March 3, 2009

How positively grim, California is now at a 10.1% unemployment rate. You know, with those kinds of stats, it’s no -wonder people are drinking more. I’m also noticing how many bars around town are now serving kick-ass food—you don’t even need to leave your barstool, how dangerously convenient. This week, I’m featuring an “eat where you drink” gem nestled out in the Excelsior—check it out in fresh meat. I’ll be highlighting more bar eats in the coming months since affordable is the new black

Last week I mentioned how excited I am for this Wednesday’s Tre Bicchiere tasting, and I will mention it again. (There, I just did.) I usually attend with my dad and his Italian restaurant buddies—it’s quite the giro d’Italia. This month we have a bunch of wine events, so check ’em all out in the lush.

This Thursday is the tablehopper Festa del Pesto at Farina—I’m looking forward to seeing you there. Since the event sold out so quickly (although there is a little room for walk-ins throughout the evening!), you’ll be happy to know Farina decided to extend the special pricing until next Thursday March 12th. Party on! So if you come to Thursday’s dinner and the next day want more more more, or perhaps you’ve never had the famed mandilli al pesto in the first place, you can do so all week for only $10. Click here to see the other Festa del Pesto featured dishes and wine.

I am grateful to have a couple writers doing some work with me this week: I have a wino for ya with some refreshing beer and food pairings from Rich Higgins, and this month’s hardhat is here. I’ve decided to switch up the hardhat format: we’ll now be highlighting a different restaurant or bar project in each monthly installment, so you’ll get a bunch of sneak peeks at projects around town.

Cheese heads got some lovin’ a few weeks back, and so now it’s your turn, chocoholics: I have a pair of tickets to give away to the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon on March 21st. There will be more than 50 chocolatiers, confectioners, wineries, and other culinary artisans plying you with tastes. All you need to do is forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to two buddies, but even more would be so very fabulous. Just tell your friend(s) why they would dig a subscription to the tablehopper e-column (if you call it a blog, you are disqualified, I wish I was kidding!), and CC or BCC luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. Deadline to enter is midnight this Saturday March 7th—I’ll notify the winner soon thereafter.

Ciao-chow and meow,