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Ms. Althouse is a good photographer.
Looks like Pullman Dining Car flatware.
Ann: No, the glass of water is for clearing the palate. It's standard practice in Europe and the Middle East.
The presentation seems rather avant-garde and minimalist, doesn't it? It does more for the artistic eye than for the seasoned palate.
"What do you mean, there's no ice? You mean I have to drink this coffee hot?"--random irate customer from Clerks
Its sad that someone vandalized your photograph of a cleared table by putting objects on it.
The glass of fresh, cold, tapwater is Viennese style. Vienna was the gateway of the Muslims' coffee to the West. The water can be drunk either with or after the coffee. According to de.wikip, the original purpose of the glass of water, once thought lost to history, was to afford the nobility a decent way to handle the dripping spoon. Laying it on the clean saucer, or even worse, licking the drops off the spoon, would be crass and crude. Instead the used spoon was set in the glass of water. Vienna is also the origin of the croissant and other viennoiserie; the croissant commemmorates the Muslim crescent. The Turkish invasion of Europe was stopped near Vienna by forces led by King John Sobiesk of Poland, without whom we'd all be speaking Turkish today.
BTW Ann: if you want to have a real Viennese coffeehouse experience closer to Madison, you can go to the Julius Meinl outpost in Chicago, off the Ravenswood L. The Meinlkaffee trademark is a stylized Arab, much like the Hills Brothers guys.
JM also has a small outpost in the NBC Tower. Not as full service as the Southport location, but a bit more accessible.-kd
Yes, it is a Viennese restaurant. I didn't see it as drinking water because I also had a glass of water on the table (and it's a weirdly small glass, like a shot glass). I think the spoon theory sounds good, especially since there is no saucer.
Points to the Klee Brasserie for having the nerve to use expensive, somewhat fragile double-walled glass tumblers in a restaurant. Those are great glasses, borosilicate (which is the same kind of glass as Pyrex lab glass) which means it's stronger and can handle high heat and temperature shocks without cracking.I love Viennese cafes and coffee styles.
Interesting point about using the glass to hold a spoon.But that doesn't address the fact that Turkish, Greek, or Arabic coffees (which are never stirred and have the sugar, if any, added during the brewing) also come with small glasses of water.I guess it depends on which influence the restauranteurs seek to follow.
ahh, Klee. they are a very clever restaurant actually. it's my favorite -- every time you go you see something unique, subtle but smart.
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