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Everyday stemware, dinnerware and glasses

I have been buying my everyday dinner sets, stemware and regular drinking glasses from Crate and Barrel and just don't like the quality of them. What are reasonably priced brands that are top-quality for each of these items. I should mention that since I live in a small apt in NY, I use the same dishes and glassware for company (although my entertaining is very casual). Also, where would one buy these brands?

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  1. I buy wine glasses (including champagne flutes) at Bed Bath & Beyond. They have a brand that's $10 for a dozen glasses. Fine crystal they ain't, but if you break one, you're only out about 83 cents, and I'm more interested in the wine than the quality of the glass.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rootlesscosmo

      Wow, $10 for a dozen? I bought a set of four decent wine glasses there for $10 and thought THAT was a deal.

      I was all gung-ho for Schott Zwiesel, but still managed to break a few of those, despite their durability claims. ($10 each)

      I do like a lightweight wine glass of proper shape, but it doesn't need to be in Riedel price territory. I'd rather break a cheap one.

      Although I am considering the Riedel scotch glasses; haven't seen any quite like them. I was once served scotch in them at a bar, and they seemed just right.

    2. I don't have any suggestions, but have been considering buying some plates from cb2.com, Crate and Barrel's outlet site... what is it that you haven't liked about them? These are the ones I was thinking about buying... http://www.cb2.com/family.aspx?c=222&... I would think they would have to be pretty indestructable considering that they're microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and oven-safe, but would love to hear your input!

      (Whatever you do, don't buy Pier One plates... terrible quality!)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell

        I have to disagree with you about Pier 1, unless they have gone downhill recently. About ten years ago, I hosted a sit-down Thanksgiving dinner for 30 people. As I refuse to use paper plates, and am notoriously cheap, I went in search of something I could re-use. I found lovely plain white rimless porcelain plates at Pier 1 for $2.00 each. I still have 29, (one just disappeared) and use them for every large gathering. They still carry the same style, but I don't know if the quality has suffered.

        1. re: phofiend

          I bought a whole set for my parents about two years ago, and the finish has completely scratched off now... there used to be a leaf design in the middle and the plates themselves were light green... you can't even tell what color they are anymore and there is definitely no sign of a leaf! And my parents take care of their kitchen stuff very well too!
          My best friend also registered for plates there about three years ago for her wedding, and they are different plates but the finish is also gone. There was also a lot of variation in color, so none of the plates matched very well from the beginning.

          1. re: Katie Nell

            I've never tried any of the patterned plates, but I did receive some mugs as a gift a few years ago. They are thick and chunky, and not really my taste, so I rarely use them. Even so, they have a few chips. I believe the porcelain glazes are harder than the ones they use on earthenware. My old white plates are still very shiny and free of chips.

      2. Bennington Pottery!!! I've had some of mine for 20+ years & keep adding. They go into the micro, the oven, don't chip, are great looking as well as (virtually) indestructable. Here's the link....


        1. Hate to admit it, but a lot of my glassware comes from Ikea, cheap enough to toss if it gets a nick or chip, and a quantity initial buy won't set you back a lot.

          I used to buy resto stuff, but the lack of competition in the bay area has led to higher prices.

          1. Crate and Barrel isn't exactly junk, so if you want to go higher up then we are talking the good stuff.

            Stemware: Go straight to Riedel, or the more affordable and just as good Spiegelau. Both are well-regarded in wine circles for their quality and variety: they have different glasses for each varietal. Both have some crystal content, but their looks are very streamlined -- don't expect ornate etching, prisms or colors like with Waterford, Baccarat, Orrefors, etc.

            Amazon has occasional great deals on Spiegelau (I have the Vino Grande line), but their everyday prices are better than the lesser stuff at C&B. Riedel is more expensive, but top of the line. But Target now carries a budget line of Riedel that's not bad.

            For your drinking glasses, both lines make barware as well, so you can use their highballs and old-fashioned glasses if you want to go matchy-matchy. (Another option is to go with the Riedel stemless, which can do double-duty.)

            Dinnerware: First, learn a bit about the different materials and decide what you want: bone china, porcelain, stoneware, earthenware. For me, I went with the best, which is English bone china (though German porcelain is great too) and I got plain white, which I thought was the most versatile and pretty affordable. Once you get into the top quality dinnerware, the prices can soar -- each design, any metallic trim, plus name will ratchet up prices. Check out ross-simons and fortunoff for discounts on some better names; mossonline.com for some very high-end artistic and money-no-object porcelain; horchow.com and michael c. fina have a selection to view online. If you find a pattern you like, hunt down the brand's factory outlets and see if they carry the line at a discount. Sometimes, seconds are just as good as the firsts but priced at a substantial discount. Last but not least, don't be afraid to troll Ebay. You can find giveaway prices if you know what you are looking for.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pupster

              I agree, Pupster. What exactly do you not like about Crate & Barrel glasses, brooklynmasala? I use them, they're very affordable, and they do the job.


