Restaurateurs use all kinds of cues to suggest freshness, from photographs of dew-beaded produce to menu descriptors like “just-picked” and “local.” But seldom is the tabletop their billboard of choice. Meet Vapiano, the Italian concept imported from Germany with decidedly different ideas on the matter. At each of the six units opened thus far in the United States, patrons sit at communal tables adorned with flowerpots sprouting rosemary, thyme or other live herbs. At the 29 Vapiano ...

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