Yesterday I was having dinner at the famous and very popular Pasta e Basta in Amsterdam. The restaurant is well known for their great food but even more for the performances. While you are dining the (beautiful) waitresses sing classic Italian songs. It is quite the experience and something that attracted people like Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazotti, Mariah Carey, Sting and well, me.

We turned up without a reservation on a Saturday evening but since it was just me and my daughter we got seats at the bar. The waiter behind the bar was extremely kind and started the evening by offering me a glass of Prosecco, on the house. After a few minutes I wanted to check in and maybe even tweet something so I grabbed my iPhone but immediately noticed I had no signal. Not even one bar, just a very depressing “No signal” warning.

Apparently I looked disappointed because the waiter came over right away and asked me “Can’t get a signal?”. I nodded and shrugged. Oh well. Then he offered “Do you want a glass?”. I figured he offered me another drink to cope with my disappointment but as I hadn’t even touched the Prosecco yet I thanked him and declined. But then he said “No, I mean for your iPhone!”.

Now I was confused. What the hell would I need a glass for my iPhone for? He smiled and said “It improves the reception. Here, look!” and he pointed to a row of phones, stuck in glasses, on the top shelf behind the bar.

So a few years ago one of the waitresses there discovered (how?) that if you put a phone in an empty glass it dramatically improves the reception. The Pasta e Basta restaurant is basically stuck in a concrete basement so reception has always been awful. But since they found out about this trick they at least have had enough reception to make and receive calls.

The waiter gave me glass, I put my iPhone in, reluctantly, and lo and behold: I got 3 bars and no 3G but some GPRS. Not perfect but a huge improvement from the ‘No signal’ message I got earlier.

Of course, making and receiving a call with your iPhone stuck in a glass is awkward, but at least you can see who is trying to reach you and I was able to send out a few tweets and texts from within the glass.

photo 520x390 The weirdest (but working) iPhone 4 reception trick I have ever heard