Table Spritz will be officially launched this Sunday, May 25th; the bare-breasted figurehead at the prow of Pasta on Sunday. We’ll track down some gin-soaked English Queen to smash a bottle on its haunches. And not just any bottle. In a nod (once again) to small producers, we’ve thumbed our noses at mouth-puckering Campari and tugged the beard of sodapop Aperol. Like Goldilocks, we were seeking something more nuanced; not too bitter, not too sweet. We found Cappelletti. This venerable aperitivo has been produced in small batches by four generations of happy Italian villagers, all laughing, singing and wearing traditional clothing at the base of the Dolomites beyond Trento. It gleans its lurid crimson colour from natural cochineal* and its bitter citrus herbiness from heaven knows where. The apocryphal tipple of choice for Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, it might in some way be responsible for World War I. Or maybe if he’d knocked back a few more and been slumped lower in his carriage, the bullet would have whizzed past his head and we’d all be eating schnitzel now and yodeling. In 21st century Bloomville, we’re going with one-third Cappelletti, two-thirds prosecco, over ice with a plump Castelvetrano olive and a slice of orange. So tasty you’ll be hallucinating gondolas. The perfect springboard into the full-twisting piked two-and-a-half somersaults of …
PASTA ON SUNDAY
Sunday, 25th May from 6 till 9
‘Ai Luigi, che cosa hai fatto con i miei pantaloni’
Menu will launch with:
• The Table Spritz
followed hard upon by a choice of:
• fresh asparagus soup with lemon-zest, toasted almonds, olive oil
• pure spring microgreens with fresh herbs
• shredded lacinato kale salad with red quinoa, smoked almonds, ricotta salata
• summery Lambrusco from Emilia Romagna, Prosecco from Veneto
• white, rosé, red
Forecast calls for foggy mornings before and after. But if the sun extends its warm embrace into the evening, sashay over to the loggia and go alfresco beneath the ancient olive tree (you might need more than one Spritz to get there). If it doesn’t, promenade downstairs into our freshly-minted ground-floor sala da pranzo, where Luchino Visconti played the bongos and seduced Claudia Cardinale into taking the lead in Sandra.
Kitchen fires up at 6, cools down at 9. Lambrusco lingers a little longer.
buon appetito, tutti!
* no beetles were harmed in the writing of this post
What do you think of when you think of Holland? Windmills, right? Tulips, clogs, spherical cheese clad in red wax. White plates with blue pictures on ’em involving windmills and tulips. Bored women in sculleries, sewing beneath lead-mullioned windows. Half-naked women from Bratislava, gyrating behind plate-glass windows. Unnaturally tall people, built sturdy to withstand high winds. Herring. Ice-skates. Cabbage. Sprinkles on toast, sausages in cans. Collecting discount stamps, sticking them in little books. Dentistry second only to Great Britain. Men wearing lots of hair-gel. Canals. Bicycles, an obsession with the colour orange, did somebody kill a skunk in that coffee shop? Thrift. Camping. Three kisses. Black-and-white cows. Blackface. Bizarre expressions involving monkeys, sunshine and not putting butter on your head.
Just when you thought it was all about mashing stuff into goop and spreading it thickly on bread, along come Dutch bookplates. Intricate woodcuts which combine astonishing attention to detail with rugged no-nonsense conviction; like the Dutch, really. Hailing mainly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were used to identify books as being the property of this, that or the other erudite Dutchman. The words Ex Libris (‘from the books of …’) are frequently followed by the initials and surname of the owner, sometimes accompanied by a pithy idiom. Y’know … ‘well, Gertrud, that just breaks my wooden shoe!’ … but in Latin.
In a subtle springtime rebranding, we turned to our flatland bookish heritage – and Mark Ohe (designer of many things Table) – for inspiration.
Henceforth, anything that sits still long enough at Table on Ten will find itself indelibly stamped. We’ve already capitalized upon Flemish diligence, putting Wilna and Eddie to work stamping all things flat and curvy, white and brown: paper bags, pizza and sandwich boxes, paper cups, wine-lists, letters to our Grannies. We now have our eyes on books, bags, buttocks, foreheads and children. Not to mention blimps, artisanal tattoos, grillz, lobe-stretching and scarification. Linger too long by the picnic tables, you risk Kathleen leaping from behind a bush like a banshee and branding you forever Table.