The first state dinner of a new administration always attracts a lot of attention and sets the bar for how the president and first lady approach entertaining, said Anita McBride, who worked for three presidents and was chief of staff to Laura Bush when she was first lady.

When I first moved to New York City years ago, I found a red dinnerware set at a thrift store that I thought would do just the trick at my new place (and fit my tiny, just-graduated-from-college budget). I owned that set for years (minus one bowl that an old roommate broke), and many, many chips and cracks later, it was time for an upgrade. I was in search of a set of white dinner plates that would fit my clean, minimal aesthetic but would also withstand some serious use, as cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. Enter the Made In Black Rim Dinner Plates.

Ahead, I share how this plate set from Made In totally leveled up my tablescape, why the plates are great for serious at-home cooks, and why they’re worth the price. What I Like About the Made In Black Rim Dinner Plates

When I took the Made In Dinner Plates out of the box, I was immediately impressed by two things: the quality and the appearance. The four-piece set is heavy-duty yet sleek and minimal in design. I opted for the design with a black rim because it complements the rest of my kitchen. The plates are restaurant quality and made in England, and they promise a one-year no-chip guarantee. While you have to worry about some white plates becoming discolored, this set is stain resistant.

What’s unique about this dinner set is it’s oven safe up to 580°F thanks to the glossy finish, which you don’t often see with tableware. You can also pop these in the microwave and dishwasher without worry. The Made In Dinner Plates look good on my table, but they’re also super functional. As someone who loves to cook, this is an absolute must.

What’s Worth Noting About the Made In Black Rim Dinner Plates

This set of Made In plates is perfect for my household, which consists of just me and my partner. We occasionally host friends for dinner, but at most there are usually only four people present, meaning this set has just the right number of plates in it. If you’re a family of five or more, you’ll need to get an additional set. That’s important to note given that one set costs $99.Who the Made In Black Rim Dinner Plates Are Best For

The Made In Dinner Plates are perfect for anyone looking to upgrade their tableware to a sleek yet functional set of plates. If you’re a household of four or fewer, it will meet your needs perfectly, providing you with plates that can be used for both fancy dinner parties and everyday meals. The set is $99, but it’s well worth the price because of its high quality. I don’t doubt that these plates will last me years. Additional Details They’re made of porcelain. They come in four color options: plain white, white with a black rim, white with a red rim, and white with a navy rim. The plates are dishwasher and microwave safe. They can withstand a temperature of 580°F.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jessica Harrington

Music in CT: The 8 most anticipated concerts of 2023

Conn. (WTNH) — A new year means a new concert season, and while hundreds of shows are yet to be announced, there’s still a handful of hot gigs on the agenda.

Which big-name acts are coming to the state, and where can you see them?

Here are the eight most anticipated gigs of 2023 (so far): Carrie Underwood | February 11: Mohegan Sun Arena, UncasvilleCarrie Underwood performs onstage during the 2022 BMI Country Awards at BMI on in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for BMI)

The “Before He Cheats” singer will stop at Mohegan Sun on her Denim & Rhinestones Tour this February in support of her album of the same name. The country icon, who catapulted into success after her American Idol wins in, is best known for tracks like “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “Cowboy Cassanova,” becoming the most awarded artist in the history of the CMT Music Awards. Journey Hartford

The journey is bringing back the hits of the ’70s when the rockers take on Hartford’s XL Center. Throughout their career, spanning 50 years, the group has gone on to release 15 albums, becoming one of the most recognizable rock bands of all time with commercial, timeless hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” and “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).”Bruce Springsteen | March 12: Mohegan Sun Arena, UncasvilleTAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 01: Musician Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform at the Bridgestone halftime show during Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers on February 1, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Boss is heading to Connecticut with his backing group the E Street Band following his 21st studio record Only the Strong Survive, which dropped last year. As one of the world’s best-selling artists, he’s racked up 20 Grammy Awards, and two Golden Globes, and was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans can reminisce and sing along to tracks like “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” and “Tunnel of Love.”The Killers | March 17: Mohegan Sun Arena, UncasvilleMusician with the band The Killers Brandon Flowers performs before President Barack Obama speaks at the National Clean Energy Summit at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“Mr. Brightside” will be echoing off the walls of Mohegan Sun Arena when the Brandon Flowers-led rock band takes the stage. Formed in the early 2000s, The Killers bring a different energy to the scene, grouped between genres like indie rock and dance-pop with feel-good tunes like “When You Were Young” and “Somebody Told Me.” In 2022, they returned with the single “Boy.”Kenny Chesney | April 6: Mohegan Sun Arena, UncasvilleFILE – In this April 3, 2016, file photo, Kenny Chesney performs at the 4th Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eric Jamison/Invision/AP, File)

Country icon Kenny Chesney has been taking over the genre since the ’80s, regularly selling out venues across the globe. He steals fans’ hearts with good vibes and cheeky lyrics, performing staple hits like “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” and “Beer in Mexico.”Lizzo | May 6: XL Center, HartfordLizzo performs on stage at State Farm Arena, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Atlanta. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP)

The popstar the world needed emerged in ; Lizzo, whose debut and sophomore albums had flown under the radar, gained success with a sleeper hit — the 2017 single “Truth Hurts” — two years after its initial release. With relatable lyrics and powerhouse vocals, Lizzo made noise in the scene, becoming one of the most talked-about modern artists. When she stops in Hartford, fans can expect to jam to “Good as Hell,” “Juice,” and her latest track, “About Damn Time.”Goo Goo Dolls & O.A.R. | August 13: Hartford Healthcare Amphitheatre, BridgeportLead guitarist and vocalist Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls performs during a concert at the Xfinity Center on, in Mansfield, Mass. (Photo by Robert E. Klein/Invision/AP)

