Sunday 21 November 2010

Cooking as an Act of Love
Babette's Feast at Vienna's Schleifmühlgasse

Visual Delectations
Isn't this the kind of
writing on the wall
we all love?

Chocolate Quince Tartelette
with your coffee?

I said yes to sinful gluttony -
and, oh, what rapture!

Morsel after morsel
transporting me

on the wings of a perfectly composed
rhapsody of flavours to the higher spheres
of sweet nirvana

Images and Text © by Merisi
Photographed November 2010
Spice and Books for Cooks

Schleifmühlgasse 17
4th District

"... a triumphant sunburst
of sensual and spiritual delight -
a supreme banquet
harmonizing body and soul
... "
David Denby in "Heaven on Earth" *
in the New York Magazine,
in March 1988, about the movie
"Babette's Feast" *

*) Click for the entire article
and a clip of the movie


  1. I love the idea of the store! I also like how the words on the wall come from different languages (ricotta, cashews, soba). BTW, we visited Teism, as you recommended: we had a nice time there. Thanks!

  2. Woooo ! Chocolate cake ! Yes : a sweet kind of Nirvana..
    Thank you !

  3. I would have said yes to that sinfl gluttony too.

  4. Simona:
    I am thrilled that you experienced Teaism!

    For you readers who are not from Washington, DC: Teaism is a teashop cum tiny restaurant, offering the most delicious foods: Bento boxes for breakfast, filled with tea smoked salmon, scrambled egg with fresh coriander, and naan bread with carmelized onions, for example, their ginger scones are legend, the teas of utmost quality, tisanes, I had a favorite with lavender lemon balm, if I remember correctly.

    My favorite location is the original one, close to the Starbucks at Connecticut and R Street NW, near Dupont Circle, and there the Japanese inspired upstairs room or the tables outdoors: Teasm, Washington, DC

  5. Thank you all to take the time to leave a comment,
    I appreciate each and every one!

    A wonderful week to all of you,

  6. I enjoyed the post and the film clip, especially the Blackbird (Amsel) singing in the opening scene!

  7. Dear readers,
    since I received an email asking me if I ask permission before I take pictures:
    Yes, I do, especially in small places like Babette's, out of respect. I then try to take my pictures as inconspicuously as possible, being careful not to disturb other patrons. There are times when I wished I could take "better" pictures, but I then I think it is a healthy challenge to make the best of what circumstances offer, otherwise I could specialize in studio photography and not bother with the kind of more documentary approach that I take (and love, I might add!).
    Asking does mean that there are times when one is denied the opportunity to take pictures, but it has rarely happened and I always understood why I was asked to refrain, not least because I have myself seen how easily some people steal your work and your ideas. I am forever grateful that so many Viennese establishments are supportive of a photographer's quest to capture what's before one's eyes.

    On another note, I was recently made aware of an article published in the Chicago area, which somehow links to a "Vienna for Beginners" post by that same blogger. No, that article was not written by me, and I am at a loss to understand why someone, who obviously spent a few weeks in Vienna, linked to my blog (!), and then has the audacity to use "Vienna for Beginners". I would like to add that the content of that Chicago area article in no way reflects the way I see Vienna and the Viennese!

    Thank you for the kindness you all are showing me day after day,

  8. I love that movie and have seen it a couple of times and could watch it over and over again. It speaks volumes about what food means to people.

    What a gorgeous little tartelette. I would not have been able to resist it with my coffee.

    Merci for your advice on asking for permission to take pictures. We are so shy about taking pictures in restaurants and I appreciate your advice. I'm also very sorry to hear someone had the audacity to use your blog for their own interest. Do you have a Google alert that will at least let you know when it happens?

    It's early early time here and your photos always brighten my day.

  9. Sam,
    thank you!
    I shall look into Google Alert.

  10. That one apparently inspired you to a fine rhapsody of words. Must really have been good.

  11. I adore the movie Babette's Feast, so much so, that I actually own a copy. This week of cooking, leading up to Thanksgiving, would be a perfect time to pop it in for a watch!

  12. WOW does that look gorgeous!
    One of my all time favorite movies...I saw it debut at the NY Film fastival and knew zilch about it-no reviews, no nuttin
    Loved it from the get-go

  13. Merisi, thank you for the beautiful chocolate quince tart, and for the reminder of Babette's Feast. What a marvelous movie with its sly wit, wonderful characters ... and of course, that meal.

    Switching topics abruptly, I find it rather horrid to read about that Chicago business.

    Hoping that will be a one off experience.



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