Beauty & Essex
146 Essex St (Stanton St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 614-0146
Hours: 5pm-1am daily
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: Chris Santos
2nd Cuisine: Contemporary
Area: Lower East Side
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard
Don’t be deceived by the vintage shop when you arrive at Essex Street between Stanton and Rivington. New York’s sexiest restaurant and lounge, Beauty and Essex, lies beyond the shop full of amazing finds, accessible via a thick door in the back. Here you will find an elaborate staircase with fur-lined walls leading to the hip lounge upstairs. Ladies, make your way to the restroom first and load up on complimentary champagne available in the bathroom’s bar.
The mood here is very sexy as you make your way through the downstairs bar, passing crowds of singles and groups of 30-somethings. The dining room is dimly lit and as the evening wears on the lights go down and the music turns up.
Beauty and Essex presents itself as a tapas/small plates restaurant, although one main entrée per person is more than acceptable. I find it most rewarding to share around the table. Choose from bite-size portions of tomato tartare on a parmesan crostini with a sunny side up quail egg ($12), lobster tacos ($18) and braised short rib tamales ($13). For a salad with great flavor, try the kale and apple with shaved goat cheese ($12) or the watermelon salad with feta ($11). The sweet roasted tomato pizzetta ($14) is delicious and the braised chicken meatballs ($16) were without a doubt the favorite dish of the night. You will also find a nice selection of prime cut meats ($32-48).
The presentation of each dish is beautiful and service quick and attentive. My drink was never empty. Cocktails include the B & E Pink Lady made with gin, house made pomegranate grenadine, lemon, and Apple Jack, and the Smoked Opal Martini with chipotle Hanger One, cava, honey syrup, pineapple, and blood orange.
Personally, I find the best way to enjoy Beauty and Essex is through the dessert menu. Please, try everything if you can because each dish is deliciously sweet with amazing flavor! My favorites include the blueberry crisp ($10), the devils food layer cake ($12) and the cute box of doughnuts ($12).
The great part about this space is after dinner, feel free to head upstairs for a round (or two!) of drinks in the cool atmosphere of the lounge. There is so much to taste and enjoy at Beauty and Essex, I guarantee you will have a good time. If you don’t bring good company, here is a place where you can find it.
Review By: Rachel Sult