Photos by Erika DaSilva
The managers of The Lantern Inn in Wassaic helm a newsstand to highlight the unique food and drink creators across the region.
Food and art come together in the Hudson Valley in all kinds of ways. So it’s fitting that one of the region’s latest multimedia projects happens in Wassaic.
This eclectic Dutchess County hamlet hosts the one-of-a-kind Wassaic Project, a nonprofit gallery that seeks to bridge the urban-rural divide in New York. Just across the street lies The Lantern Inn, a local watering hole since 1890. From this tight-knit community of creatives, a brand-new tribute to the region’s creative gastronomy comes alive.
Erika DaSilva, self-proclaimed “beverage lady” at The Lantern Inn, founded Ten Mile Table in 2020.
“I started working on Ten Mile Table, designed to connect the restaurant even more concretely with other food/art creators. Our original plan was a summer weekend of food and art events in collaboration with Wassaic Project,” DaSilva says. However, like many initiatives from last year, plans had to change.
DaSilva and her husband, Minh (general manager at The Lantern Inn), built a physical newsstand right next to the restaurant. The quaint, cozy Ten Mile Table celebrates the bounty of farm-to-table cuisine, craft wine and beverages, and culture in the region. DaSilva works to acknowledge the integral intersection between food and art along the Tenmile River. She designed the space with the efforts of architect Matthew Schnepf, who owns Wassaic Commons next door. Likewise, the expertise of local photographer and woodworker Anthony Masina brought visual poise.
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The open-concept occupies a previously unused 12-ft x12-ft space adjacent to the restaurant. DaSilva and team constructed the Ten Mile Table newsstand over the course of eight weeks.
“It was truly a community effort. Neighbors pitched in to sand, paint, lift, bring lunches during the crunch….I don’t think the newsstand would exist without the people around it,” DaSilva says. Fellow business owners, close friends, and supporters of the Wassaic community built this newsstand together.
The Ten Mile Table newsstand features constant airflow and a mostly outdoor experience. Most importantly, these elements allowed DaSilva to work with the safety of all of her guests in mind during the height of the pandemic. This season, she returns to the newsstand with a host of events connecting people across the Hudson Valley.
“Our programming aims to highlight food, art, and culture within our magical pocket of small businesses, visitors, residents, local farms, restaurants, and artists. We also strive to share new stories,” DaSilva says. Ten Mile Table achieves this by stocking independent publications from the Hudson Valley and beyond, and by holding pop-up happenings.
The 2021 season opened with “Cuizinestand” at the start of May. The inaugural indie publication event introduced the community of Wassaic and visitors alike to a slew of creatives from around the nation. DaSilva has featured Hudson Valley publication, as well as Chickpea and EAT Zine from Rochester. Cuizinestand, which returns once per month through the summer, showcases incredibly niche and specialized voices in food and beverage.
For instance, the Wine Zine
explores natural wines around the world. Likewise, Canvas and Cassette
features beautiful illustrations with inspiring stories, and Honest History
brings fascinating untold stories to children. For Hudson Valleyites who love eating by the season, Radicchio Zine
is potentially the world’s only publication focusing entirely on chicory
Ten Mile Table’s rotating list of featured artists and creators connects the Hudson Valley to likeminded people everywhere. After that, Ten Mile Table featured a bakery pop-up with fresh delights to accompany the intellectual nourishment. Amenia’s Troutbeck, Pawling Bread Co., and, of course, The Lantern Inn represented Dutchess County. Visiting bakers from the Berkshires and Brooklyn showcased their delicious creations as well.
A record store pop-up from last year — and a socially-distant dance party — may return in the summer. Events definitely coming down the pike for Ten Mile Table include “Cocktails & Collage” and “Coffee & Cups.”
Above all, visitors to Ten Mile Table can discover new perspectives on food, wine, and more.
“Small-ish operations are able to tell dynamic stories from many different viewpoints. Many of these pubs are women-owned, and nearly all are run by one or two people. We try to offer something for everyone,” DaSilva says.