Crate and Barrel Plates
May 22, 2005 2:51 PM   Subscribe

We are considering buying Martinique Yellow dinnerware from Crate and Barrel. Some friends told us that they were less than impressed with the durability of Crate and Barrel plates. Obviously, the quality will differ from product to product, but if you have Crate and Barrel dinnerware, please tell me what you think about the quality.
posted by Mayor Curley to Shopping (18 answers total)
Mine are good. C&B buy their stuff, as far as I know, from other people who make it; so it will almost certainly vary from plate to plate. Plus it's affordable.
posted by josh at 2:52 PM on May 22, 2005

I forgot this part (sorry and thanks, josh):

How long have you had your plates?
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:03 PM on May 22, 2005

I recommend the standard buffet plates from Williams Sonoma...they are oven, microwave, grill, and dishwasher safe...not to mention sophisticatedly understated. I've have mine for 10 years and couldn't be more pleased.
posted by dagnyduquette at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2005

I have had the red C&B plates and bowls since November and they have been fine. I wash them in the dishwasher.
posted by matildaben at 4:01 PM on May 22, 2005

Anecdotal thumbs-down:
We have some friends who received these C&B plates for their wedding, and in the year or so that they have had them, they have broken an inordinately large # of them. They are not slobs either; they are generally neat, careful people.
posted by misterbrandt at 4:19 PM on May 22, 2005

Crate & Barrel plates are, for the most part, rather good quality, and certainly as good as any you'll find in other similar department stores. But when choosing dinnerware, the medium is more important than the source. My guess is that your friends who complained about C&B dinnerware's durability got earthenware or stoneware. No matter the source, stoneware and earthenware will chip a lot unless you treat it with kid gloves.

Color is another consideration -- when your plates are white, they might chip but it'll be a lot less noticeable. With earthenware, when the plate chips, it's the color that comes off, with white underneath, and it's a lot more obvious.

I always suggest that if durability is any kind of a consideration (and why shouldn't it be?), that you choose porcelain or china plates. They'll hold up a lot longer and will take more abuse. Also a consideration -- frequently stoneware or earthenware feels light in the hands, and that's because they just aren't as dense as porcelain or china. When you're handing someone a plate at the table, they'll notice the difference. Whether it matters is personal opinion.

I've had the Maison (porcelian) C&B plates for two years. They've survived lots of dinner parties and tons of everyday use, as well as two apartment changes. Only have one (tiny) chip so far, and unlike Misterbrandt's unslobbish newlyweds, I'm not exactly careful about such things.
posted by incessant at 4:31 PM on May 22, 2005

While I like earthenware (and generally think Crate and Barrel is pretty good), you might consider stoneware or (better) porcelain instead. Definitely more expensive, but earthenwares are porous and therefore not as strong as stonewares and porcelains. Which means you'll see scratches on earthenware plates long before porcelain shows any wear.

On preview: what incessant said.
posted by WestCoaster at 4:38 PM on May 22, 2005

I've had C&B dinnerware (Pagnossin ironstone in off-white and celadon green) for about 8 years and found them to be good, solid everyday ware. I've chipped a couple bowls and teacups over the years, but other than that they've held up fine. I will say, however, that the glaze seems a little uneven -- the glaze has crackled and darkened slightly for most of the salad plates and about half of the soup bowls. It doesn't affect their usefulness, of course, but they don't look quite as nice as they used to. Other than that, though, I have no complaints.
posted by scody at 4:38 PM on May 22, 2005

We got the same plates that misterbrandt linked to for our wedding a year ago. We haven't had any breaks and have really liked them.
posted by gaspode at 5:04 PM on May 22, 2005

We have Crate and Barrel stoneware (Gallery plates and bowls in clover) and smaller plates, bowls, and coffee mugs in something that I think is porcelain, which I can't find on their site, even in the discontinued patterns.

Overall, I'd say the stoneware has been more easily scratched (especially when dragging one out of a tall, heavy stack, and only in the finish -- not through the color, and only visible on close inspection), but we've only broken the porcelain... two plates worth.

They've both made excellent everyday-ware, and have survived through both two moves and frequent use by clumsy owners. We also have incredibly heavy silverware (also C&B -- those are the serving pieces), and that's never caused a problem.

We have also found their return policy to be quite lenient, particularly when we mentioned that we were registered there. We even returned a broken glass beer mug after a year or so of use, without a problem.
posted by iscatter at 5:12 PM on May 22, 2005

I've had the "Staxx" plates (heavy white porcelain) for a year. Neither my roommate or I are especially gentle with them, but I don't think they've even chipped.
posted by Utilitaritron at 6:28 PM on May 22, 2005

My wife and I have had a set of heavy-ass white porcelain plates/bowls/mugs from C&B for 3 or so years now with no breakage problems. We're quite happy with them. I believe they are called Cafeware II or something like that (they look similar to the Staxx linked above), though the seem to have been discontinued...
posted by sad_otter at 7:30 PM on May 22, 2005

We've been using our C&B earthenware set for the past 8 years (pieces of which I just saw at Marshalls, btw - not sure how to feel about that). A few plates are chipped on the edges, a few have cracked glazes, and we've broken about 3 teacups. This damage seems par for the course considering how well we treat our dinnerware, which includes loading the dishwasher like one of those overstuffed clown cars. I'm perfectly happy with the set, although it's showing some wear, but then, I grew up with promotional dinnerware my parents got, piece by piece, from the A&P, so I'm easy to please.
posted by bibliowench at 7:28 AM on May 23, 2005

FWIW, we have these, in almost the same yellow color, from Pottery Barn. We've had them for about a year. They haven't chipped, faded, or anything else.
posted by poppo at 7:59 AM on May 23, 2005

I've had the Roulette Blue porcelainware for almost three years now, and am perfectly satisfied. One plate got chipped, but that was because I was a moron while I was washing dishes.
posted by Vidiot at 9:54 AM on May 23, 2005

(Plus it's made in Portugal, and I swear I think of Migs every time I do the dishes.)
posted by Vidiot at 9:55 AM on May 23, 2005

My wife and I somehow wound up with two separate sets of C&B dinnerware, one porcelain (we've had it two or three years) and one stoneware (not sure how long). I managed to break one piece of the stoneware set (fortunately, we were able to replace it—my wife loves that set); otherwise, no problem. The porcelain set in particular seems indestructible.
posted by languagehat at 11:45 AM on May 23, 2005

We received the Crate and Barrel white porcelain buffet plates (along with small plates, bowls, etc) as a wedding gift last June and have been using them on a daily basis without incident (except for one I dropped, which just barely chipped on the side). Though I can't speak as to the other lines they carry, I agree with the previous poster that the porcelain set is virtually indestructible; we're really happy with them!
posted by roundrock at 5:01 PM on May 27, 2005

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