Tag: bar

Do you pay for water at a restaurant or bar? The lawyer answers – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


Do you pay for water at the restaurant or bar? Except for bottled water, if it’s microfiltered or tap water, or just a glass, does it cost anything? Think, for starters, of the glass of water that accompanies the coffee at the counter. Different countries have different customs, it seems, also because not all bars serve water with coffee. Among those who do, there areis who applies a symbolic surcharge (it happens rarely, but it happens), then there are those who always serve it whenever you order an espresso, whether at the counter or at the table, without charging additional costs. Who is right?

Do you have to pay for the water that accompanies the coffee?

In short, do you pay for water at the restaurant or at the bar? «As far as bars are concerned, that glass of water that accompanies the espresso is a real form of courtesywidespread only in our country. If everyone does it their own way it is because there is no legal rule: Each business is free to decide whether to charge or not“, says the lawyer Alessandro Presicce, president of the Lecce section of Adoc (Association for the Defense and Orientation of Consumers). «What matters, for all drinks and foods offered by public establishments, and therefore also restaurants as well as bars, is that the cost is indicated on the menu, specifies the expert.

Can a bar force you to buy a bottle of water while refusing to give you a glass?

The issue of “water at the bar” is broader, however.and in reality it is independent of coffee. It sometimes happens that some bars do not serve water in glasses but only in bottles and the examples, although we trust that they are exceptions to the rule, are there. «Even in this case the public establishment is free to act as it deems fit because there is no legal provision regarding this matter: serving water in a glass as already mentioned remains a courtesy that the bar can decide or not to do. The moment it puts the cost of its products in black and white on the menu, it does not break any rules”, continues the lawyer Presicce.

Is there a limit to the cost of water?

«There is no difference between bottled, tap or microfiltered water: it is all left to the free marketand therefore customers are free to choose whether and what to buy, even if the prices are sometimes exaggerated”. Because – and this is certainly another exception – It also happens that water is charged at a high price, especially in the height of summer in tourist locations. The reason is simple, always the same: «There are no longer regulated prices, not even for water, specifies Alessandro Presicce.

Do you have to pay for tap water in restaurants?

And the tap water at the restaurant: “It must be paid if the restaurant decides to make us pay for it, and the important thing is that it always indicates the cost on the menu,” repeats Presicce. Of course, managers have to pay costs, even for tap or microfiltered water, which also requires a specific system and maintenance. But do these costs justify the prices we customers have to pay?

The hope is that something will change also because the European Union has expressly asked the member states to introduce ad hoc measures: the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation just approved by the European Commission calls for the implementation of policies that encourage public establishments, canteens and catering to serve tap or microfiltered water at a minimum price or for free in reusable containers. Of course, it is a much broader area than the one we started from, but it is a starting point for improvement anyway: if we consumers together with managers learned not to waste resources, we would all gain financially as well. In the meantime, the water that accompanies the coffee at the bar can still be an excellent exercise, as lawyer Presicce points out «Ask the bartender that the glass is made of glass: When the water that accompanies the coffee is served in disposable cups it is also a huge waste of resources.”

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Breakfast at the bar with the nutritionist’s suggestions – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


Take away everything but the croissant and cappuccino: it remains the favorite combination when we Italians go to have breakfast at the bar. Recent research by Altroconsumo also says this, confirming that it is not the only indispensable classic (when breakfast is eaten at home, milk and biscuits are still the most popular). Yet the experts keep telling us that in the early morning it would be best to avoid or minimize sugars, which does not mean having a necessarily savory breakfast, but one devoid – or in any case poor – of very sugary foods (such as croissants, in fact) as well as added sugars (such as those we put in coffee). The reason is that they cause changes in blood sugar which in turn determine the production of cortisol (and therefore stress), are absorbed quickly and immediately make you hungry, and in the long run they become a cause of inflammation.

How to have a healthy breakfast at the bar?

However, if at home we can choose more easily because we decide what to buy, what should we do at the bar where we have to choose from what is there? «It depends on how many times you go to the bar“, He says Romina Cervigni, nutritionist and scientific director of the Valter Longo Foundation. «If it is an exception, you are free to eat what you prefer: a gluttony indulgence once in a while doesn’t hurt. If, however, breakfast at the bar is a daily habit, you need to be careful to balance the foods” adds the expert.

How to have breakfast at the bar if you are on a diet

Given that balancing means making sure that breakfast contains all the micronutrients we need – i.e. carbohydrates, good fats and proteins (few, at breakfast) – how to choose in front of the window of a bar? «A simple orange juice is an excellent source of carbohydrates. Combined with a piece of dark chocolate and dried fruit, which can now be found in many bars, it is a complete and even if minimal breakfast., ideal if you follow a low-calorie diet. In this case, the good fats contained in dried fruit limit the glycemic peak of the juice” says the doctor. Another idea? «To further reduce sugar intake, freshly squeezed juice can be replaced with a cappuccinoeven better if made with a vegetable drink instead of cow’s milk because it is low in sugar.”

