This week's tablehopper: nanu nanu.

orzo.jpg

What’s hot in my world right now: orzo in chicken broth with marjoram, nutmeg, and Parmesan. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Man, the world is just gutted over the tragic Robin Williams news. It’s a tough one. We all grew up with him in some way or another, and since he’s a friendly local, he touched a lot of lives here. Everywhere, actually—he was not someone who could be contained.

It’s hard to reconcile how a man who gave the world so much laughter and joy and hilarious comedy has left us by his own hand. We ask ourselves, how could such a bright, searingly funny supernova suffer with so much darkness? But as it is with our sharpest comedians, and some of our most brilliant talents, there’s often a tone of shadow, a subtext of pain.

I lost someone so dear to me to suicide, a man who overflowed with talent (and was the funniest person I have known), so this incident dredges up a lot. But I am also heartened by the deeper discussion happening around depression that I’m seeing in the media, on Facebook, in texts, and on social media. We all know someone who suffers from depression, and demons, and substance abuse issues, so while nothing can bring Williams back, if we can help someone else who is grappling with the darkness, or at least have more understanding and empathy for them (and for ourselves), then we are able to let in a little beam of light onto this very bleak happening. Let’s all take good care of each other out there.

It feels clunky to segue here into some banal food news, but let’s shift gears, okay? I wanted to give you a heads-up about some local talent who will be on TV tonight at 10pm PST, on the Esquire network. We have chef Traci Des Jardins appearing on Knife Fight, and next week (August 19th) is Kyle Itani of Hopscotch in Oakland is appearing, and then we have Charles Phan and Anthony Strong of Locanda going head-to-head on August 26th. Nice SF showing, gang!

A bunch of you are Foursquare users, yes? Do you like their redesigned app? It’s full of tips about what to get at various places around town, and tablehopper is chiming in on what to eat and drink at restaurants in SF and the 510. Just follow tablehopper on Foursquare for more! I’ll be adding some more tips soon now that the app is up and running (and our city is blowing up with new openings).

Speaking of new openings, here’s my monthly post on 7x7.com on five new places to check out. Yes, I’m here to help you keep track of it all.

So, I’m on day 11 of my soft-food life after “the incident.” I basically traded in my evil Sonicare for an immersion blender. Who knew that blending chicken noodle soup would taste so good? Ordering ramen without noodles? Yeah, I’m that girl right now. I’m joking that I need to write a book, Fun with Polenta! But really, all I want is to be able to chew in time for the Street Food Festival this Saturday. Or I can just hang out at the Aperol Spritz Brunch and drink my breakfast. See you there!

XOXO
Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Aug 12 2014