The Interior of The Glass Knife Patisserie and Café is Close to Flawless

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By Mark Baratelli
The Glass Knife is a unique patisserie and café that opened November 10th at 276 S. Orlando Ave (MAP) in Winter Park. Cakes, pastries, donuts, artisanal coffee and a selection of savory fare is available at this new dessert-focused cafe. 

The Instagram-ready interior of the restaurant was methodically planned out by the owner. The Daily City spoke to him briefly after he delivered our coffee during the hubub of opening day. That was incredibly generous considering there were what appeared to be 20 employees walking from table to counter all over the place. He used his memories and photos from the extensive personal traveling he's done over the years to create the space. The floors' colored stars include crushed glass knives. The truck parked outside's lettering is hand-done. The truck's paint was matched to the signature color of the walls. The tips of the chandeliers are clear rock-like sculptures. 

This was an intense effort. You should see their truck!

The final product is magnificent. It feels at once like a hiiiiigh end department store restaurant and a mini food hall, where you'd be shocked to see a Louis Vuitton bag amongst a sea of Saint Laurents and Chanels.  The pink and gold is exactly where it should be and in the correct amounts. The light floor and the dark ceiling directs light where it belongs.  Guests will feel welcome. Each choice is clear and purposeful to create that "I belong here" vibe. 

The focus of the restaurant is the glorious dropped rectangular light box hovering below a black ceiling. The welcomed friendliness glitters its way down to the table that appears to be inside an invisible-walled room to itself. The table is even has a line drawn around it on the floor. Orlando isn't used to communal tables and this welcomes them to the concept painlessly, as if it were a given and expected. Most of the seating is at this table so it better. 

The glass knives are hidden. Guests seated at the communal table will find them in a buried lit case running the length of the table. They look like artifacts and are displayed like jewelry. 

The half circle banquettes are completely decadent. How dare anyone take up that much space with such cushiony round seating! They infer space in what should be a very cluttered room. But since the community table contains most of the seating, they're ok. No one will hate you for banquette-lingering. They have wifi so laptop it up!

More visible that the cakes is a black onesie bench seating cove with padded walls. Four people max can sit in there and its lit by a single simple chandelier. I hope this is a table able to be reserved for special occasions. If not, if you get this table you'll feel special. 

The gift shop is your first interaction with The Glass Knife. The wood covered display tables are perfect in their bulk and weightlessness. They should make one claustrophobic upon entering, but thanks to the caster wheels raising them off the ground, the height between shelves and the sparse staging of the products, they don't. The selection could use more local goods but perhaps they'll adjust the stock as they continue on in business. 

The outdoor seating area gives me cafe with the enclosed fans and 60s white fencing. There could be more and smaller tables but again, this restaurant doesn't want too many people stuffed into a space: if you get a table you will enjoy the table and not your neighbor's conversation. 

Here's what I dislike. The ordering process confused me and takes too long. An "order here" sign is needed which means they'll most likely finesse that eventually. The display cases were almsot empty on opening day which is great for business but bad for looks. The donuts are hidden behind employees' bodies like at Dunkin Donut. The beautiful cakes are shoved off to the left and aren't taking center stage like they should.

This business will flourish and spawn other locations across the country due to the hard work of the owners and Chef. We're lucky we get to see the fruits of their labor first. Thank you Glass Knife.