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post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So my cooking is going well and I figure I'll probably start having people (well, women really) over for dinner soon. I'm quite comfortable with most of the stuff in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, received my copy of La Varenne Pratique (which i should thank Iammat for-I returned Jacques Pepin's books), and I now have The French Laundry, Bouchon, Amuse-Bouche, and Culinary Artistry on the way for some more ambitious fare.

Anyway, my dinnerware sucks. It's old stuff from the early 90s that my mother gave me when I first moved out. I never cared because I was always just cooking for myself and certainly wasn't worried about the visual impact of a dish.

So I'd like to get new dinnerware that is plain white, but not boring. I'm wondering about the various pros and cons of porcelain vs. china. What should I be looking for? Are there any brands you can recommend that make elegant dinnerware for a comtemporary setting?
post #2 of 15
My wife (in another 26 hours anyway) and I registered for these. The range is called "Tin Pan Alley" and they are plain white with a raised banding around the edge. Sort of art deco looking. It even has really good looking accessories like this water pitcher.

And it's not very expensive.

post #3 of 15
I have a set of beautiful porcelain plates from Jasper Conran, Wedgewood.

They're plain white with some detailing (subtle banding around the edge). They're so incredibly solid yet very thin. I'd compare them quite favourably to anything by a company like Villeroy and Boch.
post #4 of 15
Glad you like "La Varenne," GQ. It really is indispensable.
post #5 of 15
Culinary Artisry is a great book. I think you will like a lot. It is not so much a cookbook as a how to think about cooking book. Depending on how much you want to spend, I would look at the Castiglioni plates by Alessi (I forget the model name) and the Moon White by Rosenthal. We use the Moon White along with some antique china and like it very much.
post #6 of 15
My grandmother left me more china, than I could use in two lifetimes. My favorites are from Limoges, Wedgwood, and Pickard.
Wedgwood makes some beautiful, white patterns: Nantucket Basket, is a great, everyday set. Strawberry and Vine, is another.
For the money, Mikasa has some great everyday china, too. There's nothing like eating off of fine, china. Don't deprive yourself . . . I use the best of my belongings, and am much happier for it.
post #7 of 15
I knock the crap out of my crockery, therefore I always buy from - .
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Violinist, I love the Jasper Conran by Wedgwood. I've probably looked at over 100 sets of white dinnerware and it's still my favorite so I think I'm gonna go with those.

Originally Posted by iammatt
Culinary Artisry is a great book. I think you will like a lot. It is not so much a cookbook as a how to think about cooking book.

I first saw it at Indigo but didn't buy it. It seems full of info that a serious amateur cook could use that he wouldn't find elsewhere, like flavor pairings, when various ingredients are in season, etc. I can't wait to receive it.

Once I've got some experience with all of the cookbooks I've purchased (8 total thus far) I'll post my thoughts on them from a serious amateur's point of view in the hopes of motivating others. So far, the one book I haven't touched is Joy of Cooking.
post #9 of 15
I bought them at Kaban in Montreal, about 2 years ago. I paid like $80 dollars per plate, and I don't remember what I paid for the bowls and smaller plates. It was very expensive, and now you can get them on the internet for a fraction of that.
post #10 of 15
A full serving of Royal Winton Chintz would be rather decadent.

post #11 of 15
I've seen some extremely beautiful antique wares from companies like Meissen, Royal Vienna, and Sevres. Certain English wares, especially the so-called "aesthetic" designs, tend to be a bit too precious for my tastes, however. I also like this set but apparently it's discontinued:
post #12 of 15
During the decade between the demise of Charles Haviland and that of the company bearing his name, Haviland produced several exquisite patterns reserved solely for the use of illegitimate heirs to the Bourbon throne and their household livery. Several sets recently surfaced in an auction house in Antibes and, the Jardines de Alcibides in particular, would create an ambience of louche extravagance conducive to your pursuits.

Needless to say, the modern incarnation of Haviland produces strictly average tableware, which, while tacky, is nonetheless charming in its hoi polloi urgency.
post #13 of 15
I recently picked up a set of Mikasa's "Threads" pattern. It has an insouciant elegance which I appreciate: Anyway, be sure to have several sets. A change is as good as a rest. Regards, Huntsman
post #14 of 15

I prefer Apilco. It is elegant, classic, made in France, and durable.

post #15 of 15
I have haviland mandarin set from bloomingdale's. Affordable and very is a great color to invite women over. Items are priced by individual pieces so just get a service for two and you should be set. The colors on the internet are always a shade different in person so check them out in person.
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