Chez Zou, the chic new cocktail lounge from the team behind Zou Zou’s, opens on Manhattan’s West Side. Located just a few floors up from Zou Zou’s, the buzzy modern new Eastern Mediterranean restaurant from chef Madeline Sperling and Quality Branded, Chez Zou offers inventive and playful cocktails from Joey Smith [previously of The NoMad, EMP Summer House, and Booker and Dax] in a warm space designed by AvroKo. With deep jewel tones, bold prints, and lush greenery, the bar also has an expansive outdoor terrace with lounge-style seating, set to open at the start of Spring.
Joey Smith, who was most recently Head Bartender at The NoMad, helped lead the much lauded program to the number three spot on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list by San Pellegrino. Prior to his time at The NoMad, Smith worked with the reigning number one restaurant on San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, Eleven Madison Park, on their ambitious move to East Hampton with EMP Summer House. He also spent years learning the modernist techniques of James Beard Award winning author and godfather of modernist cocktails Dave Arnold at his acclaimed bar Booker and Dax. Now as Beverage Director of Chez Zou and sister restaurant Zou Zou’s, Smith curates a show-stopping and expansive cocktail program.
Smith’s cocktails, categorized by Jarras, Stiff Drinks, Shaken, Coladas, Highballs, and Bubbles, highlight flavors inspired by the eastern-Mediterranean region. The menu starts with a selection of cocktails presented in single serve Jarras, like the Saffron Gibson with saffron-infused gin, vermouth, and house pickles; and Dirty Zou with olive oil washed vodka, grape leaf, and Levantine cheese-stuffed olives. Stiff Drinks include Banana Danse with bourbon, banana, cardamom, chocolate, and coconut; and Red Right Hand with dark rum, coffee, campari, and Kashmiri chili; A selection of Shaken cocktails are offered, such as the Riad Star with vodka, spiced pineapple, pomegranate, and raspberry; and Tamarind Julab with tequila, tamarind, chamomile, and apple. Refreshing Coladas include the Golden Colada with Guatemalan rum, golden raisins, arak, lime, pineapple, and coconut; and Fresh Prince with white rum, dill, cucumber, yogurt, and aloe. The Highballs section features the Fig and Honey with sherry, red wine, fig leaf, honey, soda, and compressed fig, and the Bubbles section includes drinks such as the Pickle Spritz with vermouth, champagne, verjus, and pickled fennel. Also available at Chez Zou are some light bites from Zou Zou’s chef Madeline Sperling, such as Flaming Turkish Pistachios inspired by Prune, Scotch Olives with merguez and cured lemons, Zucchini Frites with herb aioli, and Kumamoto Oysters with barberry mignonette.
Designed by by AvroKO, Chez Zou has unique architectural features, with an abundance of contrasting textures such as curved glass niches, a central column growing out onto the ceiling with black and white trapezo terracotta tiles, and an arched entry clad in light marble to contrast the walnut wood paneled walls. Custom designed sconces emit a soft warm glow over the seating areas of the curved, deep rust colored upholstered sofas. The bar also has an expansive outdoor terrace with lounge-style seating, incorporating deep jewel tones and lush greenery.
Chez Zou is located on the 4th floor above Zou Zou’s, and is open from Tuesday-Saturday from 5pm-1am, walk-ins only. For more information, please visit ChezZou.com and follow along at @chezzou.