Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tavern on the Water

We went to Tavern on the Water last night for my birthday (which is today, but I have a meeting), and it was very nice. Food was good, service was excellent, atmosphere in the "red room" was lovely, and it was surprisingly hopping for a Monday night.

Our only complaint was the same as the complaint in the PJS review: They ONLY serve mineral or sparkling water (at $3.50/bottle). The problem here is that Mr. McGee loathes mineral and sparkling water both, which I've been trying to break him of for years, and there's hardly anything IN Pelligrino, but he still thinks it's terrible and won't drink it. (And makes faces when I make him taste it.) So he asked for "just plain tap water." They don't serve it. "The thing is," I told the waitress, "he doesn't like either mineral or sparkling water." They still wouldn't serve him plain water. He ended up ordering a Sprite.

"It's one thing," Mr. McGee opined to me in an undertone, "to be pretentious. It's another thing to cling to your pretentions quite so tenaciously." Which nearly made me splort my $3.50 sparkling water all over him.

So while the overall experience was lovely, I don't think we'll be back unless they'll serve regular water. It's such a small thing, and it seems absolutely absurd that they refused to accommodate a customer on it. Sprite isn't really the beverage of choice for complimenting roast duck, nor did it go particularly well with our pinot noir. The whole thing was ridiculous.

EDIT: It just occurred to me, two hours later, that this would have been way funnier if I'd titled it "Tavern on the Water, sans Water." Oh well.

19 comments:

Jennifer said...

Eyebrows,
Hi. My best friend is a waitress there and she thinks it is ridiculous, too, and has customers get really mad at her about it. It was a management decision, that, unfortunately, the waitstaff bears the brunt of the criticism.
I am glad you enjoyed the meal. The food is really good. If you do go back, try the lobster bisque. It's outstanding.
Jennifer

Jennifer said...

Part 2
Eyebrows,
I showed my friend your blog, and she said your waiter made a mistake, they do serve "regular" water, but only bottled, and it's two bucks.
Jennifer

Eyebrows McGee said...

Thanks, Jennifer.

Strikes me as a very odd management decision. And I do wish she'd told us regular bottled water was available.

(We tried not to hassle the waiter, since it wasn't her fault.)

C. J. Summers said...

Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Thats bad business. Water at 3.50 and only Pelligrino-I won't go there just for this reason. I drink beer and wine, but thats too shady. I bet they change that soon. try telling an out-of-towner you don't have water...

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a strip club owner??

Jeep2000 said...

Sparkling water reminds me of our trip to Germany last spring. There the water served is typically sparkling, "mit gas". I guess it's OK, if you have an upset stomach or something. Otherwise, I think it bloats you up too much!
It's good to hear that apparently they offer regular bottled water as well. I'm looking forward to checking the place out.

Mom said...

March 13 is one of my most favorite days of the year. You and your brother were gifts that I treasure

Mom

Mahkno said...

Um... I would like to speak to the manager please.

** be loud enough that other customers can overhear **

Is the water not safe to be served?

Sorry, sir we don't server tap water.

Because its not safe?

The tap water is fine but we don't serve it.

Does it taste funny? Seems rather odd you wouldn't serve water unless it wasn't safe or tasted really bad.

Do you cook with the tap water?

Um yes...

So... if you won't server me tap water you don't cook with it either. Or perhaps the food might taste unsatisfactory or unsafe?

.
.
.
.
Yeah... the manager might begin to sweat and the other customers might start looking at their food a little differently. Or he might just shut you up with a glass of tap water.

Chef Kevin said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate...I've done this a lot today.

How many of the business you work at (or own) give stuff away free that costs you to produce?

Just curious. I'll be baaaaacck.

Mahkno said...

It is pretty customary to make water available for free. Yeah customers who only drink tap water are kind of cheap but that is the market we live in.

There is also a liability issue in that alcohol was being served. When serving alcohol, one should also serve a glass of water on the side. Whether the customer drinks it or not, it helps protect the establishment if something unfortunate should occur later.

