A word to ladies who accessorize like Princess Di: If you’re dining at Beauty & Essex, you might want to leave the bling at home — unless you want to compete with the walls.
The latest swoon-worthy restaurant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Beauty & Essex is done up by crack interior designers AvroKO (of Public and Double Crown) to look like an opulent jewelry store. But, this being the Lower East Side — the land of skinny jeans and studiously mussed bed head — the jewelry shop is more granny than Harry Winston, with lockets in picture frames and peacock feather floral arrangements and a four-story-long chandelier dangling over a spiral staircase like a she-giant’s pearl lariat. Naturally, the entrance has a pawn shop.
Beauty & Essex is the breathlessly hyped follow-up to The Stanton Social, chef Chris Santos’s wildly popular tapas restaurant (also on the Lower East Side). Based on the draft menu — which carries over the jewelry-shop theme, with “jewels on toast” crostini and “accessories” for sides — it’s easy to see why. The place serves lobster tacos; kobe beef carpaccio with wasabi egg yolk; roasted bone marrow with rioja braised shallot marmalade; braised veal short ribs with a tangerine barbecue glaze and tempura onion rings; the mouth-watering list goes on. You’ll have a hell of a time not ordering everything on the menu. The good news: You can always pawn your jewelry to pay for the bill.
[Images courtesy of AvroKO]