October 2007

October 30, 2007

Guess whose birthday it is this week? Yes, yours truly, and I am looking forward to celebrating with my cute family on Thursday—break out the pink bubbles. When I was younger, each year my parents would ask me where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner, which is how I managed to experience Alain Rondelli, Boulevard, Postrio, and Hawthorne Lane back in my twenties. I’d practically spend the entire year plotting my birthday destination. My, how things have changed, because all I want to do on my birthday now is have a nice home-cooked meal! Hello tri-tip steak, oven-roasted potatoes, and black magic cake!

So, it’s time to get serious. Actually, Sirius, because I’ll be on the Martha Stewart Living Today show with Kerry Nolan this Friday at noon (Pacific time)! And yes, I will watch my mouth. For those of you who want to listen in (hi mom!), you can get a free three-day trial here.

Lastly, the open-mic memorial for Enrico Banducci at Enrico’s on Sunday was quite the scene, with a fair amount of folks with “Banducci” on their nametags, and packed with a motley crew of politicos, ex-dancers, singers, Italian dudes, and other assorted Broadway weathered types out to represent. Fab fashions were in full effect, from aquamarine suits to a Jack La Lanne-type in a tank top to “cute little dog as accessory.” Everyone involved with the restaurant was quite relieved with the Chronicle review, which came out the same day. The new digs look great—I’m looking forward to catching dinner and a show with Veronica Klaus on an upcoming Tuesday this month. Pictured at left are new owner Christina Deeb (AKA hostess with mostess) and her brother, Michael.

Cheers, babies!


October 23, 2007

Oh, the temptation to go to the beach and blow off this week’s ‘hopper. It feels like our last hurrah. But that would be totally irresponsible now, wouldn’t it? Then again, I know you wouldn’t put it past me.

Since we’re on the subject of bad habits, one could say I am contributing far too much to your drinking proclivities with my weekly “where to booze” reports, with who is pouring what, where. Well, cheers to that. Here’s your chance to enjoy a beer, or whatever else you decide to pour in it, in a custom Upper Playground beer mug designed by SF artist Jeremy Fish. I adore the walrus—it’s exactly how you should look and feel after a few mugs of suds, foam mustache included. Thanks to the cool cats at Upper Playground, I am giving away three mugs, so all you need to do is forward the tablehopper newsletter to three of your fave drinking buddies, and just cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com. (I won’t use anyone’s emails for anything—this is just to track how many folks you forwarded it to!). Deadline to enter is midnight on Sunday, October 28. I’ll notify the winner early next week! Hic!

Speaking of hic (!), tonight is WhiskeyFest, so you know where I will be (AFTER working out, thankyouverymuch).

Now stretch. And swirl. Hic.


October 16, 2007

Buon giorno. I know some of you have attended gal pal Courtney Cochran’s Hip Tastes parties around town, and now her new book, Hip Tastes: The Fresh Guide to Wine, just came out—congrats girl! (Some of you San Francisco magazine readers might have noted my Night Watch piece on her parties in this month’s issue!) In honor of the book release, I will be giving away copies of her book to five lucky tablehopper readers—good odds, no? All you need to do is forward the tablehopper newsletter to four friends, and just cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com. (I won’t use anyone’s emails for anything—this is just to track how many folks you forwarded it to!). Deadline to enter is midnight on Sunday, October 21. I’ll notify the winner early next week! If you don’t win, remember you can pick up a copy with a 20% discount at Green Apple Books for two weeks following this mention—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

Since we’re talkin’ about how to pack on a buzz, there is always one when the Michelin Red Guide comes out, and when San Francisco’s second edition is released next week should be no exception. I’ll be on a panel with Michelin Director Jean-Luc Naret next Wednesday evening at the Ferry Building to talk all about it—check out the details in the socialite. No word if Bibendum, the Michelin Man, will be joining me for dinner afterwards. I was thinking we could go for a spin around town, ha ha.

Lastly, the most mysterious and charming gift ended up in my mailbox yesterday, but there was no return address or note! Obviously it’s someone who knows me (and the happenings of my life the past month) quite well: pink bubbly and all kinds of pink champers products from Jacqua. Can the sweetie please come forward? So thoughtful, you.

