20 May 2011

i got excited about water: le verre volé, 75011

There is actually nothing on earth more dull than a conversation about the relative merits of bottled water brands. It's a subject on which I've thus far generally avoided forming opinions, specifically to avoid the hazard of voicing them in a social setting, and subsequently metamorphasizing into a scrap of wallpaper, or potted geranium.

Probably about three things are important about a restaurant's water service, and all of them can be negatively defined. If you must serve bottled water, the brand shouldn't be widely available in adjacent supermarkets and convenience stores. If you must serve bottled water, it should under no circumstances be Voss, whose bottles look like specialty munitions designed to be fired inside nightclubs. Finally, whether you serve bottled water or whether you helpfully filter and carbonate your own in-house, the water itself should never be mentioned or described or promoted in any way. It's water. Discussing it is like discussing the tablecloth.

At my former workplace in LA we served Lurisia, because it was in keeping with the restaurant's Italian persona and because it was faintly exotic (i.e. not Pellegrino). It also tasted nice, a plus. As far as I'm concerned that's how a restaurant's bottled water decisions should be made: a short aesthetic equation balancing out to something mute and inoffensive. A recent visit to 10ème cave-à-manger Le Verre Volé, however, had the distinction of being memorable mostly for the water they've begun serving: Ventadour, from Ardêche. If one measures in millimeters, one could say it was somewhat moving, this water.

It was something to do with bubble structure and pressurization. It's just very well-calibrated, with a concise, non-saline finish. Or, I might just have liked the label.

I see from the company's website that they're actively pushing the water's natural angle, so it's anyone's guess as to whether le VV's reasons for stocking it are ideological or aesthetic (or both). I also have no more than a dim idea as to what invasive procedures separate other bottled spring waters from Ventadour's vaunted naturalness.

That, however, it just how I like it. I will now never speak of this again.

Le Verre Volé
67, rue Lancry
75010 PARIS
Metro: Jacques Bonsergeant
Tel: 01 48 03 17 34

Related Links:

Benoit Courault's Grolleau at Le Verre Volé, 75010


  1. My requirements are that the water absolutely not be Chateldon, which tastes like soap, and...well, that's it. As you say, too much talk about water. ;-)

    (I do know what specific thing tends to trigger negative reactions from me, and can find it on the label and avoid it while I'm buying the stuff, but that's a discussion for the geraniums.)

    If you ever find yourself in Alsace, see if you can find the Lisbeth Légère. It's one of my favorite waters anywhere, and it mostly doesn't leave the region.

  2. Ha! We all secretly hold opinions. If we're only dull in secret, it's like being publicly interesting, that's what I figure.

  3. I am so glad that you like this water and we are currently promoting Ventadour in Hong Kong and China! I hope more and more people will like it!


  4. hi jeff! that must leave a real sasquatch carbon footprint, sending all that french water to china. not sure how i feel about that, after all. surely there must be nice government-backed domestic sources of bottled water there? the baidu of bottled water? good luck, anyway.