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Feb 4, 2008 01:00 PM

Black napkins offered

We had dinner at an upscale but not ultrafancy place Saturday night and we were asked if we wanted black napkins??? Hesitated in answering- not sure if it was some voodoo thing. The waiter said- oh so you don't get lint on your dark clothing! This was a new experience for us- has anyone out there been offered a black napkin???

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  1. Haven't been offered them, but have read about their use for the reason you state.

    1. There's one place I frequent that does this. Lots of business diners. I think it's ridiculous and pretentious, but some of my co-workers like it. Maybe everyone doesn't keep a lint roller at their desk like I do.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jennywinker

        Hmmmmm... an interesting take, but "ridiculous and pretentious"?

        I'll go with practical and thoughtful.

        Unless you carry your lint roller with you (not practical), you won't have accomplished anything... still lint-covered in public, no chance of lintlessness until you return to your cubicle/office, where it really doesn't matter.

        1. re: jennywinker

          I don't think it's ridiculous or pretentious at all. As I am very often wearing black pants or a LBD I am always happy when a bar or restaurant has black napkins as the white lint from standard napkins can be a bear to remove.

          I have lint rollers all over my house but don't carry them with me when I'm out and about so I appreciate the black napkins enormously. It's the little things.

        2. If I'm wearing black at dinner I do appreciate a black napkin. I don't like rising from my chair to find my skirt or pants covered in lint from a white napkin. I don't carry a lint roller in my pocketbook. I'm surprised you were asked - my experience in fine restaurants has been that the white napkin is automatically replaced with black if you're wearing black or dark colors. It isn't pretentious, it is proper service, IMHO.

          1 Reply
          1. re: janniecooks

            Agreed. It shows a level of sensitivity by the restaurant to not offer napkins that will leave bits of white fuzz on black clothing. I appreciate the gesture.

          2. Jfood likes the idea but for a different reason. The lipstick marks on a nice white napkins always looks a little (can't think of the appropriate word). The black napkins would help hide this lipstick as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jfood

              jfood, are you meaning mrs jfood getting her lipstick on her napkin? or recieving a clean napkin that has lipstick stains on it?

              reason i ask is most places that use linen napkins have them machine laundered by a linen service, so the custo shouldn't worry about getting anything on their napkin (lipstick, wine, hotsauce, etc) we (resto staff) think nothing of it. if a stained linen makes it to the table setting, well, that's the direct fault of a table-setter not paying attention.

              anyways, my response to the OP is "why did they even ask? " if the resto provides black linens for that purpose why not just say "here you go". anyway, it's a nice gesture on the resto's part. but i also wonder if it's more expensive to have two types of linens available than to just get the better quality whites that don't leave lint.

              1. re: excuse me miss

                it's the former, during dinner.

                The other night was the first time the hostess looked at the jfood clothes and swapped the whites on the table to the blacks in her hand. Interesting change at the beginning of the meal.

            2. Yes, it's actually quite common. I love it... particularly since I'm always wearing black slacks.