Whether you are building a custom home or planning on building one someday soon in Cincinnati, chances are you’ve thought quite a bit about what you’d like your kitchen to include. From amazing custom cabinetry to state-of-the-art appliances, the sky really is the limit when it comes to creating an amazing kitchen. We just have one word of advice: don’t forget about cookware and dinnerware.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned chef who knows the difference between a truffle and truffles, or if you consider pizza by candlelight fine dining – everyone can appreciate high quality cookware and gorgeous table settings. Not only do the best pots and pans last forever – they get better the more you use them. And a set of beautiful dishes can make every meal special.
What to look for when buying cookware
Now that you’ve built a home that your family will enjoy for generations, it’s a good time to invest in cookware that will last. Think grandma’s cast iron skillet – not the pan sheet you bought at Kroger to bake a batch of cookies.
First, choose cookware made from metals with the best heat conductivity. Copper cookware, for example, will conduct heat and cook food more evenly than stainless steel. Copper will also react to temperature quickest, so when you take a delicate butter or cream sauce off the stove, you won’t have to worry about it overcooking and separating.
Of course, we also recommend choosing cookware that you can afford. Copper tends to be the most expensive, while aluminum, cast iron and stainless-steel cookware is more affordable. It’s worth noting that copper can be less durable and requires polishing, and cast iron needs regular maintenance as well.
Another consideration is reactivity. Aluminum can react to foods that are high in acid, like tomatoes. This means that food cooked in aluminum cookware can absorb the metal.
What to look for when buying dinnerware
A little planning goes a long way when purchasing dinnerware. First, you’ll want to think about how many people are in your household, and how often you have guests. While a service for 12 is pretty standard, you may want to choose sets of eight, or even six, if you don’t entertain.
We also recommend taking your time and shopping around before settling on dinnerware. Since you’ll be using plates, bowls and other parts of the set on a daily basis, make sure it reflects your signature style and compliments the look of your home.
And if you do entertain quite a bit, we suggest having two dinnerware sets – one for everyday use that is durable, microwave and dishwasher safe. And other that may be more ornate, formal and delicate. (Note: if you’ve ever planned a bridal registry and picked out your China pattern, you’re familiar with this suggestion).
Five places to buy cookware and dinnerware in Cincinnati
Cincinnati is a no doubt a foodie town, and where there are foodies, there are also great shops for food lovers and home chefs. Here are our top five places to buy cookware and dinnerware in Cincinnati.
Williams Sonoma is a classic go-to, and for good reason. You’ll find top-of-the line cookware and dinnerware here, as well as beautiful stemware, kitchen accessories and bakeware. Located in Kenwood Towne Center, Williams-Sonoma also offers some very popular cooking classes throughout the year.
Sur la Table
Like Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table at Rookwood Commons & Pavilion features a great selection of tableware, bakeware and stemware. They also sell lots of unique kitchen accessories (dog lovers: check out their collection of cookie cutters for different breeds). Pro tip: they also sharpen knives. The first sharpen is free, then the rest are just $5 per knife.
If you’re looking for gorgeous dinnerware sets designed by local artists and made right here in Cincinnati, you’ll find it at Rookwood Pottery. There’s something special about owning something by Rookwood, a company that has an important place in Cincinnati history.
Rookwood sells a limited number of plates, platters and drinkware throughout the year, so you’ll always get dishes that are unable to be duplicated. They’re a perfect addition your one-of-a-kind custom home.
Artichoke Curated Cookware Collection
Another great local shop for experienced and not-so-experienced cooks is Artichoke Curated Cookware Collection, located at Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine. Opened in 2016 by Brad and Karen Hughes, this fabulous store features cookware made locally, as well as unique items for the kitchen that you won’t find anywhere else.
We’re lucky to have an IKEA location, located just north of Cincinnati in West Chester. Of course, you’re not going to find a China set that will be in your family for generations, but you will find great, affordable every day dinnerware sets, stemware and even good quality cookware.
Visit IKEA to pick up extra wine glasses, simple white dishware, as well as inexpensive kitchen items like cotton hand towels.
Need more help planning your custom home? Take a look at our recent articles for tips and suggestions or connect with the team at Classic Living Homes.