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Is the return of tablecloths a new restaurant trend?

Is the return of tablecloths a trend in the making?

When  Sons & Daugthers, a trendy restaurant that opened in 2010 by two young tech-set-worthy chefs, decided to cover their wood tables with beautiful charcoal gray linen, I took notice.

For the past decade, restaurants with tablecloths have been branded as old-fashioned. All the young chefs — including at the four-star Benu and Saison, seemed to prefer bare tables. When Michael Mina moved his eponymous restaurant from the St. Francis hotel to the Aqua space  in 2010, he banished tablecloths; last year, he brought them back. Not only did this add a more finished touch to the decor, but it helped modulate the painful noise level.

Last Sunday, in my review of Californios,  I commented on the fact that the upscale Mexican restaurant in the Mission owned by up-and-coming chef  Val M. Cantu uses tablecloths in the intimate, elegant dining room.

Both the local laundry services and Willie Brown must be cheering.

It’s far from a movement, of course, and it still seems that many continue to see linens as a relic of a bygone era, but maybe it will soon be cutting-edge to soften the tabletop. After all, pleated pants and double breasted suits are making a comeback, so why not table finery?

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