Fighting the Tide, a Few Restaurants Tilt to Tap Water

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

TRENDSETTER Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’s restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., helped lead the way with house-made sparkling water.


Published: May 30, 2007

DON’T bother asking for Fiji, San Pellegrino or any other designer water at either Incanto, a restaurant that opened in San Francisco in 2002, or at Poggio, which opened in Sausalito, Calif., two years later.

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FASHIONABLE CHOICE Abode in Santa Monica, Calif., is offering filtered tap water to diners.

All their water comes out of the tap. It’s filtered before it reaches the table, but it’s from the public water system, just the same.

“Serving our local water in reusable carafes makes more sense for the environment than manufacturing thousands of single-use glass bottles for someone to use once and throw away,” Incanto explains at its Web site.

These two Bay Area restaurants were pretty much alone in kicking the bottle habit until Alice Waters, the godmother of things organic, sustainable and local, banned bottled still water at Chez Panisse in Berkeley last year and started serving only house-made sparkling water this year. Then the press took notice. Now other California restaurants, like Nopa in San Francisco, are following suit. Even an ice cream shop — Ici, in Berkeley — has jumped on the non-bottled-water wagon.

And now, with a little push from Ms. Waters, an important New York City restaurant is coming on board….

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