We Immediately Recognized These Maximalist Plates in Horror-Comedy The Menu
Dark humor is best served on Italian dinnerware.
Published Jan 5, 2023 4:21 PM
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I somehow always end up seeing a horror movie on Christmas. Whether it’s some old-fashioned gore or more psycho-thriller stuff, there’s just something about the dark (and decidedly unmerry) genre that lures me into a seat each and every December 25. This time the film in question was The Menu, an absurdist skewering of the highest end of fine dining, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, and a few other familiar faces like John Leguizamo and Judith Light.
In short, a group of well-to-dos is ferried to a remote island to dine at famed Hawthorn, where wild and weird (read into that how you will) antics ensue throughout a tasting menu. Plating is paramount in The Menu, so much so that the director and screenwriters brought on the creator of Chef’s Table to get the cinematography just so. It sets the scene for each dramatic course, including one, in particular, that immediately caught my eye. (And if you’ve seen it, not for the reasons you might think.)
As an avid fan of Italian tabletop stalwart Ginori, I easily clocked the richly hued charger used during the dinner’s fifth course, titled “The Mess”—it was the same one pictured in the movie’s poster. (It also graces the section of showstopping singles in our guide to the best dinnerware sets.)
The plates, a part of the Oriente Italiano collection in a silky malachite palette, are beguiling, much like the mystique surrounding chef Julian Slowik (Fiennes) and his unique restaurant. Designed with a classic, delicately undulating Antico Doccia shape and handcrafted in Italian porcelain, each piece is adorned with a scene that features garofani (carnations), an enduring motif of Florentine ceramics and reimagined by Gio Ponti for Ginori in the 1940s.
At $110 per plate, this isn’t an everyday buy, but what else would you expect from a world-class dining experience? Here’s the thing: They will never go out of style and are surprisingly easy to care for; you can put them in the dishwasher or microwave without concern. But if you want to make an impression without investing in several place settings, here’s a little tip: Go for serveware instead.
Maximalist Dinner Plates
What makes a maximalist dinner plate? Color, a dash of personality, and, likely, a splash of pattern. While restaurants often feature all-white porcelain to make food really stand out, layering in a striking green base would frame textures and colors and be a conversation piece when things, ahem, inevitably get a little awkward at the party.