This week's tablehopper: when the lights go down in the city.


Chocolate egg cream at Shorty Goldstein’s. Photo: ©

Howdy amigos. I can’t believe the ONE night I get invited to go out on a friend’s boat to watch the launch of The Bay Lights, and we are getting rain. It’s been bone-dry and of course it has to rain tonight. So. Lame. Guess I’m going to have to catch the lights on another night, unless I find a place indoors to watch the show. If anyone would like to have me join them in their room at the Hotel Vitale or Mandarin Oriental, let me know—I can bring some Champagne. (Wait, that sounds really wrong. I am not a swinger, for the record.)

Speaking of the Mandarin Oriental, I really enjoyed the Jing Tea seminar I attended on Saturday—this die-hard espresso drinker is now partaking in Jing’s jasmine pearl tea in the afternoon. Who knew? (Sidebar: if you want to experience one of the best facials of your life, be sure to check in to the Mandarin Oriental spa—talk about blissing out. Dry winter skin, be gone!)

And now, let’s swing over to the completely opposite side of the life spectrum. The most memorable part of my weekend was seeing the premiere of A Place at the Table on Friday evening. It’s about hunger, and America’s food deserts, and the staggering fact that 50 million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. The film is so powerful, and distressing, and one that every single American needs to see. You can see it in theaters, or even download it on iTunes. I vowed to speak about the film to everyone I came in contact with over the weekend, and here I am, telling you about it now. Please consider taking some time away from your usual midweek TV viewing and watching this important documentary, now. Trust, it made me look at my Sunday farmers’ market, which is just two blocks from my front door, in a whole new (and very appreciative) light. Hell, my whole overindulgent life got a massive reality check.

To encourage people to spread the word about the film, I am going to do another giveaway. I still have an extra pair of tickets to give away to the upcoming Taste of the Nation event on March 21st, a benefit for Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry efforts. All you need to do is forward today’s tablehopper newsletter to five friends or more and add a note about watching A Place at the Table. Be sure to Cc: or Bcc: me at so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. The deadline to enter is Friday March 8th at 11:59pm. I’ll notify the winner on Saturday. Good luck! And thanks for spreading the word. Seriously. Big thanks.

In gratitude,
Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Mar 5 2013