Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - The Country Cow Restaurant Update

Photo - Facebook
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Campton, NH to makeover The Country Cow Restaurant & Bar.  The co-owners are a divorced couple, and there are horror stories of them cursing in front of diners and throwing pans in the kitchen.  However, when Robert Irvine arrives, everybody seems to be on their best behavior.  Robert then looks at "behind-the-scenes" footage to figure out the problems that need to be fixed.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about The Country Cow Restaurant & Bar to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant Impossible):

Positive Reviews:
  • "We sat near the window and the views were great.  The service and food was good.  The onion soup was hot and delicious.  My wife had the chicken blt wrap and that looked great.  Our only complaint is the cigarette smoke coming in through the ventilation system.
  • "I would try the restaurant again as some of the food was really good. I think with all of the changes they are going through they are still working out some of the kinks and I hope they make it; but the food and service need to get better."
  • "We have eaten here a number of times, and have always enjoyed the folksy quaint nature of it, if not 4-star gourmet, but the last time we went, the decor, food, and service all seemed to have ratcheted up a notch."
  • "While visiting the White Mountain area for a few days, I chanced upon the Country Cow and had a delightful lunch overlooking a scenic river and covered bridge. The waiter was great...The food was excellent salad and sandwich, creatively prepared and presented... all with great flavor."
  • "We sat outside on the patio overlooking the Pemi River and the Blair Bridge this past Saturday and had the best Prime Rib ever. We love this place!"
  • "We love the deck and you have a beautiful view of the Blair Bridge (New Hampshire coverd bridge) and the Pemigawasset River...Very friendly staff"

Negative Reviews:
  • "I would say it was over all marginal service, for mediocre food, we were there for a total of one hour and fifty minutes, much longer then we expected for lunch....We'll be back up there for a few days in August but I think we'll pass on the Country Cow"
  • "To be fair to the kitchen the burgers were really good. It was fairly busy and they are going through a change since the show rolled in but no excuses for the service. They did comp a few beers which was okay . Like I said I really would like to see this place make it but if they continue like this they will be buried up the road in the Blair cemetery. We support the local businesses so we will go more time."

*Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor

Other News and Links:
  • Here is The Country Cow Restaurant website, which is one of the better designed websites I have seen for restaurants that have appeared on the show.
  • Here is The Country Cow menu, which was recently updated on 7/28/2014.
  • Here is The Country Cow Facebook page, which is kept up-to-date.
  • In odd news, newest Food Network Star winner Lenny McNab (from New Hampshire) is a friend of the restaurant and helped them open 12 years ago. (Link)
  • Robert Irvine is really hyping up this episode.  On Twitter, he said, "Next week's show it another totally different show ! The biggest behind the scenes shocker in the history of RI . The Country Cow in NH OMG."  And in a local interview, he said, I’m giving you an insider thing here, that will be the first of a new formatted show in Restaurant: Impossible. You’re going to see things on that show that you’ve never seen before. Which is really, really cool. I can tell you, it’s never been done. That was a whole re-formatted show for this episode.....It wasn’t dirty, but the story is so shocking, when you see it you’re like OMG...The story is something we have never, ever done before, ever. You’re going to see pieces of their audition tape, should I say. But I can’t say anymore. It’s really exciting to me, I can tell you."
  • The Blair Bridge, which is next to the restaurant, was damaged during Hurricane Irene in 2011. Two and a half million dollars was put into repairing and improving the bridge (Link).  Also, here are pictures from The Country Cow Restaurant during Hurricane Irene, which show the damage sustained at the restaurant.
  • In 2011, owner Jennifer Leonzi won "The Business Of The Year" award from the Waterville Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce for The Country Cow. (Link)
  • There was an MLS listing for the property at $679,000, but not sure of the date it was active, and it is no longer active (Link 1, Link 2)


It seems the reviews for The Country Cow Restaurant and Bar are mostly positive, however there are a few complaints about slow service.  One of the main draws of the restaurant is its location and beautiful scenery, which people seem to like.  The money put into repairing and improving the nearby bridge should also help bring additional people to the restaurant.  With their location and national exposure, even if they serve decent food, they should be able to be successful.

It will be interesting to see what Robert Irvine is hyping up about this episode and if there will continue to be format changes for the show.  It almost sounds this episode will be a combination of Restaurant Stakeout and Restaurant Impossible.

UPDATE -  The owners changed the name of the restaurant to The Covered Bridge Farm Table Restaurant & Bar.

UPDATE - The property and restaurant is for sale and the current asking price is $999,000. (Link)

*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant Impossible updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold. Also Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter


  1. Oddest thing here is Lenny is from New Hampshire?!

  2. Guys will be guys, but to spread their filth all over the place? Not every restaurant or workplace is like that.

    From a lowly civil servant job, many temp jobs, to my current professional job, NOBODY would allow the level of immaturity Lenny brings. Your butt would be out the door very quickly.

    Lenny has no internal filter. Not only is he crude, disrespectful, and sacreligious, he's a fake and has a few screws loose.

