Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 628 : Brunch at Beauty & Essex

Today I ventured down to Beauty & Essex for brunch. Ever since it opened last year, I had wanted to try Chris Santos' new sleek clubby small plates joint hidden behind the front of a pawn shop on Essex Street between Stanton and Rivington. Why do you recognize the name Chris Santos? That's because he is the executive chef of Stanton Social and a frequent judge on Chopped.

Walking in through the pawn shop into a dark and sultry room, the space stretched as far back as the eye could see and had the feel of a great jazz age cocktail bar replete with the requisite leather couches and dark corners to do dark deeds, granted it was brunch time so one didn't get to witness any of those, but I imagine at night time there would be quite a few.

The menu was a mixture of sweet and savory inventive takes on American classic comfort food both of the brunch, lunch, and dinner sort. The cocktail list looked excellent and very creative as well. There were quite a few things that I thought looked fabulous, definitely a place to come back to. Granted, it was a meat heavy menu, but there were plenty of options for those of us who don't eat meat...We started with a tomato tartare served on a parmesan crisp with a quail's egg and grated parmesan and chives. It was a burst of flavor in your mouth -- refreshing and light with a burst of creaminess from the quail egg and an aromatic finish from the chives.

All served in quite a cute presentation as Santos is known for...

Next up my friend split their three cheese fondue served with duck fat potatoes, apples, pears, strawberries, and croque monsieur squares. A cheesy decadent sharable dish that she thoroughly enjoyed. I had their kale, apple, radicchio, caramelized pecan, and goat's cheese salad, hold the pancetta. A crisp refreshing yet filling salad, perfect for brunch time!

Overall a delish and satisfying meal in a fun atmosphere, a definite place to return to, for brunch, dinner, or cocktails. 

Beauty & Essex
146 Essex Street

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