My friend, Bin, and I met up after a long time and headed to Beauty & Essex for dinner one evening.
Beauty & Essex isn’t exactly in an appealing neighborhood, if you ask me, nor does it look particularly attractive from the outside, however once you open the door to this upscale establishment, allow yourself to be blown away by the grandeur and elegance of this magnificent restaurant. image courtesy of Beauty & Essex
The chef & owner, Chris Santos, of Beauty & Essex is also the chef/owner of The Stanton Social. In comparison to The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex definitely has that wow factor since it can seat up to 250 people within its 10,000 square foot space.
146 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
(lower east side)
MENU: Beauty & Essex menu
CUISINE: Bars, New American, Tapas
RECOMMENDED TO: Bar Scene, Couples, Small Groups, Large Groups, Romantic Dining.
Both Bin and I each started with a cocktail. I went for the Ruby Mojito made with 10 Cane Rum, St. Germain, lemon, mint, and raspberry-lemon soda. Although this beverage was slightly strong, it was very well made with just the right amount of mint and raspberry.
Between the 2 of us we split 3 dishes. The Chili Relleno Empanadas made with poblano peppers, manchego cheese, and jalapeno lime crema was beyond delicious. This was the BEST dish of the night, the cheese was so stringy, and you could most definitely taste all those Mexican flavors.
Next we split the Oven Braised Chicken Meatballs topped with ricotta cheese and then finished off with a wild mushroom truffle sauce. This dish received rave reviews, but I found it to be so underwhelming. There really wasn’t anything exceptional about the meatballs, they were pretty bland, however I loved the mushroom sauce that accompanied this dish.
Lastly, based on my friend’s request, we ordered the Pan Roasted Scallops which were way too tender for our liking since we both prefer our meats well-done. The 3 scallops sat on a bed of sweet corn risotto which was flavorsome. I believe I would have enjoyed this dish more if the scallops were cooked thru.
We finished the meal off with dessert and shared the Petite Cupcakes, and to my surprise we were served a generous serving of cupcakes. 3 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and 3 Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting, both set of cupcakes were moist, spongy, and delicious, however my personal favorite were the red velvet cupcakes.
Even though I normally don’t order a cocktail and coffee within the same meal, I needed to sober up since my drink was so strong. I’m such a cheap date when it comes to cocktails! Ha! My coffee was good, pretty warm, but not hot enough.
VERDICT: 4 / 5
Beauty & Essex is a beautiful and classy space that has all the elements required in making a restaurant successful, that is, gorgeous ambience, excellent cocktails, good food, sexy music, and a professional and courteous staff. For me, everything was perfection, however the food fell slightly short of a 5, specifically speaking, the chicken meatballs and scallops were just okay for me. Next time I dine here though, I’ll be sure to try the Mac & Cheese, my all time favorite American comfort food. With that said, I am mostly looking forward to Brunch at Beauty & Essex, they have Red Velvet Waffles and Chilaquiles! Brunch date, anyone?
|Food: Good||Chili Relleno Empanadas were amazing.|
|Drinks: Excellent||Everything is good.|
|Value: Good||Drinks ~ $14 each; Appetizers/Entrees priced accordingly.|
TELL ME: Have you been to Beauty & Essex and/or The Stanton Social? Did you like either restaurant(s)? Do you have a preference? In terms of food, what do you recommend at either restaurant?