When having friends over for dinner, we like to pull out all the stops. And that means fixing a fabulous meal and serving it on our best serving dishes. No, that doesn’t mean plating your famous roast chicken recipe on an extra dinner plate. That means having a few key serving pieces—.like a platter, salad bowl, cake stand, and more.—to perfect your presentation.
However subtle it may seem, having the right serving pieces will make a difference. And it’s worth the investment if you entertain often. Below, see some of the best pieces available online. From a cheery pitcher that will give your table a pop of color to wooden serving tools that will make serving up your salad even more effortless, here are the best serving dishes you’ll want to invite to your next dinner party.
Lenox Continental Dining Platinum Oval Platter, 16-Inch: Best Platter
Present your food on this gorgeous white, fine china platter that features platinum accents. The best part of all is that as delicate as it appears, the platter is dishwasher safe.
Measuring 16 inches long and weighing just less than four pounds, it is large enough for a roast chicken, pork tenderloin, or a whole fish making it the perfect main dish at your next feast.
Customers who have purchased items from this Lenox Solitaire collection have said that it’s elegant but simple enough to use for everyday occasions.
One said it’s even prettier in person than in the photo, while others have raved that the design is classic and will never go out of style. Some reviewers have cautioned against running the piece through the dishwasher just to be on the safe side since it is an investment piece.
- Length: 16"
- Material: White Bone China
- Dishwasher Safe
- Microwave Safe Platinum
- Chip Resistant
Lipper International Acacia Wave Serving Bowl for Fruits or Salads, 12-Inch: Best Salad Bowl
Make your greens more appealing by serving them in a beautiful bowl. This salad bowl from Lipper International is made of acacia wood. It is not unfortunately dishwasher, microwave, freezer, and oven safe because it’s made from wood.
Having a large size of the 7-inch height and 12-inch diameter, this is an excellent family-sized bowl to have on your table. You can easily fit in salads for at least 6 people in this bowl. Use some mild soap and water to keep the wooden salad bowl clean.
No unnecessary maintenance is involved. The wood used to make this bowl is acacia wood and does not react too much when in contact with water. Although drying off any wooden piece as soon as possible is highly recommended. Acacia wood is known for having an amber-colored base with lighter highlights throughout. This color is rich but not dark.
The contemporary wave design of Lipper International is different and will stand out in the crowd. The rustic design makes the bowl look unique and hand-carved. No need to worry about anything. These swirls won’t get in your way when you are serving.
Those who have purchased it have been satisfied. One praised the design for being practical, saying it’s a perfect size for families. Another said it’s versatile. You can use it for other things like displaying fruit, serving other dishes like pasta, and even using it in the kitchen as you prepare the food.
So, if you’re looking to serve a crowd, this is a great choice.
- Generously sized bowl with a contemporary wave design
- Large bowl is beautiful as a centerpiece bowl or serving bowl
- Made of acacia
- Easy to care for - Hand wash only. Do not soak. Do not put in the dishwasher, microwave or refrigerator
- 1 large acacia wave bowl - Measures: 12" diameter x 7" high
Eddingtons Italian Olive Wood Salad Server Set, 13-Inch: Best Salad Servers
Beautiful and practical, these salad servers are made of Mediterranean olive wood grown in Italy and made in Albania. Each piece measures 13 inches long and is tightly grained so that you won’t start seeing frayed edges through the years.
It’s also suggested that you occasionally coat with mineral oil to keep the wood looking its best. The pieces are safe to use with nonstick cookware and won’t scratch pans or stain.
The majority of customers who have purchased this set have been satisfied with it. One said it’s their favorite wooden utensil, adding that it’s the one they grab when they cook as well as serve. They also said it’s lightweight but feels sturdy. A few have reported the spoon breaking during use, but most customers were happy with the overall performance.
