July 24, 2007

Mamma mia, what a week. I managed to get in a dinner at Avec in Chi-town, wish I could airlift it and plunk it down in SF, what a great vibe, concept, and vittles—check it out in this week’s jetsetter. I am already working on my Nawlins write-up for y’all—that dear city totally won my heart, broke my heart, and clogged my heart a bit too. I was blown away with the Southern hospitality and the strong spirit and strength of everyone I met, from shopkeepers to bartenders to cabbies to servers to strangers on the streetcar. The stories I heard and the things I saw really made this trip bittersweet—it all resonated very deeply. I will be sharing more soon.

Tales of the Cocktail was one hell of an event—if you can, you should seriously consider going next year. In an upcoming jetsetter recap I’ll have all the reasons why, but let’s start with Saving the Sazerac and supporting this one-of-a-kind city in its efforts to rebuild. New Orleans needs all the help it can get.

Duggan McDonnell of Cantina is this week’s guest wino (perhaps I should call this week’s column “the drunk?”) with a special recap on Tales of the Cocktail. I mentioned last week that he’s hosting a pisco event this Saturday at Cantina. If you want to hang out and hear some NOLA stories, including why Duggan’s new nickname is Shotzi, we’ll be hanging out at the bar Saturday evening over some pitchers of pisco punch (I’m drinking, he’s pouring).

And WHOA people, I can’t believe how quickly that the tablehopper supper filled up! De-groovy. Can’t wait to meet you and feast with you. For those who couldn’t get in, I’d say the “signs point to yes” (a la “magic 8-ball”) that I’ll be hosting a supper at another cool venue in September, so stand by.

Also, this week is the second installment of the bookworm from our pal Pete over at Green Apple Books. Don’t forget that any books he mentions are available at 20% off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following the review—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

I am off to Lake Tahoe for four days of “detox” and sleep and salads. No muffalettas (sadly yet thankfully) are in my immediate future. (I am going to ignore the fact that Delessio Market & Bakery, a mere three blocks from my apartment makes them.)

Take care y’all!