Essex: Revisited

Total Bill: $502 for 10

Essex has been around since our college years. It stood as something of an epitome of  Lower East Side brunching.

But that was then. Our experience last night was a confluence of a lack of professionalism and, worse, uninspired food.

They ran out of veal. The dishes took an hour to get to our table. I had to place my drink order twice. Cec’s catfish was dubiously tilapia-like. Medium-rare pork came out well done.

That’s all forgivable if at the very least the food is worthwhile.

But even that was questionable.

My tilapia ceviche was under-marinated and tough. Dumped into a drinking glass, the chunks of mango and onions buried the bits of fish that were there. Flavor was typical, but not set far in advance enough to seep into the fish.

Save the salmon gravlax and sour cream on top, their “famous” potato pancake was simply not well-made. It was greasy and tasted as such.

This place is resting too comfortably on its laurels, which is obviously starting to fade with the 8 pm cycle filled with vacant tables. Turn any corner and you’ll find better dining.


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