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Tableware Essentials

 

The table is always the center of attention. The table needs to be inviting, not too busy and a clear reflection of your personal style. The table top and style need to work with the mood of the occasion.

 

Make sure to stock up on these tableware essentials, which will accommodate for most dinner parties (12-16 pieces).

 

Dishes

-Bread -and- butter plate, six inches or small in diameter

-Salad plate, eight inches in diameter. Suitable for salad, dessert and cheese

-Dinner plate, or the main plate, measures nine to 10 ½ inches in diameter

-Soup bowls measure six to 10-inches in diameter; ideal for soup, pasta, stew and chili 

 

Flatware

 

Basic place setting:

-Dinner knife (substitute steak knife if necessary)

-All-purpose “place” spoon (smaller than a tablespoon and larger than a teaspoon)

-Standard dinner fork (seven inches long)

 

Other key pieces:

-Salad forks

-Dessert utensils – forks, spoon and dessert knives

-Bread -and-butter knives

-Fish forks and knives (if you serve fish often)

 

Serving pieces

 

Dishes:

-One oval platter (to serve a roast)

-One or two small oval platters to serve chops or other pieces of meat

-One or two deep bowls to serve soft foods (mashed potatoes, creamed spinach)

-One or two shallow bowls to hold firm vegetables, fruits or rolls

-One salad bowl

-Large shallow bowl for serving entrees such as pasta, paella or pot roast

 

Utensils:

-One or two spoons with holes in them to serve foods with juices that you want to drain

-One or two flat pieces to pick up solid items (pies, cakes)

-One or two large fork to pierce dense foods

-One or two spoons with both shallow and deep “bowls”

 

Other serving items:

-Pitchers for water 

-Decanters for wine

-Salt and pepper shakers

-Sauce and gravy boats

-Trays for carrying multiple dishes to the table

-Glassware Water goblet (holds at least six ounces of liquid)

-One red or white wineglass (if serving both red and white wine, place both kinds of glasses on the table)

 

White wine glasses are slightly narrow and straighter than red wine glasses in order to concentrate the flavor of white wine. Red wineglasses are bigger and rounder to accommodate the more robust aroma and flavors of reds. If you are on a budget, or want to simplify the amount of pieces on the dinner table, you can also buy a large quantity of all-purpose, or Paris glasses, which work for both reds and whites.

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