Currently, my husband and I, never having registered, own a small, rather girly set, of Corelle dinnerware that I purchased years ago for my own use. These plates have seen better days.The decoration has rubbed off considerably, utensil marks are apparent, and I recently shattered a plate by placing it on the counter a touch too forcefully.
I've long since changed my tastes and my needs have likewise changed considerably. As an aspiring pro chef, I'd like to go with your classic, rimmed, French Porcelain; both for everyday use AND formal occasions. As it stands, I'm leaning strongly towards either Pillivuyt or Apilco. However, I have some reservations regarding each.
Firstly, I mostly love the Apilco Traditional collection seen here:
Design wise, I enjoy the look and feel of these plates. Generally speaking, I strongly favor thinner, gently curved rims, which these have. However, I really dislike how shallow Apilco's pasta/soup dishes are; in my opinion, there's hardly much difference between these and their ordinary plates. Furthermore, Apilco does not seem to be quite as durable as Pillivuyt. I'd like to be able to place dishes under the broiler without fear.
Unfortunately, Pillivuyt seems to be difficult to find in American Stores, other than a limited selection at Williams-Sonoma and a few specialty shops. Of course, the flagship line, Sancerre, isn't carried by Williams-Sonoma, so I haven't been able to actually have a look at it in person. Furthermore, I can't seem to find any decent images online to be able to get a better grasp. The closest thing I could find in stores was the Basketweave collection seen here:
I don't plan on purchasing anything so decorative (hence why I'd like the Sancerre) but regardless, I really disliked the shape of these plates. Strictly speaking about shape, the rims seemed overly large and were virtually flat. They had a much more modern look than I'm in the market for, plus I feel as though some sauces might easily spill on to the edges.
I still would prefer to stick with Pillivuyt, both for their durability, soup/pasta dishes, and, while much less important, their shade of white. However, with such a large investment, I'd like to actually ENJOY the plates I'll be looking at everyday.
With all that being said, has anyone here actually compared the Sancerre line against something like the Apilco Traditional in person? Better still, does anyone own both? I'd really just like to know if the Sancerre is comparable in shape and form to the Apilco Tranditional, or if it follows those same flat, modern lines as the Basketweave pattern.
Also, assuming I go for the Pillivuyt, does anyone know how well the Cecil line matches the Sancerre? I'm not a fan of the Sancerre cups one bit and would prefer something more traditional.
Any help would be appreciated, Thank you. :)
How often will you really be placing dishes under the broiler? I'd make the size, shape, look, and feel your major priority.
It is remarkably difficult to find undecorated porcelain in traditional shapes (versus modernistic). Your best bet might be to get cups & saucers and pasta plates in a plain older pattern from Replacements or another china matching service, to go with Apilco or Pillivuyt plates & bread plates.
I like the thick, chunky porcelain (from China) that W-S offered about 20 years ago, but have had difficulty finding plates and pasta plate/bowls of the same size and proportions. So if you find something you like, get one or two extra to anticipate breakage.
Thank you for the reply! :)
Sadly, I DO stick my plates under the broiler semi-frequently for various dishes. I like that Pillivuyt claims it can go from freezer to broiler without any crazing or cracking; that's pretty impressive. I hope for my new dishes to last a lifetime and I'd like to go with a reputable company that will stick around a while. If Apilco just had deeper pasta/soup bowls, I think I'd be fine going with them and finding a way around the broiler issue.
I also don't mind mixing and matching porcelain, but I'd like the colors to be fairly similar. I'm a bit anal; it irks me to see off-white aside bright white, or warm vs cool. For example, the Apilco has a grayish tone while the Pillivuyt is a brighter white. That being said, I've been looking into the Revol Lipari cups/saucers. I wonder if anyone knows how well this line matches Pillivuyt's white? (I don't think my cups need to be broiler safe...ha).
By the by, I've heard great things about the lines the major stores like W-S and Pottery Barn offer. However, I've read several reviews stating that in the past few years, these same lines have gone downhill. I often see people complain that they finally broke a plate after 15 years and the replacement was no where near the same quality... but still comes with a hefty price tag. You're very lucky to have purchased these when you did; I envy you!
This is semi unrelated, but am I the only one in love with the Pillivuyt Brasserie collection? My husband thinks they're hideous, but I love that "French bistro" look. Of course, this defeats the purpose of purchasing something plain and timeless. Still, a girl can dream.