The 21POP display at FOG Fair, complete with a wood stove (crafted by Stanlee Gatti’s team)! Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Hey there, ho there, hi there. It was quite the action-packed weekend: I was up bright and early on Saturday morning for my tablehopper hot list segment on KRON4—this week I talked about four new brunches in the Bay Area, check it out here. I also headed over to the upcoming Second Act Marketplace for a sneak peek (check it out in the chatterbox) and then scooted over to the FOG Fair at Fort Mason, what a cool event. (They were previewing Michael Tusk’s new line of pastas—I thoroughly enjoyed my rigatoni integrali last night; the bright yellow tagliatelle all’uovo are next!) My Italian shenanigans continued with a dinner (that was heavy on the wine) at the new inoVino in Cole Valley—the prosciutti and cheeses were a good warm-up for the next day: the Fancy Food Show.
The FFS is always overwhelming but full of great discoveries. Of course I had to hit up all the domestic salumi makers, sampling the latest from Olympic Provisions, La Quercia, and Creminelli, along with the imported hams—the ItalFoods booth is always a bounty. (Have you ever had the ricotta from Di Stefano, the evil burrata maker? So good.) My buddy at Fresca Italia always sets me up with some amazing cheese samples (Camembert di bufala, who knew?) and I am trying to forget the pistachio and olive oil spread I tried at Manicaretti. Move over Nutella. There was also an entire table of amazing cheeses (and butter!) from Caseficio dell’Alta Langa, the makers of La Tur (I enjoyed their Brunet while at inoVino the night before). I had an impressively pulled espresso shot of Malabar Gold that helped give me a boost when I needed it most. I was also on the hunt for a wonderful harissa (found it!) and sustainable smoked salmon that tastes amazing (hat tip to Verlasso).
You can check out my iPhone pics on the tablehopper Flickr page—I barely made it though two-thirds of the show, which is tough to do in one day, but I did my best, damn it. We all know where I have been the final days of the show (this Monday and Tuesday)—home writing!
Sunday night finished with a bang—importers Howard and Kris Case of Casa de Case invited me to attend their annual warehouse dinner party. Such a fun night—a long candlelit table went down the center of the warehouse (take a peek here), and we feasted on platters of salumi from Boccalone, followed by housemade tortellini in brodo (thanks Colin Dewey of Zero Zero for all your help!) and quite the bountiful bollito misto, with an array of meats (including Italian cotechino) and potatoes and condimenti, and then Viola Buitoni knocked us out with an array of beautiful Italian tortes and sweets. What a night. The Cases are amazing hosts, grazie! And in case you want to check out a bollito misto, there’s one coming up at Poggio, read more here in the chatterbox!