This week's tablehopper: old ironsides.


Celebrating early last week: hopper at the HOPR (House of Prime Rib).

Well, I thought I was old ironsides. It takes a lot to knock me down, but something I ate over the weekend definitely laid me out. Ahhh, food poisoning. It was like my last day in India all over again. Well, I needed to lose some weight anyway.

Fortunately I am back in action, because tonight I am celebrating tablehopper’s fifth anniversary! I looked up the traditional fifth wedding anniversary gift (because lord knows, I’m pretty damned wedded to this thing, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer), and how appropriate: for traditional anniversaries, it’s wood, and for modern anniversaries, it’s silverware. Sounds about right since I’ll be dining on a wood table tonight, silverware in hand with my dear friend at a Tartine Afterhours supper (with a good bottle of Champagne in tow, oh you know it).

So, you ready for my big news? No, it’s not on the scale of Oprah’s secret sister, although the actual news isn’t that far off topic: tablehopper has a new sister site, Deep Dishing! It’s a new kind of forum about Bay Area restaurants: a positive one, focusing on the best dishes, drinks, and hot tips! The Deep Dishing community and site will guide you to what to order and what’s delicious the next time you’re heading out (especially useful if it’s your first time somewhere, or you’re just looking for inspiration). If there was something you didn’t like, well, on Deep Dishing, you don’t talk about it—it’s only about what’s good.

I’ve been working on the site for months with the fantastic folks at Phile, a service that lets anyone create a website to share information about the things they love in an organized way. (And a big shout out to Noise 13 for designing another fab site for me!)

We’ve had a incredible group of beta testers the past three weeks, who have inputted a bunch of fab places, pics, and tips—but there’s oh so much more to include! You can vote and comment on dishes—which is an important function of the site—and there’s also a Tip Please! forum where you can ask questions, and help solve the dilemmas of your fellow diners.

I’m so excited about the launch of Deep Dishing, which will be a friendly place for the tablehopper community to share and quickly find details about what’s good in restaurants in the Bay Area (and beyond). We’re starting locally (Bay Area and wine country), but the site’s locations will expand soon. And some functionality and cool features will be coming, too—just you wait. Be sure to follow Deep Dishing on Twitter to keep up on special highlights and news.

And that’s not all, folks. I am also very fired up to announce I am adding a monthly wine country news and events section called 707 Scout. It will be written by my sister in sass, Deirdre Bourdet, who additionally writes for and her own blog, Hedonism Ink (here she is on Twitter). She graduated from the Cordon Bleu’s culinary program in Paris, and worked for a time at Zagat Survey in New York City researching restaurants, hotels, and bars around the world. After a stint practicing big-firm law in San Francisco, she moved to Napa to focus on the good life. Cheers to that, and I am thrilled to have her on board.

Lastly, since we’re on congrats, all the best to the James Beard Foundation Awards restaurant and chef semifinalists. The finalists will be announced March 21st. Not sure if I’ll be heading out there again in May for the Awards—I sure had fun as a correspondent last year!

Okay, I’m hopping over to Deep Dishing to add more content and vote on dishes. See you there!

Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Feb 22 2011