Beauty & Essex

Total Bill: $104.00 for three

Oh Beauty, the lovely stylized wallpaper and warm faux candlelight. The Essex, by virtue of it being on Essex Street tucked behind some sort of retro-hipster shop.

Together, you’ve got Beauty & Essex.

It’s hard to get any trendier than this, a spacious yet edgy restaurant placed nonchalantly behind your quintessential Lower East side store. Kim, Jay, and I stopped by one bright Sunday morning for brunch, and though the service could have been better, it was a nice change from our recent adherence to midtown.

Vibe aside, the food was all right, and a bit on the pricey side given the portions. But their guts and glory remain in the section dubbed “Jewels on Toast” — nifty mini-entrees portioned onto crunchy bruschetta-like toast.

My favorite was of course the eggs benedict edition. The eggs were decently poached, with the fine layers of prosciutto being the real kicker.

For something lower profile, try the classic tomato topped version of “Jewels on Toast.” For something sweet, Kim had the small, but fluffy, trio of buttermilk pancakes. For something heavier, Jay’s quesadilla was probably the only entree big enough to fill up anyone hungry.

In contrast, my huevos rancheros was surprising small! Still, I have to give them credit for somehow blanketing softly poached eggs amid creamy braised beef and beans. The juicy protein wasn’t overly seasoned, which was nice for brunch time.

I always enjoy the family-style sharing of a bunch of smaller plates though, so while the experience wasn’t 100%, I’m curious to see what dinner and their creative cocktails are like. You’ll definitely be paying a premium for the atmosphere, but if you’re headed down to the LES, why hap haz it.


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