So, I snagged one of the last lunch reservations for Union Square Cafe and went with three colleagues to enjoy our first meal there. It would have been perfectly lovely (the food was excellent) had the waitstaff not interrupted 6 times to ask us if we wanted to purchase bottled water with our meals.
To be good sports (since it was for charity after all), we got a bottle for the table even though no one really wanted it, but were badgered again and again. It made for an unpleasant experience. The service was very slow, which the waiter did apologize for, as they are still getting their act together with this menu.
Just so this post is not entirely negative, I have to rave about what I ate - a mushroom pasta starter (creamy and delicate); veal stuffed with prociutto and parmesan with faro risotto; banana brown betty for dessert - very rich and buttery.
I think I read an article a while back about the "water salesmen" at restaurants, but this was my first experience with such persistant people. Better luck next time maybe!