Looking for Good Quality Flatware with Extra Spoons and Forks
I'm in the market for new stainless flatware after a fire damaged my old set, which is no longer sold (the pattern is still out there, but not in the quantities we bought it in). I'm not finding anything quite like it so far... I wonder if some of you could recommend something that would work for me? My requirements:
1) Can serve a big crowd, say 15-20 people, for basic meals that call for a spoon and/or a fork. Sets that are service for 12 with 12 extra teaspoons and 12 extra salad forks will work well as long as the salad forks are on the big side. (I think 7" would be big enough?) Patterns with affordable open stock or sets of spoons or forks could be another good option.
2) Simple but classic pattern. I've attached a picture of our old pattern, which was just right. (Wallace Royal Thread, if you're curious.)
3) Will last a long time -- I figure I need 18/10 stainless so they don't rust, but I also know that the quality of 18/10 still varies pretty widely. I have used Wallace flatware in the past, and this held up well for the 3 years we owned it, but I have no idea how long it takes for flatware to deteriorate.
As a side note, I'm very confused about Wallace's stainless quality because I often see a pattern sold as 18/10 at some stores and 18/0 at others. Is one store misrepresenting it, or does Wallace make multiple grades for a single pattern?
Anyway, I am not loyal to Wallace and am prepared to get something a little nicer than what we had, just as long as requirement #4 is met. :-)
4) Won't break the bank. I'd prefer to stay under $200 for flatware + steak knives. (Is this even a realistic budget?)
Superior Products restaurant supply has a pattern that looks similar to the Wallace and you can buy each piece by the dozen. Take a look on
www.superprod.com and look at the Radianz pattern. It is an 18/0, but I have been using it at home for over 2 years now without any rusting issues. There is also an 18/8 version of Radianz available if you prefer.
I'd definitely go to a restaurant supply place for steak knives. They never match the rest anyway. I got a dozen of those big wood handled ones you get in steak houses and they were like $15 for a dozen. As for patterns from places like PB and WS, they change out fairly often. So in my experience it has been far better to go with a brand like Reed and Barton or Wallace and pick a "classic." It is a total bummer to go into a place like WS to replace the teaspoon the DW ate only to have them tell you they discontinued your pattern a year ago. (Actually, they won't tell you that; they'll just try to push the stuff they sell this year.)
For the flatware, DH and I received a lovely set from macy's by Henckels. Tha pattern in Opus and it is very nice. Service for 8 is usually about $99 but I've seen it on sale for $79 and Macy's always has coupons. Henckels has several very nice patterns and you can get sets for 12 in 18/10 stainless for less than $100.