Beauty & Essex

The Lower East Side is not a neighborhood that we associate with glamour, but Beauty & Essex, a 10,000 square foot semi-lounge, is one of the most elegant, chic spots in the city. Not that you would know this from its dilapidated façade or the guitar-strewn pawn shop that you must first pass through before encountering one of NYC's most beautiful rooms.

The dramatic main dining room has dove gray crescent moon banquettes opposite one another alongside the walls, perfect for observation. Appropriately, there are peacock feathers strewn about. Up a spiraling staircase that orbits a massive crystal chandelier is another lounge and dining area. The restaurant is of a piece with establishments like Buddakan, The Hurricane Club and The Stanton Social: warehouse-sized, deftly designed, geared toward going out and practically vibrating with trendiness – and surprisingly good. Chef Chris Santos serves a number of small plates meant for sharing, such as grilled cheese, smoked bacon and tomato soup dumplings and beer battered Maine lobster tacos. There are crostini, pastas and fish. The ingredients are top-notch and the preparations creative. Between the filigreed, visually striking ambience, the DJ's thumping music and the complimentary champagne in the ladies room, you'd be hard pressed not to have a great time at Beauty & Essex. Unless you're over 35.


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Lower East Side
146 Essex St.
(212) 614-0146
Mon-Fri, 5pm-1am; Sat-Sun, 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-1am
    Chris Santos, Chef
    AvroKo, Designer