Comfort Food’s New Appearance On Fine Dinnerware

Tabletop design from H. Weiss Company

Who doesn’t love comfort food? It’s warm and delicious and usually cheesy. But as the world changes, so does our culture, and our definition of comfort food. The culinary world is changing and one of the most important aspects your customers are looking for now is comfort. When was the last time you went out to dinner and had to really dress up? I mean really dress up. The whole feeling of being able to put on a cashmere sweater and pair of jeans and still get a four star meal.

Liz Weiss
Liz Weiss

This level of comfort really begins with the tabletop design. When you sit down and there is a flip-top water bottle, it’s comfortable and it’s literally comfortable in your hands. It provides a very earthy and relatable kind of feel. This is sweeping all over the culinary world and people love it.

It doesn’t just stop there either, this is a huge trend and it is transforming culinary experiences for thousands. First things first, the menus are changing; you are going to see menu items that can be categorized as comfort food. The thing is that comfort food is also changing and luckily for us for the healthier. For example I went to Village Social and wanted to order the vegetarian option and it was a pasta dish. The pasta was made with zucchini and grain; it provided me with the comfort of pasta but with a healthy twist. The pasta was served in a bowl and even if you served it in a white bowl it is more substantial than using a finer bowl. Everything here is about the feeling of comfort.

The next thing to consider for comfortable table wear is do you want the expensive tablecloth. If you are starting new having a nice wooden table would provide that earthy comfortable feel you are looking for. If you are an existing restaurant and you already have cheap Formica tabletop you are just going to have to work with it. You may sit there and say, “I am going to put a paper topper over the top that gives the appearance of something a bit more rustic. You always have to remember that your goal here is to shoot for comfort. After you have figured out your perfect table you move on to your tabletop presentation.

Brands like Steelite and Cardinal are embracing these new trends of comfort with their new lines Craft and Geode. These two companies understand the demands of the industry and have created these beautiful plates designed for presenting comfort food.

Arc Cardinal’s new line Geode is clean and simple with handmade touches. The new product line was designed by Jono Pandolfi and is inspired by the Greek Geode definition “shape of the earth”. The Geode collection provides chefs with a blank canvas on its perfectly imperfect smooth glazed plates. The plates boast the comfort and aesthetics of the artisanal look with industrial strength.

National Restaurant Association Show Jan 2019 728×90

Steelite’s new Craft series holds a similar vibe but is completely different in aesthetic. In one word the new Craft series can be personified as rustic. It’s subtle and perfectly imperfect with its charming rustic vibe. Inspired by hand-crafted, simple country wares made by generations of potters over hundreds of years. Steelite’s Craft series embodies the range of rich, lustrous glazed applied by hand, and celebrates the different reaction which occur in the kiln. The glazes give off an almost gem like effect that are married to simple forms and shapes that produce a unique and beautiful appearance.

White is not the new white this year; the new trends that are coming have this homemade urban vibe to them with reactive glazes. It’s a look of comfort that makes you feel at home. These new trends in tabletop ware and the new trends in comfort food are a perfect match.

Liz Weiss
Liz Weiss is the President and co-owner of Armonk, NY based H. Weiss Co., a division of BHS Foodservice Solutions. She is known nationally as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on tabletop design. The Michigan State graduate is also actively involved with WPO-Women’s Presidents Organization. Comments may be sent to