What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
February 11, 2020

I can’t celebrate a tablehopper birthday without Champagne and caviar. As my dear friend Roberta Klugman says, “A day without Champagne is just stupid!” Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Happy summer! Kidding. But seriously, this weather right now. It puts me in a celebratory mood. So does looking at the calendar, and seeing tablehopper’s 14th birthday coming up later this month. Of course, we’re going to party. And this one is going to be extra-special: my good buddy and favorite dining wingman, chef Rob Lam, is opening his first Vietnamese restaurant in SF, Lily, and we’re going to be the first to break it in! I’m so excited, I’ve been waiting to see this menu from him for years. Read all about Lily in today’s issue.

It wouldn’t be a tablehopper celebration without some fabulous Champagne—we’ll be enjoying pours from Champagne Henriot throughout the feast, and we’ll even have caviar from Tsar Nicoulai! (Thank you for the generous sponsorship, what a treat.) We look forward to seeing you at this special Lily preview and hopper birthday event on Friday February 28th at 6:30pm! I’m practicing how to say “fourteen” in Vietnamese: mười bốn! Get your ticket soon, at this special price (just $114!), they are going to fly.

More treats! I also have an awesome ticket giveaway for you to a wine tasting (and more) from Oregon Wine Trail on Wednesday March 4th. I’ll have some more announcements about this wonderful wine tasting event soon, and look forward to seeing you there. Be sure to read the sugar mama to see how to enter to win a pair of tickets (or access discounted tickets).

This Friday is Valentine’s Day (check out the cool event at The Midway), and I’m doing a little something the day before, on Galentine’s Day, that should appeal to you canna-curious or microdosing friends. Those of you who follow me at mymilligram know I’ve been dealing with a bit of a setback the past month: my new statewide delivery partner for the mymilly subscription box sadly had to suspend operations, so now I have some pretty special inventory I need to sell, which will make for the perfect Valentine’s Day or self-lovin’ gifts!

Come by The Perish Trust (at 728 Divisadero St. at Grove in San Francisco) this Thursday February 13th from 6pm-8pm-ish at their 20/20 double vision art show that evening (featuring sculpture by Peter St. Lawrence and watercolors by Grant Stiles), plus they carry a bunch of so many cool items for your home, kitchen, bar, and body!

There will be some adult refreshments provided by moi. I’ll also have some (non-medicated) Pantry gianduja ganache bonbons for you to taste—which I’ll be (compliantly) selling for buy one ($35), get one at 50 percent off ($17.50)! Read more in my post here about which products I’ll have (come snag a bottle of Artet cannabis-infused aperitif, quality topicals, and more), and here’s your reminder about bringing cash and your i.d. If you can’t make it, but still want to pick something up, drop me a line (just hit reply to this newsletter!)! This will be your only chance (for now) to get these products from me. Thanks for your support, it has been a helluva month.

Moving on… One more thing I’m looking forward to: on Sunday February 23rd, I’m thrilled to be a guest on Chef Gigi Food Talk Radio, with chef Gigi Gaggero! The G girls will be in the house! It’s a live, 60-minute program on KSCU 103.3 FM, and I’ll be on from 6pm-7pm. Thanks for tuning in!

Okay my friends, thanks for all your support, 14 years and counting! Big shout-out to all the sponsors in today’s newsletter, too! Please click and check them out, they’re keeping this column chugging! I look forward to celebrating with you on the 28th. And come say “high” this Thursday!

Rock on!
Marcia Gagliardi

January 28, 2020

A wedge of Gorgonzola the size of a cake. (At the annual Casa de Case Cena al Magazzino.) Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy, gang. You ready for me to make you hongry? I’m already thinking ahead to my dinner tonight at 1760, with ribollita, and pappardelle with duck ragù on their current Winter in Tuscany prix-fixe menu. I also enjoyed such a delicious “wintertime in California” menu on Sunday evening at Del Popolo, check out the goodies here. And I don’t know about you, but it’s chicken Parm weather, and there’s nothing better than splitting a brand-new chicken Parm sub from Great Gold with a friend. They are only delivering sandwiches (no dine-in) at lunchtime (Mon-Fri 10:30am-3pm). (Their Italian combo was also a winner.)

A little over a week ago was the Fancy Food Show and Good Food Mercantile, with thousands of products to taste (and some to avoid, LOL). I posted some highlights over on Instagram if you’re interested in what’s the latest, and here’s my recap piece for Food Spark on some of the trends and ingredients I noticed at both shows.

It was also time for the annual Cena al Magazzino, generously hosted by beloved importer Casa de Case in their warehouse, and what an incredible feast it was. (I know many of us had Colin Dewey in our hearts that night.)

Also on the sentimental tip: don’t miss this remarkable film (and documentary), Honeyland. I saw it as a final show at the Clay last week, and can’t stop thinking about it. It’s such an extraordinary film. You can order it online, or even better, support one of our other Landmark theaters and catch it at the Opera Plaza.

Have a good week—maybe I’ll see you at the crab feed this Saturday? Read on for more!

Marcia Gagliardi

January 14, 2020

The bubbly beginning to my weekend caviar and Champagne and bagel brunch of my dreams. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy gang. Thanks to all of you who wrote in with your comments and kudos and gripes and additions to my annual the bore list of ten things I don’t want to see in the new year, you always entertain me!

Now it’s time for some catch-up with the news, which includes some exciting new openings for our new year. (I am losing my mind over the menu and pics at Gap Year at Nico, just wait until you see!)

Since the Lunar New Year is coming up in two weeks, I wanted to give you a quick heads up where you can celebrate the Year of the Rat on Wednesday January 29th! China Live is doing a dim sum party (and offering quite a giveaway on Instagram); Palette Tea House is offering a special menu—which includes boneless quail stuffed with truffle-infused sticky rice, OMG—(with lion dancing, a visit from Martin Yan, and more); Hakkasan always does a menu of auspicious dishes, available January 25th-February 8th; and Mister Jiu’s will be announcing a menu soon. Or you can always get some friends together for a banquet feast of your own! Gong hei fat choy!

Okay, it’s time to get into the news (and for me to get up from this desk chair—I was up writing this thing until 2am last night, oy).

Have a swell evening.
Marcia Gagliardi