This past weekend I decided to try out the new “it” restaurant in New York, Beauty & Essex – ok it was more like I was forced to try out Beauty & Essex after the wait at Essex, my go-to brunch spot in the Lower East Side, was way too long for my stomach to bare.
Beauty & Essex was opened in December by renowned New York City chef Chris Santos. Santos also started one of my favorite restaurants The Stanton Social, also located in the Lower East side. French onion soup dumplings – that’s all I am going to say.
One glance through the glass storefront, and you might think you are at the wrong place. The front of the restaurant is a pawnshop with beautiful vintage jewelry in glass cases and old musical instruments hanging from the walls.
There are dining rooms and bars on both floors of the restaurant. We were seated in the lower dining hall for brunch, which has cozy booths lined up against the walls.
The menu items are all made “tapas-style,” small plates that are meant to be ordered in large quantities and are perfect for sharing, just like at The Stanton Social. This feature is great for a restaurant like Beauty & Essex because you can practically taste test the whole menu without over indulging.
Santos, who is known for his unusual food combination’s, does not disappoint with the Beauty & Essex menu.
For brunch we indulged in waffles, blueberry scones, a scrambled egg dish served on toast, which they referred to as a “jewel on toast” and last but not least cinnamon apple & bacon doughnuts. Yes, it was a carb-packed meal and yes, it was awesome. The combination of bacon and doughnuts sounds bizarre, but they were quite amazing.
At night, not only does the menu change, but also the restaurant takes on a more club vibe complete with a DJ and dancing. Looks like I am going to have to make another visit.
Beauty & Essex is located at 146 Essex Street, between Stanton and Rivington.