What to drink instead of cappuccino

There are actually many alternatives to the classic cappuccino: «All vegetable drinks, for starters. Even if they are sweetened, the amount of sugar they contain is still minimal and lower than cow’s milk. Furthermore, compared to cow’s milk, even if skimmed, the Vegetable drinks provide less fat says Dr. Cervigni, remembering as always that the teaspoons of sugar with which hot drinks are sweetened also make the difference.

Centrifuge, extract or juice: which is better to drink

Even if you prefer to “drink” fruit, the options are different. «By juicing the fruit fibers are filtered, so they do not fully play their role in slowing down the absorption of sugars says Dr. Cervigni. «In centrifuges and extracts, thermosensitive vitamins such as C deteriorate, and in any case they do not contain fibre, but they can be enriched with vegetables which dilute the sugar continues the doctor.

What to eat when you have breakfast at the bar

To balance the meal, the choice of what you eat should also depend on what you drink (or vice versa). «Considering that a fruit drink, whether juiced or otherwise, contains a lot of sugars, it would be better not to combine it with other sources of sugars such as brioche. Between both better to combine brioche with cappuccino, so that the overall glycemic load of the meal is lower. Even better, in reality, would be to combine the classic brioche with yogurt, which is rich in proteins that contribute to significantly lowering the glycemic load.”

Croissant at the bar: better traditional or vegan?

Vegan or traditional? Which of the two brioches is better to prefer? «From the point of view of nutritional composition there is no big difference: in both cases there are fats and sugars. What makes the difference”, concludes Dr. Cervigni, “can be the way in which they are prepared, starting with the type of ingredients. This is why it is not possible to generalise.”

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Breakfast at the bar costs more: that’s how much we have to spend – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


Breakfast at the bar costs us more. We had noticed it a little, but now the results of the latest survey confirm it Altroconsumo which involved 1400 consumers. Well, from this it emerges that coffee at the counter costs on average 6% more than two years ago, cappuccino 7% and that croissants (or brioches, if you prefer to call them “Milan-style”) – whether empty or filled – are the ones that have suffered the greatest price increases, given that they cost 13% more than in 2022 (a year, moreover, of particularly significant increases).

How much does breakfast at the bar cost: price increases

In fact, Altroconsumo’s latest breakfast survey dates back to two years ago, when still coffee at the bar cost just 1.17 euros on average, cappuccino 1.64 euros and croissants 1.39 euros. Now everything has increased and, even if as always the bars in the North are the most expensive compared to those in the South and islands, the increase is generalized.

Italians’ favorite breakfast

But we are not discouraged: aEven if we occasionally treat ourselves to breakfast at the bar. The Altroconsumo survey, which aims to generally analyze the preferences of us Italians regarding the first meal of the day, says in fact that we generally consume it at home (69% declare that they always have breakfast at home and only 1% declare that they never (or rarely) have it at home) while the bar, on the other hand, is more often reserved for weekends or holidays (28% of those interviewed say they eat breakfast there once a week). In short, it is a special moment. Taking an average, in fact, breakfast at home is consumed more than six days a week while at the bar once every two weeks.

What Italians eat for breakfast

However, perhaps we dedicate little time to breakfast: whether it is at the bar or at home, it never lasts more than 20 minutes. However, between sweet and savory we have no doubts: 81% of those interviewed prefer it sweet, especially those under 35. Only 3% instead choose a savory breakfast, while 16% alternate. In general biscuits and croissant are in first place. The former are obviously a must at home, consumed often or always (51%), perhaps alternating with jams or sweet spreads (28% of those interviewed) with rusks (26%) and, followed by cereals or muesli. At the bar, then, on the podium there is the classic brioche often or always consumed by 68% of those interviewed, followed at a distance by other types of pastries or pastries (18%) or cakes (10%).

What Italians drink for breakfast

It certainly isn’t missing coffee, a must for more than 7 out of 10 Italians. Whether it’s the mocha, the pod, the capsule or the espresso, 72% of those who have breakfast at home always drink it and 68% of those who have breakfast at the bar, where cappuccino, preferred by 47%, also clearly stands out. % of respondents. In addition to coffee, it is curious that the most consumed drink is in second place water (always or often consumed by 50% of consumers who participated in the Altroconsumo survey) , followed by milk, yogurt and tea for those having breakfast at home. At the bar, however, after the milk, there are juices, freshly squeezed juices or smoothies. In short, the bar is not always a sin of gluttony: if you want, you can always choose without being tempted.

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