The Saga of the Bottle Banishers

Normally I’m a fan of celebrity chef Mario Batali. His appearances on Iron Chef America are always entertaining, and he’s got a great sense of humor. That’s why I was so surprised to see news of this obnoxious nonsense in his restaurants (passed on, as always, by our own Wayne Crews):

The movement [against bottled water in restaurants] burst into public view this spring when chef Alice Waters, the godmother of “California cuisine,” nixed bottled water from her Berkeley, Calif., restaurant Chez Panisse. Soon after, Food Network favorite Mario Batali followed suit at his empire of restaurants including Manhattan’s swish Del Posto, serving filtered tap water in glasses etched with information on the harmful environmental impact of bottled water.

It has come to this: even a man who has written a cookbook dedicated to NASCAR tailgating has become so besotted with going green that he’s operating a restaurant where even the glassware lectures you about environmental correctness. One would think that shelling out $150 for dinner (without wine) would entitle you to a soothing evening of flawless service, completely absent of hectoring water glasses.