~Marcia (rhymes with Garcia)

October 9, 2007

Okay, I am victorious: the cold has been defeated. Vanquished! So I’m back in action. Lock and load. This Wednesday is my kind of hump day: I’m happy to be attending the Food & Wine American Wine Awards, where I will be accepting my award for “Most Improved Wino.” (Kidding.) If you’re looking for some cocktail-related shindigs (which tend to spark subsequent shenanigans), I have another drinkie event listed for you in the socialite, wait, actually, a few. Plus a boozy dinner review in the regular. And some books too. Hence this week’s title.

Oh, and Sunday evening is the upcoming Meatpaper issue one meat and greet party at Slow Club—don’t miss this one, dollinks. There will be all kinds of meatses partses and drinks and tunes and your chance to pick up your very own copy of issue one—it’s spiffy! Like hot coppa.

Meowza, it’s not every Saturday when you find yourself mentioned in the front-page story of the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Journal. The article’s topic of new media writers and contributors accepting free meals has started a flurry of discussion on various food boards—I thought the Accidental Hedonist's post brought up some interesting points, and the SF Weekly chimed in too. Funny, I was still lumped in as a blogger after explaining to the WSJ writer that tablehopper was an e-column and not a blog, but I guess that ultimately wasn’t convenient to her story angle. Don’t let her confuse you—you know what’s what.

It bears repeating that my policy about accepting free meals is clearly outlined on my site. Until I score some investors (hello out there?), this is how I presently can afford to check out so many places—I’m no trustafarian. Oh, and newsflash: new media outlets aren’t the only one accepting comps and attending press dinners—numerous magazines and newspapers have been accepting them for years. I’m just saying… Ahem.

Bottom line: tablehopper is about covering what I think is good around town. If I go somewhere and it’s ultimately not a place I’d recommend, then you won’t see it reviewed here. It’s called integrity. And when a place isn’t up to snuff, I have made a personal choice to not throw tomatoes or hammer nails in the coffin—it’s not my style, and I’d rather dedicate my pixels to what’s good. As many mothers have said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…”

Grazie to all for the enthusiastic emails the past few days—I appreciate the support more than you will ever know. I’m fired up, so let’s do another giveaway! I have a pair of tickets to WhiskyFest to give away, the boozy event coming to SF on October 23 (read all about it in the socialite). All you need to do is forward the tablehopper newsletter to five friends, and just cc luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com. (I won’t use anyone’s emails for anything—this is just to track how many folks you forwarded it to!). Deadline to enter is midnight on Sunday, October 14. I’ll notify the winner early next week!

In sickness and now in health,

October 2, 2007

I sure cooked up a big itinerary for hitting the town last week, funny how this STUPID COLD had other plans for me instead. Like, say, sleeping. I did manage to get a couple friends and family dinners in at Sens and South, so not all was lost—more on that below! Oh, and people, do not get this cold, I see folks dropping like flies. I have tried to shake it for a week now, it’s pernicious. Wash your hands like you have OCD. And for god’s sake, don’t touch your eyes. Just stay in a bubble if you can. Don’t. Get. It.

The second tablehopper supper was a blast—we porked out (literally) on a delicious suckling pig dinner prepared by chef Jonnatan Leiva and his killer staff at Jack Falstaff—it was like an early Thanksgiving dinner with the bounty of delish Mariquita sides we were served (chard, corn, potato gratin, butter beans, and Romanos). I made sure we circulated another list to learn what everyone’s favorite two local restaurants are, check it out here—Myth cleaned up with this crowd, with five votes!

Hmmm, I could have called this issue “drink me” due to the two wine events listed in the socialite. Also in the non-food related sphere (see, I am multidimensional!), I want to do a shout-out for my friend Pete Hudson, the mastermind behind the spec-f*cking-tacular pedal-powered zoetrope this year at Burning Man, Homouroboros, which I know was a fave for many. Here it is by day so you can get a sense of the piece, and here it is in action at night. It was a mind-bobbling piece, and effort. Even with the grant money he received, Pete is currently $30k in debt from building it, and hoping to recoup some expenses. Uh, yeah, I would too. Not sure if any of you burners or supporters of the arts care to help him out, even the smallest donation would be so generous—he dreams and gives big, and I hate to think of him shouldering this expense. Here’s a PayPal link or you can send a (big, fat?) check to "Homouroboros" 161 Gilbert Street, #2, San Francisco, CA 94103. Thanks for considering it—what he did out there was astounding!

Lastly, if any of you tried texting me the past couple days, I didn’t get them since my &^%$ phone has been on the fritz. Call me or email me for the next couple days until I get this sorted, thanks!

And now, let’s rock.


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