Tabletop Trends: Some See a Comeback in SF

Posted March 16, 2015 at 4:11 pm

For the past decade, restaurants with up-and-coming chefs, including four-star Benu and Siason, have preferred linenless tables instead of table napery, according to Michael Bauer, restaurant critic and editor at large for the San Francisco Chronicle. That may be changing, along with current design trends, which include mixing the industrial yet refined look. Trendy restaurants opening in the Bay Area since 2010 appear to be “softening the tabletop,” or adding back table linens. Bauer mentions Chef Michael Mina who originally banished tablecloths but added that touch back into his décor just last year.

That’s good news for local laundry services, but also for diners. Quality table linens, after all, can help soften the atmosphere, lower the noise and elevate the experience. Of course, some restauranteurs who had long resisted the bare tabletop look, aren’t surprised that luxury is making a comeback. After reading Bauer’s article, David Kinch, the chef/owner of Manresa in Los Gatos remarked that, “It was bound to happen. Twenty- and 30-somethings who have driven this golden age of restaurants and wine awareness in the U.S. are starting to get a bit older, and I think they will mature and learn to appreciate less noise, more space between tables, a comfortable and ergonomic chair and perhaps a more sophisticated experience.”

Although Bauer says refined napery dining is not yet a movement and some still “see linens as a relic of a bygone era,” he wonders if tablecloths again will become a viable option. After all, “the subtle message of refinement should transcend trends.” Click here for details.