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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!
June 29, 2015. Posted in Events, Journeys, Producers, The Menu. Tags: Amelia Earhart, Bacaro su Dieci, Bea's Famous Breakfast Sandwich, Cicchetti, Commedia dell'Arte, Elvis Presley, Giacomo Puccini, Glenn Miller, Human Octopus, Joan Sutherland, Luchino Visconti, Russells Store, Spritz, Visigoths, Wargs of Bolg.
Now dear old Mabel, when she’s able,
We takes a stroll down Lover’s Lane,
And we’ll sink a pint of Scrumpy,
Then we’ll play old nature’s game.
(Har-har-har, oo-arr, oo-arr).
But we end up in the duck pond,
When the pub is sized to close,
With me breeches full o’ tadpoles,
And the newts between me toes.
Sunday May 24th, 6 till 9 pm
In Association with MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND PRODUCTIONS
• 3 breeds of pie
• lashings of mash
• small batch mountain cider
• music by Catskill Casket Company
• 2 strains of salad
• sweet pies by Four and Twenty Blackbirds
• wine from foreign lands
• all sorts of beer
• local trees
• some grass
• men who should know better, wearing shorts
Sunday May 24th, 6 till 9 pm
(* subject to being untrue)
Table on Ten has high-speed FiOS wireless internet. Nine words can sometimes be a symphony.
The old, old tale of Delaware County slim-as-a-whisker bandwidth was culled from Classic Myth and Legend. Along with the next snowstorm in June and Abigail Munson’s cat’s hysterectomy, it was a topic that could occupy four people for a solid ten minutes whilst waiting in line to buy Lipton Pasta Sides in Price Chopper.
You seen that clip on YouTube where the goat dances with the vacuum cleaner?
You get YouTube clips?
Well, no, but I saw something about it on Facebook.
You get Facebook?
Set me an alarm for 3.30 in the morning on clear nights when nobody’s awake, there’s no deer in the field and the satellite’s directly overhead. I have Walter stand naked on the milking shed with the wireless router in his outstretched palm like the Statue of Liberty.
(they all mumble in astonishment)
Did two Instagram posts last Tuesday.
I got an email in February.
Since its inception almost three years ago, Table on Ten’s communication with the outside world has been at the mercy of a battered 1970’s era Soyuz-era spaceship, manned by a grizzled primate smoking Lucky Strikes, wigging out to Elton John’s Tiny Dancer. Anybody who’s been present on a busy summer Pizza Night when there’s not even enough cyberjuice to fire up the register and we’re tattooing customers’ telephone numbers on each other’s breastbones so we can call them the next day to pay for their dinner, has witnessed humans being forked in the ass by satyrs on the seventh terrace of Purgatory.
On Wednesday 11th March 2015, at approximately 8.30 am, the men from Delhi Telephone Company rode into Bloomville like the Gods of Asgard, armed with a cherry picker and cable the girth of a baby’s forearm. By 2 pm the spectre of Spacemonkey had been forever banished. Information was pouring through our computers like the open sluice-gates of the Grand Coulee Dam. Emails dating from the Kennedy era, whole phalanxes of cut-price Cialis opportunities, Dr Oz’s Newest Fat Burner and a vast inheritance from Mr Winston Mobutu waiting to be claimed from a safety deposit box in Swaziland. We used Google. We played Spotify without throwing the offline button. We watched dogs pretending to be humans eating dinner. We did it all.
And then we did it all again.
Table on Ten has lightning-speed FiOS internet. Aliens have invaded Sydney Center. The Pope has given birth to an ostrich. Come gather round people, wherever you roam. Coffee’s on. Eggs are in pans. Parents; your children can play DoodleJump on your iPhone while you nurse that hangover and pretend to read Modern Farmer. Kim Kardashian’s colossal bottom is right here, right now on River Street. Bloomville Calling. Come out of the cupboard. You boys and girls.
March 12, 2015. Posted in Events, Inspirers. Tags: Cialis, Dante's Inferno, Delhi Telephone Company, DoodleJump, Dr Oz's Newest Fat Burner, Elton John, FiOS, Gloria Gaynor HughesNet, Gods of Asgard, Lipton Pasta Sides, Modern Farmer, PriceChopper, Spotify, Tiny Dancer.
We’ve been shooting these peripheral sideways glances for a couple of years. Thrilled to watch them pack their own bags and head off to college. Thanks to Scott DeSimon for confidence, trust and inspiration. View the whole gallery here.
February 1, 2015. Posted in Inspirers, Press. Tags: Bon Appétit, Byebrook Farm, Dan Finn, Dan Finn Farm, Inez Valk, Julian Richards, Katrin Schmid-Shelmashuck, Last Harvest Farm, Scott DeSimon, Thornton Steward.
Good Morning, Bloomville. Second night back, the front door blew open in the wee hours. Descending the stairs at 5.30 to frigid currents in the Antipodes, thermostats blinking in apoplexy at 38 degrees and falling. -7 outside. The furnace roaring like Lear on the heath, to no discernible effect. Dr Bronners in the shower turned to lard, Argan Oil of Morocco to crystals. Ollie swaddled in a parka and bobble hat on the couch, woolly mittens on every paw, swigging Jameson from the bottle as a restorative. Three weeks in Europe. We had forgotten this.
