Managing July 4th weekend in this corner of Delaware County is like gathering powder on paper. Make a fold, lift both sides, everything shuffles to the crease. Humanity descends upon these blue remembered hills like the Wargs of Bolg. Everybody’s here. Elvis is spotted at Russell’s sharing Bea’s famous breakfast sandwich with Amelia Earhart and Glenn Miller.
Past experience suggests there’s no point greeting swarms of beaming locusts with a baguette and wheel of tilsit for sword and shield. These tiny urban Visigoths have teeth honed to rapiers on hand-massaged cavolo nero; a single, wanly-smiling couple can strip a tree in the time it takes to whisper ‘farm-to-table’.
In an effort not to see the Old Lady nibbled to her wishbone before Monday morning, strategists at Table on Ten have devised a cunning plan. For the greater part of the weekend La Stupenda will don a Commedia dell’Arte cloak and mask and operate under the mantle of an Italian snack bar.
Loose lips sink ships. So between you and me:
• Friday 3rd – 9 till 3, normal daytime menu. Playing possom, nothing up our sleeve.
• Friday 3rd – 6 till 9, Pizza Night.
• Saturday 4th, 9 till 11, normal breakfast menu.
• Saturday 4th at 11. Table on Ten disappears into the bathroom with an overstuffed PriceChopper bag and comes out as Bàcaro su Dieci. She keeps up this improbable pantomime until 3 pm, before slamming the doors, jumping into a lamé muumuu and barreling out the door like Joan Sutherland quivering like a trifle for fireworks.
• NO PIZZA NIGHT SATURDAY 4th.
• Sunday 5th, she repeats Saturday’s derring-do, with a faint whiff of cordite and some scorchmarks at the seams. There will be special appearances by OSMOS Magazine and Ugly Duckling Presse (more on this to follow).
Il Bacaro – simple unpretentious tavern serving small bites of food (cicchetti), wine (ombre) and the aperitivo Spritz con Cappelletti. At Su Dieci, varieties of crostini, panini piccoli and insalate will be founded on local ingredients with hints of Table on Ten’s usual menu: chicken liver mouse, ricotta, broccoli rabe, bacon, local mushrooms, spring onions, parsley, lacinato kale, prosciutto, greens, pork rillette, mozzarella, red rice, chicories, nettle pesto, our own focaccia, this, that, the other.
Small glasses of red, white and spritz will be sloshed over the counter by a perspiring human octopus. Il Polpo su Dieci.
Simple espresso drinks, sodas and water.
Customers will be encouraged to move around the trattoria and adjoining Campo Santa Inéz with plates full of small bites, peppering the air with near-cheek kisses and florid hand gestures. Convivial conversation, linen jackets, Panama hats and suppurating white pan-stick are all encouraged. When you’ve talked Visconti, Puccini and those damn lazy Greeks through mouthfuls of marinated pink oyster mushrooms, come on inside and get some more.
Ci vediamo sabato!