Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Water Torture

If you're wondering what I've been up to while I've been AFB (away from blog) lately - and, really, that does keep you up at night, doesn't it? Well, I've been out and about all over town. I feel like I've had 1001 restaurant meals over the last two weeks and, though delightful, not a single one of them included a cold glass of water. Water there was, sometimes aplenty, but rarely was it chilled and never was it iced.

So I got to wondering, is this some disturbing new trend? Or merely the latest form of water torture?

It all began with a meal at Minetta Tavern on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend - and a scrumptious meal, it was! The food was plentiful, familiar yet inventive, and right on point. (hit up that link and drool over the menu) The service was outstanding and the setting couldn't be more agreeable. The water? It was served in a "charming" vintage bottle and could best be described as tepid. Actually, the word "warm" is more to the point. We asked for ice.

That Saturday night, we dined at The Mermaid Inn, a quaint little seafood house not far from my home. The oysters were fresh and briny, the service outstanding, the setting very New England ... and the water? Served in a "charming" vintage bottle at room temperature. Le sigh.

Sunday, now the Sunday of Memorial weekend was a banner day. Some friends and family gathered for our 3rd Annual Hipster Day - a day we set aside to roam the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, drinking and dining at will. Its a blast! This year, we began at El Almacen, a cozy little Argentinian restaurant with a lovely outdoor space. We had brunch - a luscious and creamy egg/chorizo skillet for the husband, huevos rancheros for the sister in law, Baja style fish tacos for the Snack Bee and myself. The food was exquisite, the service a-ok, the drinks menu intoxicating ... and the water? Served in "charming" vintage bottles at room temperature. I kid you not.

Following brunch we did a bit of shopping and made a brief stop at The Lodge for my favorite blueberry lemonade. It was every bit as good as I'd remember and, happily, there was no need for water.

Later on, our merry little group, high-tailed it to Traif - a fabulous new restaurant that bears the inviting tag-line: "celebrating pork, shellfish & globally inspired soul food." Translation ... everything here comes with bacon. Love it! And we did love it, so much so that really, Traif deserves a post of its own at some point. The food was magnificent, their cocktail menu was inventive and exciting, the service was beyond friendly and accommodating ... and the water? You know what I'm going to say, right? The saving grace here was that the water was marginally colder than room temperature and we didn't need to ask for refills.

Finally, last Tuesday night I found myself enjoying the Yankee Game from the front row of the Audi Club - and a fine game it was too. A lavish buffet was included with the price of the ticket and we certainly made the most of it. That evening, I dined on a succulent roast loin of pork, with olive oil mashed potatoes and a melange of roasted seasonal veggies. Salads, soups, several kinds of cheese, and two different kinds of "sliders" were offered as well. In addition, the buffet boasted sushi, 3 different types of stroganoff, hot dogs, snack items and a host of sugary, chocolaty desserts.

The food was hot, fresh and plentiful, the service adequate, the setting lovely ... and the water? I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but I will: served in "charming" vintage bottles at room temperature. Et tu, Yankee Stadium, et tu?

What in the world is going on here? Listen to me New York City restaurant people: if one more server approaches me with a vintage bottle of warm tap water I am going to flip my ever-lovin' tiara! You've been warned.

I don't need, or want, fancy bottled water, NYC tap is a-ok with me ... but would it kill you to throw a little ice into it?!


p.s. - when I finally have a night at home, I swear I'm going to cook a meal and post about it. Really, I mean it! Hang in there with me. ;)


Mo Diva said...

i have encountered the same thing. i think one reason is that its recently been said that drinking ice cold water with food is bad for you. I think its bullspit but the theory is that the cold water solifies the oil in the food you are eating making it easier to clog the lovely places in your body... which brings me to beleive taht its not 100 degrees in my body, but 32 degrees since fats solidify. smh.
And also ice makers are expensive. :-)

Lola said...

I went out to dinner last night at an Irish restaurant near my girlfriend's home. We ate in the patio area where dogs were welcome. Bowls of iced water and biscuits were provided for the dogs routinely and we were never even offered water.

stephchows said...

maybe you need to start carrying around a cooler of ice cubes??

Molly said...

that's annoying! Maybe they're trying to get you to buy bottled water?????

Suzy said...

I'm with you...I hate having to ask for ice! Nothing more blah than room-temp water. I also hate it when you get iced tea...which is freshly brewed (yay!)...but with not enough ice so there is barely a cube in it when you get the glass.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mo - you too? All of NYC seems to be hopping on this bandwagon. It sucks! I've heard of that cold water/food thing before, but I think its BS. I'm LOLing at your body being 32 degrees! Good one!

Lola - ya know, that's funny, but not! I wonder if they thought you'd share with the pup?! LOL and j/k

Steph - I might just have to do that!

Molly - I thought about that too ... but I'm NOT going for it!

Suzy - I know just what you mean about the lame ice in the iced tea. The husband and I call that "Irish" ice ... because you can't get a cold drink in Ireland (or most of Europe for that matter) either. The Irish ice has been a joke in our house for years now!

pixelgal said...

What kind of lovely vintage bottle?
Here in the burbs we had ice water at a diner tonight so maybe it's a city thing! i did read about the tepid water being better for you too....somewhere. But I'm an ice girl too.

Nisrine@Dinners and Dreams said...

I don't like restaurant tap water and don't like to pay three times the price for bottled water so I usually refrain from drinking at restaurants.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Ewww... that's a pet peeve of mine too. Great round of restaurants. I've been meaning to make my way to Minetta Tavern and The Mermaid Inn.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that trend lately too. I do like my water at least chilled :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

I havent really noticed that trend here in england, but I'm going to pay more attention. I think Molly might be right, this may be an annoying way of restaurants trying to get you to pay for something that should be for free :P
*kisses* HH

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Hmm...interesting! I don't know that i've ever been served water at room temperature. Doesn't sound like fun to me...I like my water nice and chilly! :)

Lentil Breakdown said...

What? No bacon flavored water at Traif? Love that name! Could they be more shameless? : )

Deb said...

Water in the south is still cold and iced unless you ask otherwise thank goodness, tepid water is only good when you're out and about and that's all ya got!