November 18, 2007

Oddities of the Klee Brasserie.

At the Klee Brasserie, they served the bread like Scrabble tiles:

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And the cup of black coffee came on a tray with these items:

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Presumably, the shot of water is for cooling the drink.

13 comments:

Pastafarian said...

Ms. Althouse is a good photographer.

rhhardin said...

Looks like Pullman Dining Car flatware.

John Burgess said...

Ann: No, the glass of water is for clearing the palate. It's standard practice in Europe and the Middle East.

Galvanized said...

The presentation seems rather avant-garde and minimalist, doesn't it? It does more for the artistic eye than for the seasoned palate.

Blake said...

"What do you mean, there's no ice? You mean I have to drink this coffee hot?"
--random irate customer from Clerks

rcocean said...

Its sad that someone vandalized your photograph of a cleared table by putting objects on it.

former law student said...

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.

former law student said...

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.

Karl said...

JM also has a small outpost in the NBC Tower. Not as full service as the Southport location, but a bit more accessible.

-kd

Ann Althouse said...

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.

Palladian said...

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.

John Burgess said...

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.

chelseagurl said...

ahh, Klee. they are a very clever restaurant actually. it's my favorite -- every time you go you see something unique, subtle but smart.