  3. The ex-husband seemed to be the brains of the operation, so this wouldn't be too big of a surprise close if it happens.

  4. On the plus side, at least this was a restaurant.

    On the other hand, on the RI site, the wife alleges that sales have increased by $22k by June this year. So, sales went up between $3-$4k per month. So, at best, the net increased by about $1k per month. That's obviously not enough to succeed.

    I can't figure out what the design team spent 2 days doing. Painting??

  5. This one looked promising, then they showed the video of the couple talking to the producers and putting on a performance and that's about when I shut it off.

  6. I have worked in a few of those and I know it doesn't happen everywhere.

  7. I doubt this place will recover. The staff picked the ex husband as the guy who works hard and gets everything done, and is the main chef (although rude to the staff ), and the ex wife can't even be counted on to answer her phone and text messages. Now that she's the one running the place completely, I don't think a paint job, redecorating, and a feel good kumbaya will cut it.

  8. I went there in June. Loved the decor a d the view of the river and bridge was beautiful. The redfish was deliscious. Had a nice time there.

  9. Maybe if Lenny was on one of the men's networks, he would fit. He's not a good fit if the FN wants to maintain a decent reputation.
    Lenny's quips are more than mere naughtiness. They are sexist, disrespectful, and nauseating. No amount of hype will get me or many others to watch his fake self. He's not a bad boy. He's nasty, gross, and fake.
    Not that Guy Fieri is any better. One day I peaked into one of his restaurants just to get a look, and it was dead aside for some 20 somethings getting toasted at the bar. My friends and I left. That restaurant was given only ONE star by a critic in a regional newspaper. Guy Fieri is all act and no substance, so using him as a standard is setting the bar low.

  10. Entertainment? What passes for entertainment is cheap filler, Jerry Springer crap. It's mind-rotting.
    I can think of so many other things more enriching and enjoying, like not indulging myself in someone's psychotic pretense.

  11. Agreed. This episode was very fake and staged.

  12. The best thing The Food Network can do is fire his ass and give Luca the show instead. Luca was sincere and charming and deserved it. This guy was so putting on an over-the-top cowboy act that I couldn't even stand to watch him. He's a decent cook, no doubt. But his personality just grates on me (and that's the clean version of it). Luca would make a GREAT show host!! (And Food Network - seriously?? Do you not do ANY background research on your contestants?? No wonder you have all these problems!)

  13. We ALL were shocked and disappointed when Luca didn't win! He'd make a great host! I think a lot of this could be what happens with American Idol, where people purposely vote for the worst candidate just to mess with the show. They need to stop doing this stupid "America decides" thing.

  14. Well, at least now they have grounds to get rid of him. I don't think he'd stand a chance in a lawsuit against the network, given his postings.

  15. Or maybe because he posted with an internet handle they didn't catch it. LOL

  16. Or, like with American Idol, voters were voting for the worst candidate in order to mess with the show.

  17. I feel conflicted on this. Yes, what he has said was reprehensible, but I've seen worse things said by the women of "The View" and "The Talk" and no actions were taken against them(they were derogatory comments and jokes about the male anatomy and male victims)

  18. Amazing that people still get married, the way times are now the odds of a marriage living up to the vows they both take(death and sickness and in health) is not very good

  19. Laura Bush driving schoolAugust 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    No, Bobby said Lenny was in all the shows highlights and he had to win.

  20. I haven't watched this since the first season, how are they now choosing the winner?

  21. Very happy to hear he's dug his own grave. I have no clue as to why he won other than he was set up to win from the beginning. Just speculation. With that and a couple bucks, you can get a coffee at 7-11. Yeah, this guy is sincerely not my cup of tea.

  22. Rory, I think.

  23. really? please quote someone on one of those shows saying something worse than what he said about Ree Drummond.

  24. you want to have sex with Ree Drummond? cos that is what he said.

  25. I find it ridiculous that this sort of thing can happen.

    If this stuff happened in the past, then maybe food network should have stepped up on the research of the people they admit as someone that can represent them.

    Good word Food Network, stellar job on stuff that should be a standard in this sort of competition. Allowing someone who you're not going to probably allow to do what your viewers decided they should be doing to champion in such a well followed series....

    That said, it can be hard to find such things before they become so popular. But this HAD to have emerged during the season. So if they were going to make a deal out of this, he should have been disqualified before crowned.

  26. Even Sharon Osbourne (who can be extremely vulgar) hasn't crossed the line as far as Lenny has gone...and, when she says something too off-color it gets bleeped out. Also, she apologizes for her words and actions if it is hurtful to others, unlike Lenny the Loser.

  27. Guy is terrible, he is not even a culinary grad, he was an HRTA major. At my school that was mostly for stoners and drunks that failed out of management.

  28. Just like the Duck Dynasty boys were yuppies before the show. They all had short hair and no beards, wore khakis, played golf. One has frosted blond hair all jelled up....

  29. And the self given nickname of a famous NBA rapist...