Expect the unexpected with our latest dining must-try, "Beauty & Essex," on the LES. With unusual takes on comfort food, classic cocktails and vintage decor, this is not just a restaurant, it's an entire dining experience. The brand new eatery features a pawn shop entrance filled with all kinds of old-school tchotchkes and decor for a L'Esquina like entrance (who doesn't like sneaking through the kitchen?). The main dining room (one of four in total) is designed to resemble the inside of a vintage jewelry box and features a pearl chandelier that will keep you looking up at the ceiling when you aren't too busy devouring your dinner.
Chef Chris Santos, whom you might recognize as a celebrity guest judge of The Food Network hit series "Chopped," offers a unique menu in traditional family style. For the daring in the bunch, we urge you to try to Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Dumplings or "Jewels of Toast," the restaurant's daily selection of crostini's with toppings like Roasted Bone Marrow. Otherwise, we can totally picture ourselves sipping an Earl The Pearl, an earl grey tea-infused vodka cocktail with mint and lemon, or a Golden Peacock, a saki mixture with flavors of cucumber, granny smith apple, pineapple and mint.
In keeping with the "Beauty & Essex" theme of '30s glamour with a twist, we've coordinated the perfect outfit for grabbing drinks, dinner, maybe some more drinks, and oh yes, visiting the pawn shop. We love this twisted nude tone dress that's both sexy and charming. Pair it with with sky-high booties, chunky jewelry and a pop of color—just another small unexpected twist of the evening —and you are sure to be the belle of the ball.
Above, clockwise from top left: Alexander Wang Draped Tailored Dress, $695, available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 5th Avenue (at East 50th Street), 212-753-4000; Joomi Lim Bracelet With Large Pearl, $150, available at Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street (at Broadway), 212-219-2699; TopShop Shrunken Ruched Sleeve Jacket, $110, available at Topshop, 478 Broadway (at Broome Street), 212-966-9555; Aldo Ceron Clutch, $23.98, available at Aldo, 97 Fifth Avenue (at West 17th Street), 212-229-9865; Vera Wang Lavender Label "Carlen" Slingback Booties, $425, available at Bloomingdales, 504 Broadway (between Broome Street and Spring Street), 212-729-5900.
Beauty & Essex, 146 Essex Street (between Stanton and Rivington Streets); 212-614-0146.