Smith & Mills
Three of my favorite downtown restaurants, Morandi, Smith & Mills, and Bobo are all using vintage inspired tea towels in lieu of fancy dinner napkins - a coincidence I discovered when I had breakfast at one, lunch at another, and cocktails at the third. The fact that these unassuming linens work perfectly in a rustic Italian trattoria, a former horse stable decorated with industrial salvage, and an eatery named for Bourgeois Bohemia, really attests to their versatility.
When friends drop by for dinner I usually break out my white linen hemstitch napkins, a classic choice, but, let's face it, more likely to be used for a delicate dab as opposed to an honest to goodness wipe. Next time I think I'll give everyone their very own tea towel. I don't know if it's the fact that they have the word towel in the name, but something about them just demands they get dirty. On a recent trip to IKEA I discovered a lovely version with a great hand, and the best part - they're only $0.49 each!!! Take THAT recession. Here's the little gem, along with a few of my other favorites:
TEKLA Dish Towel, $0.49 each, IKEA.COM
Purple Stripe Vintage Towel/Napkin by Transylvanian Images, $19, GRDNBKLYN.COM
French Country Napkin by Libeco Home, $60/set of 6, John Derian, NYC