Too many forks and knives can look like you’re preparing war with silverware! All you really need is a fork and a knife, and a spoon only if you’re serving soup.
— Bryn Clarke, Haven’s Kitchen’s tabletop expert
Haven’s Kitchen’s pared-down approach to table settings is chic yet puts everyone at ease. Bryn Clarke, Haven’s Kitchen’s expert on tabletop (and an alum of Per Se), gave us the lowdown on what you need to pull off the same look—and keep things simple:
a water glass and one medium-size wineglass at each setting (no need for multiple wineglasses—a midsize one can work for red or white)
a white plate—”food always looks best on a white plate”—topped with a bowl if you’re serving soup first
a French bistro napkin folded on the plate—choose a cotton one, since linen often requires ironing
a fork, a knife, and a spoon—though you need the spoon only if you’re serving soup. As Bryn points out, “Too many forks and knives can look like you’re preparing war with silverware! When you serve dessert, you can bring the dessert spoons or forks in a mason jar.”
To make sure that things go smoothly from there, Bryn suggests a restaurant trick that works wonders at home: “I always stand behind each place and make sure guests will feel they have everything they need in an arm’s reach—including a water bottle and wine. Guests can feel uncomfortable asking for something they’re missing.”
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