I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how I want the food to be presented. Although we’ve picked the China pattern, we’re busy picking accent pieces.
One of the tough things about buying china for a restaurant is the sheer number of pieces you need – bread and butter plates, coffee cups and saucers, dinner plates, dinner plates for irregularly-shaped entrees like whole fish, dishes for sides and desserts, etc., etc. And, something everyone can relate to, is that it is like buying hot dogs and buns – cups might come in cases of 20 and saucers in cases of 24.
I don’t like plates with designs. I like white plates with rims. At Venus, our bread and butter plates had colored rims and you could interchange them. They were pretty cool – so cool that they were frequently stolen. I’d like to avoid that type of thing in the future.
And I really want flexibility. Having plates that can only be used for certain dishes takes up too much room and is limiting. My china salesperson had a good idea. She suggested that instead of getting dishes that can only be used for bread and butter and another that can only be a saucer, getting a slightly larger plate that can be used for Amelia’s amazing bread and coffee service, as well as cheeses and sides. I love that kind of flexibility. I mean, why stock a saucer that can only be used for coffee? Does anyone really use saucers anyway?
The dinner plate I finally settled on is contemporary, but hopefully won’t look dated in five years – like bellbottoms. Another thing I like about it is that it is big enough to plate whole fish and over-sized steaks, without the food going over the rim. I think it looks sloppy when food goes over the rim.
I am looking at soup bowls. If you use a plate under the bowl, it slides around when it is being served. The way to prevent sliding is by using doilies. I just want to pick a bowl that doesn’t require me to use a plate or doilies. I hate doilies under plates, I just do, I don’t know why. That’s just the way it is.
Next is silverware. We picked our pattern a while ago. But, just because it looks right doesn’t mean it feels right. Don’t you hate when the knife flips on your plate? I do. I want silverware that works well with my plate, feels good in my hand and looks good on the table.
Now that New Year’s Eve has passed, I’ll be planning a short trip to Maine to film a special episode of Fretz Kitchen. I always love being on that show and I hear Maine is cold, but beautiful this time of year. Speaking of cold, when you’re in Alison at Blue Bell, try our hot cocoa with Amelia’s homemade cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (they look like giant Oreos-even though we can’t say that.) Stay warm…