The latest dinner trend: dishes to leave behind

Peak season in Southwest Florida means our social calendars are full.

There’s nothing better than an evening of friendship, food and pleasant conversation. When potlucks end for the night, however, there is often uncertainty between guests and host.

What should happen to the bowl, platter or platter you used to bring your signature dish to the party?

The answer – leave him!

This season’s favorite dinner party trend is tableware to leave behind – casseroles, serving trays, trays, charcuterie boards, carafe sets, fruit or salad bowls, ramekins, sauce boats, mix and match cocktail glasses, and more. Guests can make their homemade meatballs, potato salad, seven-layer dip, or other delicacies at home, then present the food—dish and all—to the party host. Together with a bottle of wine, flowers or scented candles, the tableware can be considered part of the gift for the party host.

It’s easy to see why leave-on dishes are all the rage:

  • To clean: Hosts don’t have to worry about cleaning up before guests leave. Post-party cleanup can be as simple as putting the lid back on a dish and placing leftovers in the fridge.
  • Gifts : When the party is over, guests can thank the host and leave empty-handed. They don’t need to scrape leftovers into a disposable container or wash dishes in the sink. Moreover, guests who bring unique or memorable tableware as a gift will definitely leave a good impression on their host.
  • Presentation: Professional chefs as well as home cooks understand the importance of presentation when serving a dish. Bringing food to a dinner party in an aluminum dish or plastic tray doesn’t do justice to a culinary masterpiece served in an elegant dish.
  • Unique: As well as being sturdy, the dinnerware also comes in all shapes and sizes, and many feature ornate prints and designs. Guests can take pride in bringing the most unusual or intriguing dish, bowl or platter.

New casserole dishes, serving platters and ceramic bowls can easily cost $20, $30 or more at department stores and big-box retailers. It’s a big expense considering that guests often bring a traditional party host gift and spend money buying ingredients to make the appetizer, entree, side dish, or dessert.

Guadalupe Resale Shop and thrift stores from Naples to Fort Myers offer the opportunity to find high-quality, like-new dinnerware at discounted prices. While retail stores feature shelves full of dinnerware, resale stores typically carry an eclectic mix of economical, attractive, and functional cookware and dishes.

The trend of leaving dishes is a great incentive to host a dinner party. Hosts can keep their favorite dish or two for themselves and breathe new life into leftover dishes by offering them again at the next dinner party.

AAbout the Author

Kat McNabb is the Manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop, located at 12980 Tamiami Trail N., Unit 10 in Naples. For more information and opening hours, please visit or call 239-594-2696.

Joseph K. Bennett