Chuggers: an H20-fueled NYC journey

This weekend my brother came to visit. I was thrilled to see him, and of course felt the need to fill each day with the best brunches, lunches and dinners I could come up with. When the two of us are together, I find my palate to be relatively adventurous and health conscious. But to the surprise of many, we become full-on water chuggers when in each other’s presence. Without realizing we race through glass after glass, often calling servers over for repeats.

So instead of recapping my meals, I’ve decided to create a Restaurant H20 report. Just like the silverware, the lighting, and even the bathrooms, the water is an incredibly important and revealing part of a meal that deserves recognition.

Friday Night: Zengo

After a hustled walk east from Penn Station, we began our weekend at Richard Sandoval’s Mexican-Asian eatery and Tequila bar. The hostess led us through the sleek slate gray interior to the back, where we were instantly given a large old Tequila bottle filled with high with water. Needless to say, we were thrilled. It was consistently filled (thank goodness!) as we dined on a fresh rainbow ceviche, spicy mango eel rolls, and delectable duck tacos.

Saturday Night: La Paella

Though we didn’t get our own water container here, the attentive service always kept our rustic Spanish glassware full. The East Village spot is right in my neighborhood and I must say its dangerously (for my wallet/waistline) good! We munched on stuffed squash, baked artichokes, and grilled calamari before enjoying the weather.

Sunday Brunch: Mud Coffee

We decided to end the stay with brunch at this East Village hub known for its Cup of Mud coffee and line-worthy Astor Place truck. We were given a long, vaselike carafe of water at our table, which was tucked deep inside the windy exposed brick and wood interior. We re-hydrated from legitimate jars over omelette and fresh squeezed orange juice.


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