December 2017

December 19, 2017

Holiday cheers! The Collective at Serpentine (Cocchi Americano Rosa, mezcal, celery bitters, flash-chilled celery). Photo: ©

Well well well…did you survive the biggest holiday party weekend? That was a doozy, starting with the Arlequin Champagne tasting on Thursday evening, and things didn’t quite stop until Sunday night at The Battery at 10pm. (Liver, I am SO SORRY!)

I’ve been doing a ton of writing in between the hangovers, including my first piece of cannabis coverage for KQED’s Bay Area Bites: The Twelve Days of Edible Canna Christmas. I also went to a Cannaisseur Series dinner on Saturday, look for a piece on that soon! (If you have any favorite cannabis and food events, like Curious Cannabis Salon’s recent CBD dinner, let me know!)

I am taking next week off so I can hang with my cute family, so today’s column is a bit of a doozy. I wanted to make sure I got some New Year’s Eve and Day events listed for you! I’m hosting my beef Wellington and Scotch (featuring Bruichladdich!) holiday dinner at Maybeck’s next Wednesday December 27th (just three tickets left!) and will then be heading down to L.A. for a few days of running around and New Year’s Eve. I’ll be sending my annual edition of The Bore on January 2nd, excuse me while I sharpen my pencil…and nails. Ha-ha.

This Thursday (happy solstice!), I’m so excited to be heading up to the Acacia House at Las Alcobas Napa Valley in St. Helena for one of their Feast of the Seven Cultures dinners. This one will be with guest chef Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec, Big Star, and most recently, Publican Anker, Chicago), representing Germany. You can read more in my post here; the dinners run through December 24th!

Lastly, please mark your calendar for Wednesday January 17th, which is when I’m helping to host the Pencils for Kids fundraiser, Small World Big Flavors, featuring Asian street food, cocktails from Rémy Cointreau), and beautiful wines provided by Chambers & Chambers!

I’m so thrilled to announce Nyum Bai will be joining us. (Nite Yun is opening her Cambodian brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2018, and you can support her Kickstarter here—check out that amazing Stockton food tour, wanna go?!)

Our other generous guest restaurants include the new Perle Wine Bar in Montclair (chef Rob Lam is going to be making an assuredly tasty Vietnamese dish for us), the Burmese Grocery Cafe (which has a new location in Jack London Square in Oakland), Cassava (they’ll be making some Japanese-inspired ribs), and Indian Paradox (one of my favorite hidden gems on Divisadero for Indian street food—and they just launched brunch). Get your ticket here and we look forward to seeing you then!

Have a happy and merry holiday season—enjoy this special time with family and friends. I have so much to be grateful for, and a big part of that is all your kindness and support. I look forward to a shining 2018 with you.

Warmest wishes, much love, and have fun eating allllll the latkes and panettone!
~Champers the elf

December 12, 2017

Join me for a beef Wellington and Scotch tablehopper holiday dinner on December 27th at Maybeck’s! Photo: ©

Howdy peeps. These sure are some crazy times. I’m so sorry to see Southern California suffering through such horrific fires like we did a couple of months ago—it’s just too much loss. I can’t believe our Mayor Ed Lee tragically passed away this morning. Condolences to his family and friends and colleagues, that is just so shocking. And then let’s layer everything with the daily drama of “today in sexual harassment…” And bombers. And the fate of net neutrality. And and and… The mind reels. My hazy weekend up in Santa Rosa for the Emerald Cup was a nice break from the daily chaos, that’s for sure.

It can be hard to keep the holiday spirits up. But the holidays really are about coming together, loving and appreciating the people in your life, and looking out for those who are less fortunate. I have been so busy with my last two fundraisers (Mexico, fire relief) that I didn’t really put together a fun tablehopper holiday party…until now! And I want to see you! I have thrown holiday parties in that week between Christmas and New Year’s, and we always have a blast.

So I’m really excited to announce I’m hosting a night of beef Wellington and Scotch (featuring Bruichladdich!) at Maybeck’s on Wednesday December 27th! Classic dishes and cocktails—it’s going to be cozy and belly-warming and yeah, it’s going to rock. We are just finalizing the details and I’ll be posting about the menu and tickets on @tablehopper social in a couple of days (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, take your pick!). Save the date for now, and if you absolutely want to be sure I save you a spot, just email me and I’ll make sure you get first crack at tickets since seating is limited to 25 spots! Cheers!

Are you out of town during that time? Wah! Don’t fret, because I have yet another fun fundraiser event I’m working on (January 17th, save the date!), and it’s going to be a beaut. Read all about the Pencils for Kids fundraiser I’m curating the restaurants for in today’s socialite. You won’t want to miss that one!

Have a great week, Happy Hannukah, happy holidays, and I hope to see you out and on the town, whether it’s at this Thursday’s grower Champagne tasting or my Wellington night or…!

Marcia Gagliardi

December 5, 2017

There were platters of persimmon cheesecake at our Comfort Food fundraiser. Thank you for being such generous hosts, Le Marais Bakery Castro! Photo: ©

Hi gang. Enjoying the sunny weather? I feel like it’s the holidays in LA—it’s so weird seeing Christmas trees and it’s 60 degrees out. Which is why I must have been inspired to start thinking about taking a trip down to Los Angeles for the New Year…currently mulling. It has been way too long since my last jaunt. Feel free to send along any tips and new favorites to help tip the needle to yes!

This weekend is definitely going to be entertaining: I’m heading up to Santa Rosa to experience The Emerald Cup, “the largest, most respected, organic, outdoor, medicinal cannabis competition in the world!” The lineup of vendors is pretty staggering, duuuuuude, and the musical entertainment is a bonus. Bob Moses? Sweet! Looking forward to meeting some great people and checking out so many innovative products. And all the pretty flowers.

I’m also excited to check into the newly updated and totally adorable The Astro motel, a sister project to The Spinster Sisters restaurant, who have kindly been hosting some FEMA-eligible North Bay fire survivors. [Big love.] It’s also great to think of all the people who will be coming to the County this weekend and spending money in the community—the more visitors, the better.

While I’m up north in a purple haze, don’t forget this Saturday is SantaCon. Tread carefully around the city.

I want to give a tremendous thanks to everyone who came to our Comfort Food fundraiser at Le Marais Bakery Castro last week! It was such a special night, one of my favorite tablehopper events yet. The family-style seating in that beautiful space was cozy and fun, and chef Michael Siegel crushed us with deliciousness. We had a beautiful fall salad and probably the best brisket I’ve ever had, with garlic mashed potatoes from the gods. Le Marais doubled down on dessert (persimmon cheesecake, so good!), and the wines from Pomebandit and Artesa were perfect pairings.

We also had such generous donations for our silent auction, which helped us raise a grand total of $4,963 for Tipping Point’s Emergency Relief Fund! Way to go, you guys! Thank you so much to everyone who contributed. It definitely put me right into holiday spirit.

And now…it’s about time for holiday spirits! Cheers!
Marcia Gagliardi

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