              1. re: TexasToast

                Actually I think there glassware is better than their dinnerware but, having said that, the glasses I have are really scratched and no longer clear.

                I have the most issues with their dinnerware. I have found it stains easily and is generally too large. I have become really aware of portion control and find chains that cater to the latest fads have much larger than normal sizes.

              2. re: Pupster

                The more I think about it, if space/storage is a big issue for you, take a look at the Riedel O series, the stemless line of their high-quality wine glasses (made of crystal). They can easily double as water or juice glasses, if need be.
                Also, the Bodum double wall glasses, also stemless. No crystal content, but the double wall addresses body heat/wine temp issues of holding stemless glasses.
                Both are available all over town, but you can see photos on the Sur La Table website here: http://www.surlatable.com/common/prod...

                These are not cheap stemware, especially compared to Pier One and Ikea prices, but if you really enjoy wine, quality stemware really does make a noticeable difference.

              3. I'm very happy with my Villeroy and Boch everyday dishes, which are nice enough for company. They have outlets, and pretty good sales. Just make sure they aren't going to be discontinuing the pattern you choose any time in the near future - that happened with mine.

                1. i really like martha stewart glasses from kmart... i actually love them. all my glasses are from martha stewart. i've tried other brands, always break stuff, but always go back to martha

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mabziegurl

                    I, too, have some MS glasses which I love. They are great everyday glasses.

                  2. For my glassware (for water, etc.) I have Picardie glasses that came from Williams-Sonoma. I bet they are 30 years old. They come in sets of 12, and I have 3 sizes. They have gone through many moves and 6 kids. They never chip, but when one breaks, it shatters into millions of pieces. That has only happened a couple of times. I also have fine crystal stemware that I never use (remember the 6 kids?). My everyday wine glasses are from a set I bought at Macy's for about $20 for 16 (8 red wine and 8 white wine). I also have some Spiegelaus that are my "good" everyday. My everyday dishes are Fiesta. The fine china comes out at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

                    1. I have a 30-piece everyday dinnerware set from William Sonoma. The regular price is $90.00, but it's on sale on-line for $69.00. The dishes are solid restaurant quality. They're white and classic looking. Macy's always has great home sales. The Reidel stemware and Villeroy and Boch dishes go on sale every so often. Amazon.com also has great deals for those products.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rumgum

                        I also like Williams-Sonoma's Everyday Restaurant Dinnerware. It's very durable, and it won't suit your tastes if you want something delicate, but it's not clunky, and the dinner plates are not oversized. It's only sold in their catalogs and online; here's a link:


                        I am also a fan of the W-S Picardie tumblers Jane917 mentions, which are made from tempered glass and are, again, very durable, resistant to scratching and cracking, but have a nice weight and a pleasing shape. You can buy them singly from other sources, but I haven't seen better prices lately.


                      2. Since you're in NYC:

                        try bowery kitchen supply in the chelsea market (15th St & 9th Ave), not super cheap, but something for everyone.

                        the poster re: Reidel was on the money--you cam get some Reidel styles at Target. try the one on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

                        I also like Fish's Eddy for restaurant quality serveware and stems. I once got a dozen formal cordial stems for .23 each.

                        1. A few years ago I had a party for 50+ and bought two cases of 8-ounce stemmed glasses at a restaurant supply store on the Bowery. Price came to something just under a buck a stem. I liked those glasses so much, I tucked the good stuff (Reidel, Orrefors) in the back of a cabinet and use the cheapies almost exculsively--for water, soda, juice, wine, cocktails, iced tea, everything! They can go in the dishwasher without qualms and I don't care what happens to them, although I think I've only broken one in all the years I've had them. Yes, I haul out the champagne flutes, the brandy snifters, the delicate stems for one of my cellar premier crus on special occasions. But not very often. And I've never run out of glasses for a party since. I'm only sorry I didn't go this route earlier, before breaking way too many expensive glasses.

                          1. I don't have a "good set" and an "everyday set"; I have one set which serves both purposes.

                            stemware: RIEDEL

                            highballs & double old-fashioneds: TIFFANY (nice & heavy; they feel good in the hand).

