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Sep 14, 2020 3 min read

This week's tablehopper: crystal blue persuasion.

This week's tablehopper: crystal blue persuasion.
The best moment I had at Lake Tahoe: when the AQI was green for a few hours, all the boats had left, the clear water was calm, and the shadows hadn’t overtaken the beach yet. Just me and the ducks. Photo: ©
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Howdy, friends. I’m sitting here at my desk, in a state of deep gratitude for my open windows, with fresh air coming into my apartment for the first time in weeks, and enjoying some bird chirps and city sounds. I know the green AQI dots can shift at any moment, but for now, I am deeply, spiritually savoring this moment and the light breeze and sunlight. I know you’re with me. I’m thinking of our brave firefighters, and everyone suffering from the fires and the heavy blanket of smoke all up and down the West Coast—it’s truly awful. Sending hope and positivity to all.

It has been so brutal for our poor restaurants and bars and businesses to not know if they could open each day based on the air quality. You know, because things weren’t hard enough. If you can make an extra effort to support them as they reopen their outdoor spaces this week, it would mean a great deal. Even think about takeout if you can!

I got home on Sunday from my part-time vacation in Lake Tahoe—I was supposed to be away for a week, but since the air quality was so bad in SF, I pushed my stay as long as I possibly could. I had to spend a couple days inside our family cabin because of the smoke, but am so thankful for the moments of yellow and orange dots that would appear when the winds would shift, and I would hop on my bike and pedal to the beach. It was sad to not be able see the other side of the lake, and it was missing its true blue tones, but the water was clear and cool and deeply restorative. I even managed to finish a book (finally had the right time and place to read Season of the Witch, which felt apropos to read during these difficult times—San Francisco sure has some dark history, wowza).

It was so perfect to return home to a couple bottles of pre-made cocktails after my drive, thanks to the San Francisco Cocktail Club for the sneak peek/taste (their first delivery from Padrecito goes out starting September 22nd)! I’ll be posting about this new delivery service and club on Instagram/Facebook shortly—check them out! They’ll be delivering cocktails from local restaurants every two weeks, along with a food item and playlist to really set the mood. I really love having ready-to-pour drinks in the fridge; I’m already looking forward to another round this evening on my porch with Padrecito’s Piñata (I’m ready to hit it, ha!). I will toast the fresh air, oh you know it.

It’s also Negroni Week, which just started yesterday, and runs through September 20th. Imbibe and Campari are hosting this popular event virtually this year, and for the month of September, they’re fundraising to support organizations and initiatives that are providing relief to the hospitality industry. Campari will be matching up to $200K in donations, so anything you can give is doubled. Cheers to that.

Get excited: I just recorded an interview with the inspiring force that is Reem Assil (Reem’s California) for the On the Fly podcast—it will be airing this week! I’ve been wanting to catch up with her since I started the podcast—we had a lot to talk about, including what it’s like to open a restaurant/bakery during the pandemic, and the many structural changes she is trying to implement moving forward as she explores a worker-owned model. She also talks about some of the amazing dishes and baked goods they’re making—you’re going to want to head over, tout suite.

It’s Rosh Hashanah this week, and I know Canela, One Market, Schmaltz, Pomella, and Wise Sons are all offering special menus, check ‘em out and enjoy some brisket!

More special meals: I want to do a special shout-out to my much-appreciated sponsors this week, who are keeping things going over here! Thank you for supporting them with your clicks and interest. The Vault Garden is hosting a tomato feast next Fri-Sat on their fabulous patio (perhaps you remember my post about the special and safe dining experience they have created?); be sure to check out chef Robin Song’s dream summer tomato menu.

And Club Feast is hosting a $50 coupon giveaway for you to try their new SF delivery service! I’ve been feasting on a few of their partner meals the past couple days—it’s an affordable and unique option! Enter to win the $50 coupon on Instagram (just wait until you see the bountiful fried chicken plate from Voodoo Love that showed up!) and use my code tablehopper10 for $10 off your first order! Yup, I like to keep you well-fed.

Take good care, everyone. Let’s breathe. Marcia Gagliardi

The best moment I had at Lake Tahoe: when the AQI was green for a few hours, all the boats had left, the clear water was calm, and the shadows hadn’t overtaken the beach yet. Just me and the ducks. Photo: © View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Sep 15 2020

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