- Eddington’s Olive Wood Salad Server Set for tossing, mixing, and serving all types of salads
- Made in Europe from fine Italian Olivewood; lightweight yet strong; 2-piece set includes matching serving fork and spoon; measures 13-inches
- Beautifully handcrafted, decorative, and durable; fits neatly in a kitchen gadget drawer or display on the counter in a utensil holder
- This olive wood is carefully sourced from selected groves mainly in the south of Italy; harvested when olive production ceases or from pruned branches
- Will not scratch surfaces; safe for use on nonstick cookware; hand wash only; occasionally coat with mineral oil to keep olive wood looking its best
Marquis by Waterford Vintage Round Pitcher: Best Pitcher
A classic and timeless piece, this pitcher by Waterford Vintage claims the top spot for its elegant design, durability, and overall value.
Measuring nine inches tall and weighing about one pound, it can hold 76 ounces of room temperature or cold beverages. Word of warning: some customers have reported cracking when putting hot liquids in it.
You might want to consider another one if you plan to use it for that. Perfect for dinner parties and get-togethers, it’s a functional and pretty piece that’ll save you from having to go back and forth to the kitchen to refill glasses.
Most customers have been happy with this pitcher, with some praising that it’s light enough to tote around but heavy enough to be sturdy when full. The majority of people love it for the simple and seamless style. It also makes a great present and conveniently comes in a special gift box.
- Holds 76 oz.
- 9 inches tall
- Gift boxed with care leaflet
- Made in the Czech Republic
- Introduced Fall 2000
Emsa Eleganza Stainless Steel Insulated Carafe, 34-Ounce: Best Coffee Carafe
Serve after-dinner coffee in this stunning, insulated, stainless steel carafe that can hold up to 34 ounces.
Not only does it have easy-to-use one-hand pouring functionality, but it can retain heat for up to nine hours and keep things cold for up to 18 hours. Plus, the sturdy exterior and double-wall construction mean it’s dishwasher safe—an added bonus.
The majority of customers have been happy with the purchase of this carafe. Besides loving the sleek style and beauty of the design, many have said it really does keep coffee warm for long periods of time.
Some have said that the handle gets too hot, though, while others weren’t as satisfied with how long the coffee stayed warm. However, most customers said they were satisfied with the performance and would recommend it to others.
- Insulated server features double wall construction, beautiful stainless steel exterior; 34 ounce capacity
- Made of 18/10 stainless steel with hinged lid
- Heat retention up to 9 hours, cold retention up to 18 hours; virtually unbreakable
- Easy one-hand use operation
- Dishwasher safe
Lenox True Love 2-Piece Dessert Set: Best Pie Server
You’re already serving up a beautiful and delicious dessert, so make sure the serving utensils you’re using are just as beautiful.
This silver-plated metal serving set from Lenox is perfect for a fancy dinner party or to make a weeknight meal feel more special. The knife and cake server set features a lovely ribbon design on the handles.
Many customers who have purchased this set have said it’s an absolutely beautiful product. One customer also mentioned how great the pieces feel in your hand when you hold them. Another said it’s a great value and worth every penny.
Many even used these to cut their wedding cake on their big day, so keep this in mind for bridal shower gifts as well. Some reported unfortunate defects in the set when they got them, but the majority were satisfied with the product.
- Romance beams from the True Love cake knife and server, ideal as a wedding present or for use during a wedding reception.
- Set gleams in shining silverplate.
- Design features interlaced hearts that are carefully etched on the handles.
- Hand wash.
- Includes (1) cake server and (1) cake knife.
Ateco 612 Revolving Cake Stand: Best Cake Stand
This item stands five inches high and has a sturdy cast-iron base with a durable powder-coat finish. The 12-inch diameter top is made of aluminum.
It can rotate, making it easier to decorate the cake or spin it to slice and serve your guests. And unlike other swiveling cake stands, this one is pretty enough to set out on your table.
Customers who have purchased this stand have been pleased overall. Many have touted how sturdy it is and how smoothly it rotates. Some critical reviews have mentioned issues with the paint chipping off on the base as well as the fact that the top doesn’t lock, so if you don’t want it to rotate, you’re out of luck. Just keep that in mind when you’re carrying the cake and stand from the kitchen to the table. However, the majority of reviewers were mostly happy with the overall quality of the piece.
- Revolving cake stand
- Cast iron base
- 12-inch diameter aluminum top
- Non-slip pad included
- Hand wash only; made in usa
What to look for when buying serving dishes
Make sure there are plenty of serving pieces to choose from based on how many people you’re hosting or whether or not you’re serving appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and drinks. Sizes range from small to large, so there’s bound to be a platter that will hold whatever you’re serving.
