January 2013

January 29, 2013

At Naked Kitchen: masa pasta with artichoke barigoule, pecorino, and hazelnuts. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oh, hi. Excuse me while I get out from under this pile of press releases about what to eat for Super Bowl Sunday. Speaking of, I am going to be doing a post for 7x7.com about that very thing tomorrow. Check my Facebook page or Twitter feed for a link to the article in case you are looking for ideas on the myriad ways you can stuff your face while watching the game on Sunday.

Saturday night I had the opportunity to check out a dinner at Naked Kitchen with chef Ian Mullen and his co-chef Jason Smith. Their winter tasting menu had some elevated and inventive executions (like masa pasta—made with 000 flour—that smelled like the cheesiest popcorn ever) and exciting flavors (a stellar dessert of dark chocolate cremeux, with persimmon, green curry, peanuts, and a ginger-lemongrass-coconut milk sauce). I have dined at Naked Kitchen before in the dining room for a Liholiho Yacht Club dinner, but this was the first time in the kitchen, which was a fun experience. It’s always BYOB, so you can drink exactly what you love (hello, Champagne). Sign up on the mailing list to keep up on future Naked Kitchen events (we have another one listed in the chatterbox today).

Thanks to 7x7.com for including me in this fun new series, “We Wanna Be Friends With:….” I get to share where I’d have my last meal in SF, what’s my idea of a good night on the town (don’t worry, I kept it PG), and more.

Oh, and before I sign off, I had to share this stunning video about India by Perennial Plate—just wow.

See you on Friday, with a review, some 707 news, and info and pics of Saison (due to open Friday).

Marcia Gagliardi

January 25, 2013

Best appetizer evah: one tray of Russian uni, and two spoons. (Sorry, I can’t tell you where just yet…) Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Ahhh, hello sun. Thanks for showing up this Friday. The nice weather is making me want to get out of town, and after writing today’s jetsetter piece on Healdsburg, I am definitely feeling the call of the road (and the chicken legs at Pizzando).

Today we also have a second “Checking Lists” piece from Alan Goldfarb in the wino, I hope you enjoy it.

Over on 7x7.com, they created a slide show of this year’s The Big Eat, featuring 100 things to eat in San Francisco before you die. Yours truly is the editor behind this year’s list, adding many of my local favorites (more than 80 new items!) to that bad boy. I hope you enjoy it (and definitely look for the February print issue—The Big Eat has some great images).

Also on 7x7.com, I decided to share some tips I learned while I was suffering from that damn flu about how to survive at home in SF when you’re sick (and single). You’ll find some of my favorite soup delivery suggestions plus some delivery services. For all of you suffering from the million colds and flus floating around, I hope it helps you out. (The hopper is here for you. Meow.)

Enjoy the weekend, see you on Tuesday!

Marcia Gagliardi

January 22, 2013

At Rich Table: cured herring with pickled red onion, “tortilla” chip, coconut and fish sauce emulsion, olive oil, and avocado purée. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Whew, this past weekend was quite the food whirlwind: Friday afternoon I was a judge at the WCR (Women Chefs and Restaurateurs) cook-off event, and that night was the Good Food Awards (you can check out a list of the winners here). The event included a tasting of all of the winners’ products, from coffee to chocolate to spirits to my favorite, salumi. Congrats to all.

Saturday was a luncheon at Rich Table put on by the California Olive Oil Council, with a bar set up with 12 oils to try (there’s no better way to find out what you like), and producers seated at each table. Of course the Riches knocked it out of the park, utilizing California olive oil in each of their unique dishes.

Sunday I was only able to hit up the Fancy Food Show for three hours (had too much work to do that morning), but I still managed to tear through most of the South Hall (the one with the international booths, of course). I posted some pics on Flickr from all of these events--please excuse my crappy Good Food Awards pics—it’s tough to juggle a drink, a plate, and a camera all at once, let me tell you.

Have been craving pizza the past few days, so luckily tonight I’m heading over to Oakland’s Jack London Square for a media preview party of The Forge, due to officially start slinging pizzas next Tuesday—I’ll have the recap for you next week!

Oh, and if you want a peek at the upcoming Saison location in SoMa, take a look at these stunning and very recent images.

Marcia Gagliardi

January 18, 2013

A total meat party at Alexander’s Steakhouse. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hubba hubba, it’s Friday. I’ve already had enough of this week back to work—my email feels like a fire hose. I’m so ready to step away from the burning car. Fortunately, I get to punch the clock shortly. (Yeah, and I mean punch it.) This afternoon, I’m judging a culinary competition at the WCR (Women Chefs and Restaurateurs) conference, and then it’s the Good Food Awards later this evening—see you there? Sunday is when the Fancy Food Show madness kicks off for three days—just get me to the Iberico ham booth.

Today I have a review for you: Kiraku, an izakaya in Berkeley, and Heather Irwin has some 707 news to share.

In case you’re looking for more reading, I posted my monthly cheat sheet on 7x7.com on five new restaurants to try this month.

Enjoy this sunny and MUCH warmer weekend—64 degrees sounds pretty damn fabulous to me!

Marcia Gagliardi

January 15, 2013

Pig’s head, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, mint, and peanuts at a Liholiho Yacht Club dinner. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oh jeez, it’s tough to be back after not writing up the news for three weeks. Yup, today’s issue is a biggie—I had a lot of backstories to cover (forgive me if it’s old news for some of you food news fiends). Otherwise, you can cozy on up with a blanket, some hot chocolate, and enjoy. I’m just excited to finally be feeling at about 80 percent of my usual self after two weeks with this goddamned flu. I also think I’m finally ready for a glass of wine. Yup, I definitely am.

A few things to catch up on: have you watched an episode of The Big Dish on Sunday nights on KOFY with Clark Wolf? It’s a home cook reality competition, and I had a good time judging on a recent episode, check it out here.

I also wrote a piece last week for 7x7.com on some of the city’s best spots for solo diners. There ended up being so much feedback about it that I was inspired to create a guide on solo dining for Citysearch, which features 21 locations. (You can also see my guide on my favorite pizza places in San Francisco.)

All righty then, let’s dive in here.
Marcia Gagliardi

January 11, 2013

The deviled eggs at Dixie (topped with fried chicken liver—genius). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Why hello there—did ya miss me? I was supposed to be back in your inbox last Friday, but guess who was completely flattened by that utterly evil flu that is making its way to California? People, I am talking six days in bed, a horrid fever, chills, and barely eating. Yes, me! Suffice it to say I will never, ever miss a flu shot again. I’m still at home in my robe coughing like a tragic character out of a Dickens novel, it’s ridiculous. Don’t. Catch. It. At least I dropped a couple of pounds and I’m all caught up on and obsessed with Downton Abbey. I swear, that show was the only good thing in my life this past week (oh yeah, and my mother’s chicken soup).

So it’s a week late, but here is my annual installment of “the bore,” the one time during the year when I become a petulant, bitchy restaurant columnist and complain about 10 things that need to go away this year. Let me tell you, my current state of illness only contributed to my crankypants status. Meow.

I am also pleased to welcome a new writer to tablehopper, Alan Goldfarb, who will be contributing pieces to the wino section a couple of times a month. Today is his introductory piece; we’re happy to have him on board. Also today, a 707 update for you from Heather Irwin. Next Tuesday will be the mega catch-up on the local news issue—a lot has happened the past few weeks, so stand by!

Happy New Year to you all—it’s good to finally feel like a part of it.

Marcia Gagliardi

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