Go to Beauty & Essex

If you live in the New York area, you've GOT to visit Beauty & Essex.


Happy 11/22/11!!  Today is my amazing-loving-supportive-awesome-bestever sister's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESSICA!), so last night went went with friends to this Lower East Side hot spot for a celebratory dinner and were blown away.  Guests enter into a old-fashioned pawn shop, selling jewelry, boxes, shoes, all sorts of doo-dads.  Then you pass through to the bustling bar area where the hostess is waiting to assist you.  A winding staircase to the right leads to an upstairs lounge where you can enjoy drinks, appetizers, and company, and a stairwell to the left descends toward the restrooms, where ladies can primp at a beautiful perfume-lined vanity and indulge in a rose sparkling wine before heading back to their party.  (Or, you can do what we did, and take the party downstairs for a pre-dinner toast!)

As we were led to our table, the restaurant seemed to grow much larger than it could have appeared.  What a space!  The entire place is dark (for dinner, at least), with chandeliers lighting the room from high above, but we could still see the place--large as it is--was PACKED.  Completely full, to capacity, people eating, drinking, laughing everywhere you looked.  Mind, you, this was at 8:30 on a Monday night.  Wow.  Must be pretty good, right?

Right.  The tapas-style meal was completely delectable.  Between the six of us, we shared something close to 10 different dishes, each receiving group approval.  The plates flaunted Top-Chef-worthy presentation, and the genius flavor combinations made my tastebuds dance.  The service, too, made the evening a smashing success.  Our waitress, and even the busboys, were extraordinarily attentive, especially so given how busy and crowded the restaurant was.  Our moods were lifted even further when the bill wasn't as outrageous as we might have anticipated based on how much food we ordered (not to mention how delicious it was!).  Win!

The whole dinner--food, service, ambiance, company--was such a pleasure.  I can't wait to go back and try their popular brunch menu!  I apologize for not including a dozen photos, but it's really just a place you have to experience yourself.  As soon as you can, head over to Beauty & Essex for a meal you won't forget.  I dare you! 

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