Look for a set that includes different types of platters, bowls, cups, tureens, utensils, etc. Having a variety of serving pieces is especially useful if you’re planning on serving different foods that need to be kept separate. If you’re planning an elaborate dinner party, having not just platters but also bowls and cups can help spread out the work.
Your serving pieces should match your dishware and other table elements. If you’re serving a buffet in a dining room, then look for an elegant style that matches the room’s décor. If in a casual kitchen or patio, consider something more subdued and rustic.
Make sure the set is made out of a durable material like stainless steel or china so it won’t break easily when handled. Enamelware sets are usually quite sturdy, but they tend to chip more easily than other materials, so better get one with fewer pieces for easier handling.
Search for materials made to last, like stainless steel or pewter. You’ll also want to look for dishwasher-safe elements wherever possible too. Durable serving pieces can last for years, and they’re less likely to break during parties. If you want a more eco-friendly option, look for serving pieces made of recycled glass and plastics.
Consider how much you’re willing to spend on the serving dishes that will bring out the best in your food presentations. You can find inexpensive (less than $50) solutions or splurge for pricier pieces (over $100).
What to avoid when buying serving dishes
- Cheap materials like plastic, flimsy finishes like silverplate, boring designs like plain white elements, hardware like old-fashioned pulls on drawers. You want all your hard work cooking and decorating to be showcased, not lost behind lackluster serving dishes.
- Serving platters that are too small, bowls that are too narrow. Make sure all the serving pieces you’re considering meet your exact needs.
- Serving platters that are too large, bowls that are too deep. Obviously, you don’t want to buy serving platters and bowls so oversized that they won’t fit in your cupboards or dishwasher. Still, you also don’t want pieces that aren’t big enough for all the food you’re serving. Little bowl? Pass on soup.
- Dull colors like brown, beige, cream, black. Make sure the serving dishes you choose offer eye-catching elements like bright hues or sparkly finishes.
- Serving platters that are too small, bowls that are too narrow. Make sure all the serving pieces you’re considering meet your exact needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many pieces should a serving set include?
An average, casual (non-buffet) serving set will usually contain around 10 pieces. A more formal buffet or dinner party would require 20+ pieces.
Should my serving dishes match my kitchenware?
Your serving dishes should always match your kitchenware. This is because they will become a permanent part of your home, and you want them to look good in the long term, not just when they’re being used at a party.
What kind of styles can I find?
There’s an endless number of serving platter and dish styles available for every taste and style preference: contemporary, classic, rustic, traditional. The options are endless!
What is the meaning of serving dishes?
Servers exist to serve food, so the better they look at the table, the more they do their job.
Is it better to buy separate platters versus sets?
Sets include everything you need in one box. Still, potluck partygoers might appreciate having their own serving pieces to take home for future use.
Is it better to go for a formal or casual set?
A formal set is always best for parties and special occasions. In contrast, a casual set will provide more flexibility for everyday use.
What size should a set be?
Servers should meet the specific needs of your parties and gatherings, so you usually want to think about how many people you’re expecting and how much food they’ll each eat to determine whether a 10- or 20-piece set would work better for you. In general, though, larger sets will always provide more flexibility since there’s more to choose from.
What is the best size for a buffet table ( serving dish)?
The depth of your buffet table should allow enough room for people to maneuver inside it comfortably. The tabletop width might depend on how many platters you’re adding – always leave at least 20 centimeters/8 inches between each platter to ensure diners can access them easily without crowding or stepping on other serving dishes.
Can I use my serving dishes as pie stands?
Yes! There’s really no limit to the number of different ways you can use serving dishes in your home.
Conclusion – Best serving dishes and pieces
Hunting for the best serving dishes and pieces should focus on two questions: Does the item work well for its intended purpose? And does it suit my style? Your favorite pieces are going to be those that balance these two priorities. Always remember that you can never go wrong with white dishes. They’re beautiful, classic, and versatile. They make an excellent base set, and you can always accent them with colorful bowls or mugs. When you’re on the hunt for these essential items, patience can be a virtue.
Last update on 2022-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API