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Design Trendlet: Plates Aren't Just For Eating On Anymore


It seems like every other New York restaurant I pop into has plates adorning its walls. Some of my favorites:

Most Glam Reuse Lining the walls of Mia Dona—the newest Upper East Side spot by seemingly ubiquitous restaurateur Donatella Arpaia—are the haunting black-and-white female faces of the "Julia" line of plates by Fornasetti. Where the plates were last spotted: on the tables at Arpaia's now-shuttered restaurant, Dona.

Most Oddly Situated Ornate vintage plates hang on the bathroom walls of Dell'Anima, my favorite new West Village spot (can't get enough of the Chicken Diavolo). The thinking: Designer Brooke Maples wanted a touch of classic Italian country to contrast with the rest of her modern space.  

Most Ingenious New Use (Beyond Wall Decoration) Chef Jody Williams now has her private collection of Ginori white-on-white dishes and platters up along the brick-lined walls of her new West Village "gastroteca" Gottino. Soon, they'll be stenciled with the names of changing menu items. "The traditional way is to list your menu on the wall," says Williams. She'll technically still be doing that.


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