The last time you went out to eat, did you notice the plates? In addition to local sourcing and styled interiors, restaurants are increasingly turning an eye toward dinnerware, looking for unique pieces that complement the ingredients on the plate. Did the restaurant have gorgeous, earthy ceramics? If so, it’s possible Connor McGinn, who also handcrafts dinnerware for individual clients to use at home, made them.
In 2013, McGinn started working as a line cook at now-closed Restaurant North in Armonk. “They were opening Market North, and they were looking at all these [expensive] handmade plates,” recalls McGinn, who took ceramics classes in college. “The pieces were simple. I looked at them and figured out how I could make them myself.”
Now, McGinn runs a tiny, eponymous studio out of Clay Art Center, producing dinnerware for Blue Hill at Stone Barns, The Twisted Oak, Winged Foot Golf Club, and other clients nationwide. Though restaurants comprise most of his work, he also creates collections for aesthetically minded foodies to use at home.
There are three ways to buy: Choose pieces from McGinn’s standard lines, customize an established design to fit your personal style, or collaborate on a bespoke look. (All pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe.) Pricing starts at about $125 for a four-piece dinner set, and varies depending on the amount of customization. Just looking for a few individual pieces? Head to Charles Department Store in Katonah, or find McGinn at Crafts at Lyndhurst.