Do you want to feel like a celebrity or socialite in New York for a night? If your answer is no, you might want to change your mind. If you answered yes—I like your attitude—follow my instructions: check out Beauty & Essex, the new IT place for dining and drinks, from the owners of Stanton Social.
If you ask for a dinner reservation, you may be told the only opening is at 10:30 p.m. Take it! Just remember to eat a snack around 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.to avoid starvation. Take your time choosing your outfit; you have to look the part. Break out a pair of your highest heels, sport that metallic dress, wear that hot new shade of red lipstick, and add a final touch with that sparkly clutch.
Once you get there,in the heart of the Lower East Side, it’s all about attitude. You’ll see a line at the door, but since you are a V.I.P. you’ll go straight to the host, who will check your name on an iPad and let you in. You’llenter the restaurant through a pawn shop—so cool! Once you get into the actual dining space, a big spiral staircase and a beautiful chandelier will welcome you. You’ll be seated in about 20 minutes, so in the meantime you’ll order a drink at the bar and maybe take a look upstairs. There, you’ll find a cozy, modern lounge and an amazing lamp made out of large pearl necklaces. I will not explain every detail of the decor, so you can find out for yourselves!
I do have to say that the ambiance of the place is amazing; you will feel like a celebrity and think everyone there is one too. The server told me that I looked familiar and asked me if I was famous, and of course I had to go along with it. I said that I was famous back home in Venezuela, where I did Latin soap operas, and those were my 15 minutes of fame. I actually did spot some celebrities the evening I visited Beauty & Essex. I saw John Mayer, who told my friend that it wasn’t a “flash-appropriate” night because he was hanging by himself. I also saw Vienna Girardi, the winner of The Bachelor Season 14, who was dressed with sexy knee-high boots and posing on the stairs like a real celeb. Other celebs that have stopped by Beauty & Essex include Ashley Olsen, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rutherford, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Ali Fedotowsky.
The food was extraordinary; chef Chris Santos’s menu of tapas and small plates is designed for sharing at the table with friends and family. The food is multi-ethnic in inspiration and casually elegant. My favorites included the Tomato Tartare with a Sunny-Side-Up Quail Egg, the General Tso’s Monkfish, the Yellowtail Crudo, the Kobe Beef Carpaccio, the Branzino, and the Charred Shishito Peppers. Finger-licking good!
Follow my instructions and you’ll have a great time feeling like a celebrity for the night! —Daniela Apeloig
Beauty & Essex
146 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002