Table’s new star? The relaxed and versatile dinner bowl

Dinner menus are now crowded with mixed greens bowls, savory stews and casseroles, which can create a quandary when it’s time to set the table.

Should you use regular salad plates? (A little small.) Regular dinner plates? (A little flat.) Regular soup bowls? (A little big.)

Thus was born the dinner bowl, a plate/bowl hybrid. It’s generally the diameter of a standard dinner plate, but with some curved lip to contain all the delectable broths, juices or errant morsels.

New York-based Peter Kayaian, who is part of sweetgreens’ culinary operations team, says more restaurants have begun using dinner bowls because of their versatility.

“Almost any type of dish can go into a shallow bowl — pasta, salad, side dish. Plates aren’t cheap, so being able to have one type of plate instead of three or four is a plus for cash-strapped restaurateurs,” he says.

“It’s also just the trend for plating right now. Gone are the days of the oversize white plates with a small portion in the middle. The shallow bowl allows for some creative plating, with the tall curved rim as a good medium for swooshed sauces and purees.”

Craig Norton, director of operations for the Prince George Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, also sees a move away from the standard white plate: “It’s too formal. Bowls are more relaxed.” He says pottery with earthy tones and rippled texture are more in keeping with what the dishes hold, whether that’s in restaurant dining rooms, takeaway spots or back at home.

“It’s all about the new comfort food — a fusion of cuisines. You can layer flavours, textures, cultures, leftovers and fridge contents into a culinary adventure, all in one bowl,” he says.

A bonus feature of these capacious containers is that when they’re not corralling rice, rigatoni or rocket, they make lovely dishes for bunches of grapes or a batch of fresh-baked cookies.

And there are lots of well-priced options.

Food 52 calls its smooth, snowy porcelain bowl “the lovechild of a plate and a bowl.” West Elm’s version has a slightly curvy rim, giving it an organic look. Williams-Sonoma’s has a classic black trim.

World Market offers a set of four pristine white porcelain dishes, a deal at under $20. For those ready to try some colour, the retailer has a set of handmade stoneware dinner bowls in uber-trendy blush pink. Or for al fresco gatherings, perhaps the foursome of bamboo bowls, in a midcentury-modern palette of teal, pink, cream and blush.

British designer Aaron Probyn’s low-profile porcelain bowl plates come as sets of four, in six hand-glazed hues including navy and 2020’s hot colour, light green, at Crate & Barrel.

Another pretty colour story — this one’s midnight, daybreak, fog and moon — is at Year & Day the bowls are made of hardy Portuguese clay and can handle the freezer, oven, microwave and dishwasher.

Stoneware in earthy hues with a nice speckled finish can be found at Target, from Project 62.

At Food 52, there’s the Caractere collection of French porcelain plates in rustic white, turmeric or moss, created in collaboration with designer Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance. Also at this retailer, you’ll find terracotta and white bowls from Fortessa, in a user-friendly melamine that looks like stoneware

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

A firetruck sits in front of a home on Harvey Close in Red Deer Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to Red Deer fire

Red Deer firefighters responded to a blaze in the north part of… Continue reading

(Courtesy photo)
Red Deer rental prices drop slightly

Renting an apartment in Red Deer became slightly cheaper last month. Rentals.ca… Continue reading

Rylee Trippel was last seen Friday. (Photo contributed by RCMP)
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing teen

Police are looking for a teen who was last seen in the… Continue reading

The Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60,000 in 2020. (Photo courtesy Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Facebook)
Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60K in 2020

The executive director of the Red Deer Outreach Centre says she is… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

RCMP say missing teen Hope Tivendale has been found. (File photo by Advocate staff)
No foul play suspected after burned body of homeless person found in North Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person,… Continue reading

The central zone experienced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases Thursday, rising from 454 to 508 active cases over the past 24 hours, with 10 people in hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Spartan Bioscience says Health Canada has approved its rapid COVID-19 test

TORONTO — An Ottawa company says it’s received approval from Health Canada… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole defends decision to back, then oust, Sloan

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he was once willing to… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault pauses as he speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Non-essential travel ban would violate Constitution but courts might allow it: expert

MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19… Continue reading

A woman walks outside the Roberta Place Long Term Care home in Barrie, Ont. on Monday, January 18, 2021. The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in Canada has underscored the need for increased public funding for home care, advocates say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates

VANCOUVER — The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in… Continue reading

A Chinese flag is illuminated by sunshine in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, September 22, 2016. China is threatening retaliation against Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned a new security law giving Beijing more control over Hong Kong.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Diplomats contact Canadian held for over 2 years in China

BEIJING — Canadian officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig,… Continue reading

Marc Gold (centre) stands with senators André Pratte (left) and Peter Harder before being sworn in during a ceremony in the Senate on Parliament Hill, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Senator urges study of vexing barriers to using secret information in court cases

OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg ticket holder wins Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — A ticket holder from Winnipeg won Friday night’s whopping $60… Continue reading

Most Read