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Beauty & Essex Brunch

Lower East Side
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While I’m a loyal Washingtonian, it is hard to deny that the New York City food—and brunch—scene blows the District out of the water. The sheer quantity of restaurants makes it impossible for Washington to keep up. And then, there are some restaurants, like Beauty and Essex, that hit the mark so perfectly, blending a chic ambiance, gorgeous décor, impeccable service and out-of-this-world cuisine, I wonder why I don’t visit the City more often.

beauty-front

Located on Essex Street on the Lower East Side, Beauty and Essex masquerades as a vintage pawn shop. You arrive into an old, dusty, broken down storefront and filled with junk and enter through a doorway to a hyper glamorous hallway filled with mirrors, glass chandeliers, gold sconces, and tufted leather booths. You stroll through this long glamorous corridor—with a marble bar on the left and these booths with mirrors, chandeliers and tufting on the other side—to a third room. This third are is a stunning, high-ceilinged atrium with steel gray walls and dark wooden tables.

beauty-inside3

Seated at a massive circular table in the atrium, were ten of us—friends old and new—blending my high school best gals with their college sorority sisters, guy friends and one model little brother who, mark my words, will be hyper famous one day.

We all began with cocktails, which, while New York City pricey, are worth the price—as they are delicious and pack a punch. The cocktail menu features more than a dozen innovative, Prohibition style cocktails. Multiple girls had the Bloody Mary, which was spicy perfection. I had the pretty pink Sapphire Seventy-Five, blueberry-brown sugar Bombay Sapphire, prosecco, Thomaso’s sour mix.It was perfection.

beauty-cheers

The menu is tapas style—with miniature size of all the brunch options. You order a dish, say beignets, and they bring out the exact number for your part size, and adjust the pricing accordingly. At first, it was kind of difficult to determine how to order, but one of the New York Bitches took charge and ordered for the table.

The menu is eclectic and filled with options.

beauty-cocktail2

We began with the miniature vanilla beignets stuffed with raspberry jam. They arrived warm, coated in cinnamon sugar and very fluffy—with just a small taste of jam in the center. It was a heavenly breakfast pastry and I so desperately wanted more than one.

beauty-beignet

Then, came the pan con tomate—a perfect Spanish take on bruschetta with crispy bread, tomato chunks marinated in lots of garlic and olive oil and topped with a soft, moist and fresh buratta cheese.

beauty-pantomate

The lobster tacos were a crowd pleaser— miniature lobster taco, need I say more?

beauty-tacos

The mini Bennys consisted of Serrano ham and a perfectly poached mini-egg atop a mini English muffin, along with an exact portion of well-done Béarnaise. Well done, indeed.

beauty-benny2

The group went wild for the miniature chicken biscuits—served with a purple cabbage topping and a spicy, creamy chipotle sauce. The biscuits were buttery, moist and warm—absolutely delicious. The table ordered a second round.

beauty-chicken

The steak and eggs was one of the only dishes that was normal sized—and came served with heavenly hash browns. The eggs were done over easy and the hash browns crispy and buttery.

beauty-pancake1

The last dish to arrive was the lemon blackberry ricotta pancakes—also normal-sized—and they were absolutely worth the wait. The thin pancakes were moist on the inside and crisp on the outside—a pancake balance I’ve never been able to strike. The blackberries were fresh and the ‘cakes topped with a ball of creamy ricotta cheese. Rather than syrup, the pancakes were served with honey.

The Bitches say: A+. One of the best brunches I’ve had in my life. Spectacular décor and ambiance, excellent service and amazing cuisine.

Beauty & Essex
Lower East Side
146 Essex Street
(Between Stanton & Rivington Streets)
New York, NY
(212) 614-0146

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Bitch Approved, Bottomless Brunch, Brunch Date, Group Brunch

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