F&W asked New York City interior designer Mariette Himes Gomez to set the table for a dinner party featuring food from our test kitchen. She opted for a restrained palette and classic forms: clear glass underplates, Baccarat stemware, unadorned pale green Wedgwood dishes and Colonial Williamsburg "Queen Anne" reproduction flatware, all on a polished fruitwood table. "The wood is so beautiful, why look at a boring white tablecloth?" she says. "No matter how lovely they are, white cloths tend to be a bit cool--and fussy ones make it hard to see the food." Pulling the table up to the sofa also gives the setting a cozy, casual look. To encourage conversation across the table, Gomez prefers a low centerpiece with flowers and 1940s chrome candlesticks at the ends. Her goal: "A table that's not too formal, so people are comfortable."
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