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Beauty and Essex: A Real Beauty on Essex

Beauty and Essex is a brand spankin’ new tapas restaurant and lounge located on – you guessed it – Essex Street on the Lower East Side. Even though the restaurant is literally just days old, we had heard good things about the food and, more importantly, the atmosphere. So we were thrilled to get a reservation during its opening week. The owner, Chris Santos (who, by the way, is also the man behind Stanton Social), told us Magpies that the idea behind this restaurant was to make it feel like a “feminine steakhouse” – to create an atmosphere where girls could go in groups to wine, dine,  and catch up with friends. So that’s exactly what we did!  First of all, one of the coolest things about this place is when you walk in, you’re actually walking into a pawn shop, used merchandise and all. The guy behind the glass counter told us they plan to make it a functioning pawn shop to boot!  The restaurant though is actually located behind the pawn shop – so don’t let that fool you.

When we walked into the actual restaurant (behind the back wall of this pawn shop), we were blown away by the glitzy decor. It has a stunning, vintage boudoir-inspired feel – from the crystal chandeliers…

to the “pearl” lounge, with strands of pearls draped from the ceiling…

…to the antique gold chain necklaces hanging in picture boxes around the entire dining room(!). OMG…is this a Magpie place or what?!

We started with drinks, a round of  delicious house special gimlets (made with a twist – basil), and a dirty martini with olives…

Then we ordered the food. The menu is made up of small plates to share…so we ordered (well, almost) everything! They started us with an amuse-bouche – compliments of the chef!

We got the tomato tartare, served with a sunny side up quail egg and parmesan crostini (delish!)…


The whipped ricotta crostini with grilled pears, honey, basil and chile (interesting flavors with a kick!)…

The lobster tacos, with beer battered Maine lobster, red cabbage slaw, and jalapeno mayo (sooo good! could have eaten a dozen)…

The chicken meatballs, with sheep’s milk ricotta, wild mushroom, and a taste of truffle (the meatballs were tender and flavorful, but bathing in truffle sauce made it memorable)…

The apple and bacon pizzette (light and crispy and a great choice to accompany our drinks!)…

And finally, the spaghettini, with zucchini, chile, parsley pesto, and parmigiano. It was another great dish to share!

Every dish was really good – but some were really great. The chicken meatballs were to-die-for, and the tomato tartare was so delicious (and tiny!) that we ended up ordering  two! And…never ones to pass up dessert, we tried the chocolate bread pudding (which tasted a lot like a chocolate-y molten cake)…

And the unanimous Magpie favorite, the butterscotch pot de creme – served with mascarpone on top. We thought this dessert was light and tasty – the perfect ending to a fab meal.

But before we left, we were told we had to check out the bathroom downstairs. And when we got there, we knew why. It’s lined with antique perfume bottles, mirrors and chandeliers…

and there’s even a small bar area where a hostess passes out champagne! (one good reason to head for the bathroom several times during dinner!)

Beauty and Essex is a real beauty on Essex. We absolutely loved the food and that was before the waiter told us that in honor of their opening, they were giving a 20 percent discount off the entire bill! And guess what Magpies? Tthis promotion is going on the whole month! And that’s another reason it’s a real beauty on Essex!

Chris, we give you two thumbs up! Can’t wait to return!

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2 Responses for “Beauty and Essex: A Real Beauty on Essex”

  1. I really enjoyed your blog. Check out mine, it is pretty awesome too.

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