Elisir Stops Charging 29 Cents For Water

Chef-owner Enzo Fargione revises his reviled H20 policy. But is the new plan any better?

By: Jessica Voelker

The bar at Elisir. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson

Upscale Italian eatery Elisir, the new Gallery Place restaurant from Enzo Fargione, has been largely lambasted for charging guests a 29-cent surcharge for filtered tap water. “Filtered,” wrote our own Todd Kliman in one of his weekly dining chats. “Like we all drink at home from our Brita.” Now, however, it seems the restaurant has seen the error of its ways. Sort of.

Fargione posted a press release on Kliman’s chat this morning that reads: “Elisir has revised its filtered/purified water charge policy by eliminating the originally imposed $0.29 per person and by implementing an à-la-carte bottle water charge of $3.95 instead.” For those unafraid of floaties: “DC’s tap is always a free option.”

Kliman followed up with a question for Fargione: "Why not just filter the water and pass it on to your customers free of charge? Can it be that laborious and expensive a process?"

No word yet on whether that will happen. In the meantime, you could always hide one of these in your purse or pocket. After two visits to Elisir, it will have already paid for itself.