Now Trending in Tableware
A look at the latest in dishes, glassware & beyond from two leading producers
As restaurants set their sights on the millennial market, menus aren’t the only thing getting a makeover. The look of the table itself is being transformed, as glassware, dishes, flatware, and serve ware are all being upgraded in form and function. Here, we highlight a handful of new products that represent the latest thinking.
To add to the uniqueness of the dining experience, restaurants are embracing one-of-a-kind collections like the Vesuvius range from Steelite, available in three reactive glazes. Although the sizes of the stackable platters, bowls and plates are uniform, no two designs are exactly alike.
For sit-down meals, new flatware designs that catch the eye and feel good in the hand are in, like Libbey’s recently released Master’s Gauge collection. But the buzz in the takeout and casual dining space is on new materials. Designed to replace disposable plastic utensils, the company’s lightweight Aspire EcoWare 18/0 stainless-steel flatware can either be recycled or reused.
Gin glasses are growing. Gone are the straight-sided tumblers that let the rich bouquet of botanicals escape unappreciated. Today’s gin joints use oversized bowls that concentrate the aromas. With a capacity of 21 ½ ounces, Steelite’s MCC Vintage Gin Cocktail (pictured) is massive, with plenty of room for a cocktail, ice, garnish and your nose.
Most other cocktail glasses are shrinking. Libbey has a sleek new line inspired by Art Deco and the Roaring Twenties called The Gats (short for Gatsby) that features a speakeasy-ready 9 ½ ounce rocks glass. “Capacities are getting smaller, particularly on the premium end,” says Jerry Moore, Libbey’s senior category manager, beverageware. “This is a profit opportunity, as it puts a more affordable price point on the menu.”
Glass breaks. Plastic bounces. Yet until recently, operators with outdoor seating either had to risk dangerous cleanup scenarios with real glass or lower the taste level with basic plastic tumblers—or worse, disposable cups. No more. Outdoor beer gardens can keep the sips Instagram-friendly with plastic beer cups made in the proper shapes for different beer styles. Libbey’s Infinium premium plasticware collection features goblets, pilsner glasses, schooners and mugs—along with pitchers, cocktail glasses and wine glasses. “The idea is that the guest can enjoy glassware outside that matches what they’re using inside,” Moore explains.
BUFFET & SERVE WARE
It’s all about grab-and-go dining for many young professionals, so restaurants are improving their buffet stations in both appearance and ease of use. Available in wood and metal finishes, the D.W. Haber Fusion for Buffet System from Steelite is customizable for different needs, with risers, juicers, and baskets in a variety of sizes.