What does a restaurant-guidebook empire get you? It affords Tim and Nina Zagat a nineteenth-century farmhouse upstate, but they rented the property for ten years before committing to buying it in 1994. A Times article relays that, during a gut renovation, the Zagats discovered “a petrified pig’s head, cut down the middle, with a coin in its eye,” but instead of running away screaming, they put in a wine cellar, a conservatory, and other places to be murdered in a foodie Clue game. Among other oddities: a Moroccan lantern illuminated with candles, Tim’s “stash of early-nineteenth-century woolen blankets,” and an “antique shaving mug” that doubles as his coffee cup. Possible upcoming projects: a reflecting pool (for her) and a Russian bath (for him). Remember back when the Zagats took their company off the block and everyone (including us) scoffed at them for a $200 million valuation? The company might not be worth that much, but this article serves as a big fat reminder that the Zagats made a whole lot of money from adjectives and quotation marks.
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