Most people would find it difficult if not impossible to blend the history of the Middle East into drinks we all know and love. But not Joey Smith, who, in his pursuit of excellence with the Quality Branded Team (Quality Italian, Don Angie), pushes the limits of classic cocktails with great panache and brings a laser focus to the guest experience with a little something for everyone. This is no surprise though, as the industry veteran and much of the Chez Zou team helped bring NYC staple The Nomad to the number 3 spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list by San Pellegrino and The Best Bar in North America in 2017.
To find the hidden Chez Zou, you’ll first stroll through the beautiful Citrovia forest installment at Manhattan West. Up the elevator through Zou Zou’s (Chez Zou’s sister restaurant), you’ll be transported to an intergalactic oasis, a vibe which Joey describes as The Jetsons meet George of the Jungle. Plush, trendy couches and lounge chairs invite you to relax as you are brought into a flow state through the music and greenery which surround you. Major kudos to AvroKO for creating the escapist feel.
Despite the distinctive flavors you might not be used to in your everyday libations, Chez Zou makes choosing a drink fairly easy, as its carefully curated menu includes variations of crowd favorites, and a couple of other eclectic combinations which you should venture into.
As you make your way through the night, subtle touches of saffron, cardamom, fig, dates, apricot, kashmiri chili and clove can be found depending on your choice of drink, along with a limited menu of bites to eat. Pro tip: don’t forget to ask about the off-menu items.
It was great to see the West Side get some love with Hudson Yards, but a chic hideaway like Chez Zou was long overdue. Perfect for a date or before you head to Zou Zou’s (which we’ll cover in our next piece), Chez Zou is bringing a worldly flair to mixology which we’re excited to see evolve in its seasonal menu. Congrats on your debut this month and early success. We look forward to joining you on your outdoor patio soon!
Courtesy of Contributor George Blesson, @george_blesson
Photo Credit: Chez Zou