Finding My Beauty and Bliss in NYC

Stanton Social’s owner Chris Santos has a new hot spot on our radar. If you haven’t headed downtown in a while make a trip to Beauty and Essex, a new gem in the Lower East Side.

At first glance it looks as if you are entering an old pawnshop complete with vintage guitars and rock-and-roll memorabilia. Push through a secret door at the back of the shop and you find yourself standing under a scintillating outsize crystal chandelier. With throwback details that bring to mind the early sixties with peacock feathers and tapestry galore, one can’t go wrong. Picture the apartment of Mad Men’s Pete and Trudy if they came into some extra cash. My favorite trip of all was to the ladies room where a hostess handing out pink champagne greeted me. The bathroom is more of a lounge than a facility but still manages to offer a charming experience to use the lube.

Appetizers are eclectic. My favorites were off the series of items called “Jewels on Toast.” The whipped ricotta crostini with grilled pears, honey basil and chile excited me. The baby back ribs are done in a tangerine barbeque glaze and tacos are stuffed with beer-battered Maine lobster, red cabbage slaw and jalapeno crema. The drink list is vodka heavy but well executed. My favorite had to be the Essex Sour Blush, a mixology of bourbon and bittersweet Barolo Chinato.

The bottom line is this place definitely ups the chic factor of the Lower East side. It’s the kind of place you can bring your bff or uptown candy to, without feeling like you’re betraying the neighborhood’s soul.

– Sara Brosious

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