Three hours later the kitchen crested 50, crocodile tears had defrosted, fallen and precipitated into history. Time to go open the doors at Table and welcome in the New Year. Like tardy Sinterklaas, we come bearing gifts from the Flatlands. In very limited supplies – the days of one’s portmanteaux being ferried from the White Star Liner by legions of sweating coolies are long gone – they nonetheless bring a note of cloggy cheer to the frostbitten shelves of the Microshop.
1. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s time to burn something. What better way to set fire to shit than a lovely box of Säkerhets Tändstickor? Yeah, we know, you can get a lighter from the Mirabito in Hobart for a buck. But three weeks in Europe reminded us that the good life is a pyramid built from little blocks of beauty. Single-shot espresso in the right cup, grace, love, candour, great matchsticks. Not strictly Dutch. In fact Swedish. But blonde in spirit and in three handy sizes.
2. Footsteps in the Sand. Maybe some Shinto aphorism on man’s temporal contribution to the sacred essence, or merely trudging across the beach at Bloemendaal to glimpse the North Sea’s gunmetal indifference? We don’t sell it, but sand is available from Delaware Bulldozing and wellington boots from stockists online.
3. Bergman’s Botersprits may sound like a type of enema, but are actually highly-addictive traditional dutch shortbread biscuits, teeming with butter and cunningly laced with salt. Piped and baked since 1922 at Banketbakkerij Theo Blom, on the very street in Utrecht where Inez’s Mom was born (significantly later). We tested them on American children. Turn away, turn back, and all you’ll see is biscuit-dust suspended in a shaft of sunlight.
4. 1846, Amsterdam, tail end of koloniale Rijk. There are Dutchmen from Malacca to Pomeroon itching to get their Flemish fingers on some full-cream, homestyle butter before the natives arrive and send ’em back to Hoogeveen with their tails between their legs. But shipping the stuff out to the tropics on ice proves only slightly effective. Weeks at sea take their toll; there’s seamen slithering in the fo’c’sle and something awful smelly in the Deep Antilles. Up pops H. J. Wijsman en Zonen with a dastardly solution – ingeblikte boter. Butter in a can. Yes, you heard it right. No refrigeration, lots of salt (are you sensing a theme?) a rich, cheese-like taste, it ranks #2 in Saveur’s list of weirdly wonderful butters of the world. And now go swoon over the packaging.
5. Little Porcelain
coke spoons. Not exactly measuring spoons. Just adorable, delicate yet practical porcelain spoons. Practical in what way? Well, in a ‘picking bits of stuff up and moving it somewhere else on a spoon’ kind of way. Beautifully.
6. Inez, what the hell is this?
7. More Nordzee. We spent four hours on the beach at Zandvoort putting this in salvaged beer bottles to bring home and store your contact lenses in. All 36 bottles were removed from Inez’s hand-luggage at Schiphol and confiscated, along with a quart of Santa Maria Novella Melograno and half a kilo of plastic explosive. Plans to demolish the back steps and replace them with a fireman’s pole have been put on hold.
8. Sturdy Dutch Kitchen Towels have been a stalwart at Table on Ten from the outset. We were getting low. Now we’re all full up. The ultimate utility towel, utterly multi-purpose, 100% cotton and almost indestructible. Wilna occasionally used these towels to wipe Inez’s bottom when she was a baby. Well, not these exactly. Ones like them. The actual ones have been donated to the Dutch equivalent of the Smithsonian. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
9. Simple Wooden Stoppers can plug anything roughly the diameter of a bottle-neck. Let your imagination run wild. These feel dutch because they are cheerful, beautiful, unpretentious and unable to say the ‘th’ sound properly. But actually they are Italian. Probably Northern Italian though, otherwise they’d be in hysterics and stabbing each other.
10. Here’s another look at the Säkerhets Tändstickor matches. See that barn swallow? So Delaware County.
11. They have outlasted all other cookies at Table on Ten. It’s true, new cookies have sashayed out of the kitchen over the years, all gussied up with sour cherries or Golden Syrup, and been Queen for a Day. But all the while Speculaas bided her time, humbly sweeping the grate like Assepoester – the dutch Cinderella (yes, that’s really her name) – whilst the others flutter their eyelids, primp and preen. To her, the glass slipper.
12. Gracing every table from Muggenbeet to Doodstil, the simple, practical Dutch Butter Crock is the perfect receptacle for a few ounces of H.J. Wijsman Butter in a Can. Folklore has it, the distinctive hemispherical shape was modeled on the domes of Basilica San Marco in Venice, much admired by Dutch traders visiting La Serenissima in the late 17th Century. But this folklore might not be accurate, because we just made it up.
That’s it! Doors are open! The winter is behind us, spring is in the air, daffodils are sprouting, there are coconuts on the palms and camels on Bramley Mountain. Pizza Night as usual this Friday and Saturday. Come on down. We’ve missed you!
January 29, 2015. Posted in Inspirers, The Microshop. Tags: Assepoester, Basilica San Marco, Bergman's Botersprits, Bloemendaal, Bramley Mountain, Delaware Bulldozing, Dr Bronners, H.J. Wijsman en Zonen, Hoogeveen, Inez Valk, Jameson Whiskey, Nordzee, Ollie the Dog, Säkerhets Tändstickor, Santa Maria Novella, Saveur Magazine, Sinterklaas, Speculaas, Utrecht, Venice, Wilna Valk, Zandvoort.