The Goo Goo Dolls, most easily recognizable for their 1998 smash-hit “Iris,” went quadruple-platinum with their successful record Dizzy Up the Girl, which also featured “Slide” and “Black Balloon.” Their alt-rock sound has remained consistent as they released 14 albums, including their most recent, 2022’s Chaos in Bloom. Foreigner | September 1: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville band, Foreigner, performs the national anthem before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Connecticut fans have one last shot to see the rockers of Foreigner in the state. The iconic British ’70s band found immediate success with their debut self-titled record, bringing the British Invasion to the U.S. with “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold As Ice.” After an incredibly successful nearly 50-year run, they’re wrapping up their career with a farewell tour.

Stay tuned to see more artists stopping in Connecticut, featured every week on Music in Connecticut.


President Biden’s first White House state dinner will have a red, white, and blue theme

WASHINGTON — Butter-poached Maine lobster, beef with shallot marmalade, and an American cheese trio will be served when French President Emmanuel Macron takes his seat Thursday as the guest of honor at a red-white-and-blue themed White House state dinner, the first for President Joe Biden.

Dessert will be orange chiffon cake, roasted pears, and creme fraiche ice cream.


Everything from the menu to the entertainment to the table settings and other touches for the glitzy dinner was designed by the White House — and first lady Jill Biden — to highlight the ties that bind America and its oldest ally, France.

A state dinner is a high diplomatic honor that the United States reserves for its closest allies.


“The design of this dinner was inspired by the shared colors of our flags, red white, and blue, and our common values, liberty and democracy, equality and fellowship,” Biden said. “These form the bedrock upon which our enduring friendship was built.”

The first lady said she was handling the dinner the way that her mother handled family dinners when she was growing up. Her mother brought out the china, and fresh flowers and lit candles “even if we were only having fish sticks from the freezer.”

“I learned that setting a table can be an act of love,” she said, before journalists were permitted to see the tablescapes for the dinner, which is part of a broader state visit to the United States by Macron and his wife, Brigittte. Macron landed in the U.S. on Tuesday night.

Biden said the first White House state dinner since 2019 will be “an expression of welcome and friendship, a way to connect through a language that transcends words.” She did not take questions from reporters and left the preview room after her brief remarks.

White House social secretary Carlos Elizondo, who has worked for the Bidens for more than a decade, said “making people feel comfortable and at home” matters most to the couple.

The glitzy, black-tie dinner party will be held in a heated pavilion on the South Lawn with an expected 300 or so guests. They will be seated at a mix of square and rectangular tables, covered with dark blue silk cloths and decorated with red candles and arrangements of red, white, and blue flowers, including roses and irises, the official flower of France.

China from the White House collection will not be used since it is not allowed outside of the executive mansion. Guests will dine on outside tableware.

An image of the Statue of Liberty, a gift to the U.S. from France in the 1800s, will be the backdrop for toasts by the presidents. American sparkling wine poured into silver French champagne vessels will be served for the toasts.


White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford reserved a special shout-out for Maine’s lobster workers.

“They had to ship 200 live lobsters to us yesterday morning,” she said.

Oceana, an international advocacy group focused on ocean conservation, objected to the use of Maine lobster, which recently was declared unsustainable by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and the Marine Stewardship Council. The sustainability organizations cited concerns about risks to rare North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear. Entanglement in gear is one of the biggest threats to the whales.

Dinner guests, who typically are supporters and friends of both presidents, government officials, business people and some celebrities, will have the added bonus of arriving at a White House that has been decked out for the holidays with Christmas trees, wreaths, and garland. Trolley cars will ride them down to the see-through pavilion on the South Lawn.

Music will be provided by Jon Batiste, a Grammy Award-winning New Orleans native who most recently was bandleader and musical director of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Joining Batiste will be his father, Michael Batiste, the U.S. Marine Band, and the Army and Air Force Strolling Strings.

The event was produced with help from Fete, an event planning company based in New York City.


Jill Biden recalled that, when she flew to Japan to support Team USA in the Olympics, she ended up cheering alongside Macron during a three-on-three basketball game. Although they were rooting for opposing teams, “there was a comradery that we shared,” she said.

With the state dinner, she said “our hope is that the end result will be a night that balances the beauty of our friendship with a seriousness of purpose, and we hope that French citizens everywhere feel the warmth of our welcome.”

Wednesday night, the Bidens and the Macrons dined at Fiola Mare, an Italian seafood restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront.

Thursday’s dinner, the first in three years, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not be a new experience for Macron. The French president was invited to the U.S. on a state visit by then-President Donald Trump in 2018.

Trump and his wife, Melania, took Macron and his wife on a ride over Washington — a city designed by Frenchman Pierre L’Enfant — and the Potomac River to Mount Vernon, the estate of George Washington, America’s first president. Macron was also recognized at a state dinner.

The first state dinner of a new administration always attracts a lot of attention and sets the bar for how the president and first lady approach entertaining, said Anita McBride, who worked for three presidents and was chief of staff to Laura Bush when she was first lady.


“In terms of the public, the most visible event that any chinet classic white 10 3 8 dinner plates 165 ct House or any president and first lady could have entertaining on the global stage that is the White House, this is it,” McBride said.

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