It is surprising that they refused it.

PeoriaIllinoisan said...

"Yeah customers who only drink tap water are kind of cheap"

Call me cheap, but I only drink tap water unless I'm forced to buy bottled water. We actually get water delivered to our house, but I still drink tap. Frankly, I don't see the point.

I would've been so stewed if I were at that restaurant and they wouldn't give me a glass of water that I might have just blown my top or left. I don't drink soda with my meals, I drink water. If they said bottled water only for two bucks, I'd have been slightly annoyed, but would've lived with it and hoped the food was so exceptional that I could overlook it.

Chef Kevin, I hope you're not going to start telling me how expensive it is to serve a glass of water.

-Happy Birthday-

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Chef Kevin said...

Uh, no, not really on the how much it costs to pour a glass of water, but now that you mention it...the chemicals to wash the glass and the water to wash it does cost money... :) especially if you multiply it by a couple of hundred glasses a day.

No, my thought was this. PI, I'm not picking on you when I say "you" here: How many times do you ask for extra sour cream, another side of ranch, extra lemons so you can make lemonade with your free water and you don't expect to be charged for it? But that's OK. /sarcasm/ If this guy is ballsy enough to charge for water, I say more power to him, that is his perogative, although it won't fly in Peoria. And I agree with all here...it is kinda lame.

But people..don't take this out on the waitstaff. They are just doing their job as told. Don't leave them a penny tip in disgust. Bitch at the manager or owner. And I'm not just saying at this one particular establishment.

Joanie said...

It sounds like "Tavern on the Bottled Water" is trying to be Charlie Trotterish. One way around it would be to take your glass to the restroom and get it from the faucet. How do you think they would respond? It would be funny. Maybe I'll try it this week.

Chef Kevin you know nothing is free and that a lot of restaurants include in their menu pricing the "extra" butter, sour cream, ranch dressing and lemon that is an inevitable request from diners. Isn't called "Q" or something like that? But I think you are right. Peorians don't want to be told to drink, pay for it and like it. That restaurant hasn't the reputation to be able to dictate to the market. Not yet anyway.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it...Tavern on the Water is in the business to make money, not "impress" people with their stuck up ways, so serve the damn tap water and up the prices by $2 on the entrees! That's what other restaurants do.

pedro velasquez said...

I have always liked this bar for what it is. It's a waterfront bar in a great location with a gorgeous view of the city. bet basketball
It's exactly what you'd expect. Beer served in plastic cups and an eclectic mix of people bumping into each other while trying to make their way to the bar. This is why I am pleasantly surprised by the food here. Would I suggest it as a "dinner destination"? No. But, a good bar atmosphere that serves a decent meal, sportsbook absolutely! The food is a step above basic bar food, and contrary to what some other reviews say, I didn't think it was overpriced at all. At our table, we had a wedge salad which was exactly what you want in a wedge salad - nothing fancy just crisp,
march madness fresh ingredients and good Blue Cheese dressing. We also had a steak Teriyaki appetizer that was again, exactly what you'd expect, in a good way. We also had a fried shrimp platter that was quite good. I mean, it was fried seafood so it wasn't a culinary masterpiece but everything was cooked really well and it wans't overly greasy.
http://www.enterbet.com

karina said...

Here's the thing: you need to come here for brunch.king tours The lobster eggs benedict are to die for. And the homefries are totally different. They're really like small fried hash browns and they're a wonderful hangover cure. Brunches also come with dressed greens.
http://www.kingtourscom

pedro velasquez said...

In Short dominical costa rica tours Located on a pier in the Charlestown Navy Yard, Tavern on the Water affords views of the U.S.S. Constitution and Boston skyline. The bar's comfy interior is no match for the 200-seat outdoor patio. In the bar, regulars watch the game while downing bottles of domestic beer and sturdy pub fare (Maine crab cakes, fried clams, grilled tenderloin tips). An upscale menu (miso-glazed salmon, Ahi tuna tartare) is served in the upstairs dining room.
http://www.dominicalcostaricatours.com