Not in the mood for wine tonight, but still want to feel real classy? Then boy, do we have a trend for you! Introducing the refreshing new concept of the water sommelier. As the Daily Meal notes, water menus — and even water bars — have been springing up all over the place. Because face it: just ordering plain old tap water is so passé. And so, this apparent demand for gourmet water has in turn sparked a demand for water specialists.
The Los Angeles Times recently profiled one such H20 virtuoso: Martin Riese, who on Monday launched a water menu at Ray’s and Stark, the restaurant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Riese serves as the restaurant’s general manager — and now, he’s also the chief water sommelier. His menu will feature 20 different types of water from 10 countries, including upscale brands like Fiji (from Fiji), Voss (from Norway), Badoit (from France), and Berg (from Canada). Riese’s menu will also include a water he crafted himself called Beverly Hills 90H20, made from spring water from the Sierra Nevadas and added minerals. The water varieties will range in price from $8 to $20 a bottle.
Riese got certified after completing a week-long course in Germany at Doemen’s, which, according to the LA Times, is one of the only schools in the world to offer a water specialist certification. This trend seems to have made its way to the States from Europe, as spots like Le Water Bar Colette in Paris have already tested out water menus. And as NewsFeed reported previously, a Manhattan café called Molecule, specializing in ultra-filtered tap water sold at $2.50 a glass, opened last year. That idea faced some pretty harsh criticism, though — and we wouldn’t be surprised if full-fledged restaurants with water menus get similar flak.