                            flatware: MIKASA (these are nice & heavy too; I've had these for 10 years & they still have a nice shine).

                            dinnerware: NORITAKE and VILLEROY & BOCH. Noritake is earthenware and the V&B is fine china.

                            DH came with IKEA stuff. They're durable, but they're not "pretty" enough for me. We purchased some C&B dishes with a gift card we got when we got married; but these aren't very "pretty" either. To me, it seems like an upscale version of Ikea.

                            1. You can also try Cost Plus. They have some decent stemware

                              1. Thanks for all the posts. I think I am going to try the William-Sonoma dishware mainly because I like the really simple design. I will also go to some department stores and possibly outlet stores in the area and see what they offer in the other brands mentioned above.

                                I'm not sure about the Picardi tumblers - I can't tell if I like the way they look or if I don't.

                                I did check out the Reidel stemware at Target and what I didn't like it was that it was clearly machine made (you can feel that the drinking cup was attached to the stem with glue). I am going to do some investigation of the Spiegelau glasses. I liked the shapes of them and want to feel one in my hand before buying.

                                Thanks again for all the posts

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: brooklynmasala

                                  Pottery Barn carries the Spiegelau Vino Grande line and W-S carries Riedels -- the Sommeliers, the Vinums and Os. To see in person.

                                  1. re: brooklynmasala

                                    Williams-Sonoma shops carry the Picardie tumblers. They're sold individually, and the prices aren't as good as in the catalogue/online, but you can go and check them out in person, if you want.

                                  2. Anybody know anything about the quality of Pottery Barn Dinnerware? I'm looking specifically at the PB White Collection.

                                    1. I use the Riedel Vinum for everyday - I've seen them at Trader Joes in a four pack for about $24 (i think!). Also, Costco has an 18 pack of everyday glasses for $18. They also have some high quality crystal for a really reasonable price, too. But the bowl is too big for every day.

                                      1. What about the Waterford Marquis series? We have a set of basic red wine glasses and they are very nice but about 1/2 the price of Riedl. If you ever want a splurge, I totally recommend Simon Pearce glassware. It is very expensive ($60/glass) but I love how sturdy and beautiful they are-- handblown and each one is slightly different. We have the Hartland wine glasses (wedding gift). The Hartland goblets are a bit big. I also highly recommend their tableware. It's perfect for someone who wants nice everyday tableware, not one set of basic and one set of fine. It's dishwasher and microwave safe and has an artisan feel that you really can't find with any of the usual dept. store stuff, plus it's made here in the U.S. (as far as I know) by a family-owned company. It's not super cheap, but it's not crazy either given how versatile it is.

                                        1. Go for a classic since space is at a premium. Apilco makes lovely white dinnerware plus serving pieces, souffle dishes, etc. Sets are available but you can also buy just plates, bowl, whatever you desire and add as you need it. Simple enough for plating up carry-out but sleek enough to set a lovely table as well.
                                          Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, etc. move with trends and are likely to discontinue something. Apilco's been around well over 100 years.
                                          Picardie is similar in glassware for water and general use.
                                          For wine glasses, you should decide based on the type of entertaining you plan to do. I have a small quantity of very fine quality crystal for sit-down dinners with fine wines. And I have dozens of good quality but less expensive glasses from a restaurant supply house for cocktail parties. They are good quality and so are the wines but they ain't Reidl. I also don't worry when people take them outside to the garden or drop them.
                                          Don't forget to add some good white damask or linen napkins - not wash and wear! Flea markets have better quality at lower cost than much of what is available new. And the best quality candles.

                                          1. Several years ago, I found what appears to be pottery at a locale store. I loved the large bowl and spaghetti platter so much I bought them several at the time. One set had peaches or apricots, one set had apples, one set had plums, and one set had pairs in the bottom of each piece. They are lovely. On the bottom of the only one I kept for myself, it has MADE IN ITALY then EXCLUSIVELY in the middle and on the bottom is what appears to be a person's name, but smeared so I can't read it, all within a circle about the size of a silver dollar. I actually think there were other pieces that could be purchased such as mugs, but these were the most beautiful. If any one could help me locate this design or this pottery, I would be very grateful as the person with that item has left our city. I've looked for years to no avail. Thank you.

                                            1. Sorry for the errors in pears, etc. I am nearly blind and my mind is going at times.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: bluebonnettexas

                                                Gibson makes some great everyday dishware options. They do dinnerware, flatware and glassware as well!

                                                1. re: stevech

                                                  Target has some really good everyday dinnerware choices as well. I like their stonewares in particular.