You’ve Been Served: Restaurant-Quality Dinnerware Crafted by Local Artisans

By | Boston Magazine |
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Mug shot: handblown tiki mugs, $38 each, available at the Boston Shaker. (Photos by Bruce Peterson / Styling by Molly Shuster)

It’s nearly impossible to peruse a menu these days without spotting dozens of ingredients diligently sourced from New England. So if the mesclun greens on your salad plate come from a nearby farm, shouldn’t the plate they’re served on come from around here, too?

As it happens, yes. Several area eateries are presenting everything from soup to sake in local tableware and glassware. “There’s a lot of cultural crossovers between restaurant culture and artisan-style culture,” says Andrew Iannazzi, the craftsman who created the handblown tiki mug above.

The idea for the glass was born when John Gertsen, the owner of Drink, showed Iannazzi an opaque, 1950s-era tiki mug from his collection. They agreed that a version crafted of glass would best highlight bright libations like the bar’s mai tai (pictured), so Iannazzi got to work in his Cambridge studio. Now “every part of the drink is handcrafted,” Iannazzi says, “from the tiki mug down to the juice.”

The tall totem also bears fruity concoctions at Island Creek Oyster Bar and the Hawthorne. Here are more place settings that are as gorgeous and local as the food (and drink) they hold:

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When the team from American Seasons opens the Proprietors Bar & Table on Nantucket this summer (see page 128 for more) they’ll be using custom plates and bowls from ACK-based potter Nell Van Vorst.

Bowls, $40 each, and plates, $45 each, 508-364-0008.

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South Boston–based woodworker Brian Smith—who designed the tap handles for Fort Point brewery Trillium—also sells handcrafted items like these wooden coasters and whiskey cups.

Cups, $20 each, smithandplank.com; coasters, $5 each, available at Sault New England.

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Gerald Croteau III, the Lowell stonemason behind American Stonecraft, uses fieldstone gathered from New England farms to create gorgeous serving platters.

Six-inch slab, $40, and 10-inch slab, $65, americanstonecraft.com.

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Splitting her time between Maine and Japan, potter Nakazato Hanako specializes in modern yet rustic tableware. This shard-like plate was custom-made for Asta, in the Back Bay.

Plates, $20–$80 each, monohanako.com.

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Vermont ceramicist and illustrator Laura Zindel, whose clean-lined pottery features images of flora and fauna, designed the logo for the Red Rooster restaurant, in Woodstock.

“Beet” bottle, $65, and “Pomegranate” bottle, $70, available at Acquire.

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David Becker, the chef-owner of Sweet Basil, in Needham, crafts all of the serving pieces for his restaurant’s rustic Italian dishes, and diners can now buy them on the spot.

Bowl, $125, sweetbasilneedham.com.

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To showcase its beautiful sushi and sashimi—and serve swills of sake—O Ya uses these custom flat-edged plates and sake cups from the Brookline Village–based sculptor and painter Claudia Rasmussen.

Prices vary, 617-367-3149.