow me, and let’s start talking dim sum today! I know you guys have so much info and many tips to share.

Speaking of brunch, am I going to see you at Rooh on Saturday September 23rd? The tablehopper Indian brunch is going to be sooooo good. We’re going to have a fab tasting menu with paired cocktails, and it’s only $68 (with tax and tip included—I know, bonkers!). Less than a third of tickets remain, so hop to it. Details are in the chatterbox today!

I’m still playing catch-up, so expect an in-depth update on China Live’s Eight Tables next week, plus some 510 news and more. I’ve actually had a nasty migraine since Sunday evening, which really needs to leave, like, right now, so let’s just dive in here because I don’t have a lot of gas in my tank, so to speak.

Marcia Gagliardi

September 5, 2017

Three of Rooh’s beautiful cocktails—we’ll actually be enjoying four at the tablehopper Indian brunch! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hi gang. Welcome back to your desk (ugh, sorry, I know). I hope your shoulders are suntanned, your belly is full of peaches and insalata caprese, and rosé runs freely in your veins. That’s my current state (thank you, Lake Tahoe), and I am pretty happy with it. The breeze has returned, and our streets are full of playa-coated trucks and cars (our modern Grapes of Wrath reenactment) with Burners returning from the dusty beyond (I hope you all had a safe and happy return home to your beds and running water!).

I know I said I wasn’t running a tablehopper this week—I wanted to have a little holiday three-day weekend as well—but since a bunch of you are just getting back to your computers, I wanted to be sure to get these three events at the top of your inbox.

I have a tablehopper Indian brunch coming up on Saturday September 23rd at the stylish Rooh you won’t want to miss (and wait until you see and try the stunning No. 3 London Dry Gin cocktails we have lined up!), plus there are two fab wine events this week from some highly appreciated sponsors! One is a Southern Hemisphere wine tasting in SF, and another is the Calistoga Wine Experience this Saturday in Calistoga—and you won’t fry up there like this past weekend. Cheers to that.

Check it all out, and here’s last week’s column with a bunch of other events and news in case you’d like a reminder!

Enjoy the stunning weather, and I’ll see you next week!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 29, 2017

Pizzeria Delfina’s Baja-meets-Amalfi fish taco with made-to-order hemp tortillas from La Cocina’s Mixiote at Taco Knockdown. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

You already have your Labor Day getaway on your mind? Maybe you’re out on the playa, far far away from computers and casual Friday, and reading this next week? (I wish that was me, but anyway. FOMO is real.) Actually, I am going to take a quick final jaunt to Tahoe this week, I just had to jump back into that big blue one more time.

Since everyone is going to be MIA next week, I decided to take Labor Day off as well—tablehopper will be going dark next week, and will be back in your inboxes on Tuesday September 12th. I’ll be able to tell you all about the Serpentine reopening, and Casey’s Pizza, and maybe even Johnny Doughnuts (last I heard, they were opening their Fulton Street location over Labor Day, but that may have slipped). But this week’s issue has plenty of news and breaking stories and events, you ready?

I am so excited to announce a very special tablehopper Indian brunch I am hosting at Rooh with gorg cocktails featuring No. 3 London Dry Gin on Saturday September 23rd. It’s going to be so beautiful, I hope you can make it. Whether you’ve had a chance to check out the stylish Rooh yet or not, you’re going to love this event. Get your tickets soon!

Did you attend Eat Drink SF this year? That was a blast. I had a fun time emceeing the Taco Knockdown on Thursday night (thanks to Foodie Chap for interviewing me about my favorite taco at the event—you can learn all about PIzzeria Delfina’s fun creation here), and the Grand Tasting on Friday was impressive as always. SF really knows how to do a food and drink festival, that’s for damn sure. Thanks to everyone who made it so.

I mostly worked the rest of the weekend, but managed to scoot up to Napa Valley for Heritage Fire Sunday evening—no joke, it was 105 degrees! Fortunately, Charles Krug Winery had all those beautiful trees to shade us, but I felt bad for all the chefs working hard over live fire. Thanks for turning out such delicious food in that crazy heat! It’s a great event, don’t miss it next year!

Okay gang, I gotta boogie, but have a wonderful holiday and hey, do what you can to help poor Houston, every bit counts (there’s a fundraiser mentioned in today’s column, check it out). Those poor people, what a nightmare.

Marcia Gagliardi

August 22, 2017

The winner of our tiki cocktail garnish competition at Forbidden Island. Obviously. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey there, hopefully you can read this and your eclipse glasses didn’t turn out to be faulty. Last week, I co-hosted a tiki party with Mount Gay Rum on the back patio at Forbidden Island, check out the fun pics from the talented Blair Heagerty. It ends up everyone got pretty crafty since we hosted a tiki glass decorating and garnish competition. We also had a special guest: Mount Gay Rum’s master blender Allen Smith, who taught our guests all about blending. Good times.

This week, the parties don’t stop! Starting this Thursday evening is the first event for Eat Drink SF—I’ll be emceeing the sold-out Taco Knockdown, see you there? It’s taco time! The Grand Tasting sessions kick off on Friday evening, with more during the day and evening on Saturday, and wrapping up Sunday afternoon (with a performance by the GLIDE Ensemble and a surprise from the Golden State Warriors
)! EDSF has quite the lineup of local talent—from the chefs to bartenders, with 30 restaurants featured per grand tasting—and always draws a crowd that likes to have a good time. Check today’s sponsor listing for a special tablehopper discount code on EDSF tickets, even VIP tickets! Tickets are moving fast… I’d love to see you. Let’s partay.

Bookending the weekend will be the Techmunch conference this Friday (I’ll be on a panel discussing food trends—there are still tickets!) and Sunday afternoon I’m heading up to Napa Valley for Cochon555’s Heritage Fire at Charles Krug Winery (my first time—I’m almost always away in Tahoe). It’s gonna be meaty, smoky, and hot. And fun.

Have a great week—the sun’s out, and it’s Amaro Week! (Like I need an excuse to drink amari.)

Marcia Gagliardi

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