If something is a fad in the restaurant world, just wait and it will soon become tired and passe, passed up by new thinking. Sometimes it's nice to be the person who never cared about the fad, and without doing anything different, is now the person in tune with the zeitgeist. I'm thinking of water.
Cincinnati was never as heavily into this water thing as other cities, but there was getting to be the danger that you would sit down at a restaurant, be asked whether you wanted still or sparkling, be brought a bottle of still and pay $10 or more for it. I don't like unclear charges--that's why they put prices on menus (also why I'm not a tipping fan, but maybe we shouldn't go there on this blog) --and I just could never bring myself to think that there is anything wrong with water out of the tap. So I always said tap water was fine, making me feel cheap and unsophisticated. Then they began to offer ice water, which is a nicer way of saying it.
Now, bottled water is becoming acknowledged as largely ludicrous, un-environmental, responsible for unnecessary solid waste, often not spring water at all (Though I don't think that's really the case with water sold in restaurants.) I'm happy, my inclinations have been blessed with the latest thinking, and I no longer feel like a rube.
In France, I felt soo American. "Un carafe d'eau," we'd beg after traipsing around all day in the heat, and get a tiny little pitcher. (Hmmm. maybe it's une carafe, and that's why we never got any.) I liked drinking mineral water there, but wished always for someone to come by with a big pitcher of abundant iced water. I do, though, love the idea of being given a chance to donate some money to the people in the world who don't have water when I drink that abundant cold glass.