Savannah was peeved by a restaurant asking if she wanted fizzy or flat special water or tap water. That’s a difficult question as years ago NYC’s tap water aced the expensive brands in a judging.
In Italy one must ask for water. Then they ask if you want frizzante (fizzy) or flat. Then they bring enough bottles for the table. From my experience only in the US does the diner or mid-line restaurant or high-end bring water, and probably only to claim the table. Not in high-end to claim the table, of course.
I think they were trying to think Europe and tradition, not gouge you for special water. They probably went about it incorrectly.
Before my mother died nearly seven years ago my husband and and I and siblings went to lunch at a nice restaurant. He ordered iced tea. They asked if he wanted sweetener and as a Texan, of course he said yes.
They brought him iced tea with a small carafe. He told me he wanted sweetener. While I’d never seen this service before I knew they gave him a simple syrup to sweeten his tea. Very pretentious for an upscale mall restaurant. Very California. I mixed it to his taste and all was well.
Savannah, restaurants see trends that are not trends from time to time. A server may have gone to Italy and brought this back. I do not find it offensive overseas as one pays for water at the table.
Here in the US, given the dramatic difference between the costs of quality restaurants we frequent, I might find it offensive because it’s an up-sell. For you, it’s just a penny more. Enjoy your frizzante! Dee