Fine Bone China, China, Porcelain
Now my mother in law wants new all white dinnerware, something dishwasher safe (has fine china cycle) that can be dressed up. I was going to get Apilco Tres Grand for myself and had suggested the regular size for her, but am not sure.
What does everyone recommend?
Durable, classic(bistro-ish), white (not greyish).
What is the huge difference between them?
Whatever you get, no matter what the dishwasher says, I would not put anything in the dishwasher that doesn't specifically say "dishwasher safe" on the bottom. And in some lines, SOME pieces are and some aren't, so be careful what you're buying.
Fine bone china is pretty expensive. I work a retail job in the china department and *one* place setting for the most popular china pattern in the country (Lenox Opal Innocence) is around $70. There are of course many that are more than that, and some that are less than that. To buy "all new" can be many thousands of dollars.
There is also what we call "casual china" which might be what you want to get. Some of these more casual china patterns come in a box where you can get like 8 or 10 place settings at once, plus various acoutrements like veggie bowl, cereal bowls, etc. Mikasa makes a couple that are fairly non-descript and non-offensive, including Italian Countryside (off white, but you should check it out anyway) and Platinum Crown (white with silver flowerly type border). You can get a big box with everything in it on sale for $200 if you watch your sale flyers. Or you can buy select pieces/place settings. Denby, Mikasa, there are tons of these manufacturers. I'm not familiar with the one you mentioned but we're just a retail store, even though we have about 180 patterns, there are obviously many more.
"What does everyone recommend? Durable, classic(bistro-ish), white (not greyish)."
Sounds like what you want is restaurant-grade real bone china (yes, it actually exists):
Those are just some of the links I've tucked away over the years. My wife and I are leaning towards the Fortessa Andromeda, but new patterns come out all of the time so there's no need to rush in our opinion.
By the way, you'll save money by purchasing commercial bone china over department store bone china (marketing costs, advertising, store markup, etc.)...
re: Joe Blowe
Hello Joe: I see you made a comment on Chowhound about bone china back in 2008. I know it is an old post but you provided some interesting information. Now it is June 2010 and I am looking at the Williams Sonoma Apilco Tradition or the Brassiere and can't decide. You mentioned ordering the Andromeda - it looks nice but I did not see any bowls for cereal or soup. Just wondering did you ever order. How do you like and are there any new sites you have available? Thanks
I am still trying to decide between the Brasserie, Apilco Tradition and then looking at other white bone china. Itryalot did your MIL purchase the Tradition or the Tuleries. It is very confusing because they all look exactly alike. I can see no difference except price and have tried comparing the two on line but can't find any reviews. I am hoping they will go on sale soon. I have watched the William Sonoma dinnerware for months and I think it was mentioned to me that they go on sale in October at around 20% off.
Has anyone come up with newer wholesale sites -- a few links are out of. date
I have had Apilco china for years, and it has been great, but recently we bought some Revol, which is also French porcelain, and I have to say that I think it is much more elegant and finer looking. It is completely dishwasher safe. You can get it at Sur La Table, in stores or on line...
For daily use, we use porcelain from Williams Sonoma's Brasserie line (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...). It is heavy, and although we've dropped the pieces regularly, nothing has broken. It's also safe for use under the broiler.
Now that I've read the other replies, I almost regret not searching further into restaurant suppliers when I was registering for my wedding last year, for in 2004, I purchased 3 cases of Riedel for a friend at $4/stem (champagne, pinot noir, viognier). sigh
I second Wedgwood White.
I'm a great fan of Apilco for platters, oven-to-table pieces, etc. But, for dinnerware to be dressed up or down, Wedgwood is gorgeous. When you look at different china lined up in a store, you can always spot the Wedgwood patterns immediately by that beautiful white color. The shapes are also clean and timeless.