Serving Dishes

The most helpful serving pieces for your table

Great food deserves great presentation. Whether it's a meal or munchies, when you've worked hard to prepare food for your family or guests, you want it to look as well as taste great, and having the right serving dish is the best way to make that happen.

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Some of the most popular and elegant serving dishes are designed for the grand presentation of a main dish on the dinner table, such as a turkey or roast. This kind of serving dish is meant to make a big impression, so it should be beautiful without taking any of the attention away from the most important thing -- the food on it.

Other serving dishes, like serving bowls, are meant more to be accents for your table setting, the way the side dishes they hold are meant to be accents for the main dish.

The designs you choose for your serving dishes can reflect your personal style, but they should also help set the atmosphere you want for the meal -- gleaming sterling silver platters set a much different tone than hand-painted, brightly colored ceramic ones.

Sectioned Serving Pieces

A serving dish with sections is a really visually appealing way to serve a wide variety of snacks and appetizers. Some serving dishes for snacks are sectioned off like a fancy TV-dinner tray, while others have a central section surrounded by others, a design that is ideal for appetizers accompanied by a sauce or dip.

An alternative to fully sectional serving trays is an open platter with an attached dipping bowl in the center, like a teacup with a very oversized saucer.

Non-Traditional Serving Trays

Other kitchen items can also serve very well as attractive serving trays. Some options you may want to consider include:

  • Cutting boards. A beautiful end-grain or bamboo cutting board is the perfect way to present a cheese and cracker assortment, or bruschetta fresh from the oven.
  • Cookware. A clay or stone casserole dish gives a natural, earthy feel to the serving of anything from chips to cheesecake.
  • Pizza Trays. If it's clean, shiny, silver and round, a pizza tray can be a simple yet classy choice of serving tray for many foods besides pizza.