We take Deathwatching, and Shitshow Week of course, very seriously. Because it's serious business. Therefore we understand when restaurateurs aren't entirely pleased with the committee's decision and feel the need to defend themselves. In the spirit of fairness, we offered accomplished restaurateur and the owner of the recently Deathwatched Country, Geoffrey Zakarian a chance to rebut yesterday's post (this is a standing offer to all on the Deathwatch, fyi). Take it away Geoffrey.
As Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The same could be said of my restaurant Country’s recent addition to Eater’s “Deathwatch” list.
The services issues at the restaurant cited in the post are more than two years old, though they did contribute to my eventual decision to overhaul the staff at Country. With the new team firmly in place, led by executive chef, Willis Loughhead, formerly of The Modern, the restaurant has seen an increase in reservations as well as an overwhelmingly positive response to the new chef’s cuisine.
Last Monday we had a packed house with nearly all of our tables in the café, participating in our summer “Pay What We Pay” wine promotion.We asked Geoffrey if perhaps the success downstairs might prompt him to reformat the upstairs, and he responded thusly: "As a 28 year veteran of restaurants in NYC, one never says never since the landscape and customer are particularly smart as well as fickle.....having said that, we have a great new chef , and look forward to business as usual in the dining room." NB: Country still sits firmly on the Deathwatch, but this letter will be added to its file.
The promotion is the brainchild of our new wine and beverage director William Rhodes, who has been in the process of rebuilding our wine cellar, not drawing it down as was charged in your article. He has been adding new selections each week, including a large cache of vintage California wines from the ‘90s, ‘80s and ‘70s, which we just acquired. I urge you to come by and check out the exciting changes to the menu and wine list at Country.
· Deathwatch: Country [~E~]