Beauty & Essex is, quite simply, a fantastic and innovative brunch experience—absolutely worth putting on your brunch ‘bucket list’ whether you’re a hip local Brooklynite day-tripping into the city or an Arkansas traveler just passing through.
Brought to you by Portuguese-American chef/owner Chris Santos, he of the equally-uber-hip Stanton Social eating club nearby, this place takes “speakeasy” to new heights: you actually enter through a pawn shop that looks like a real pawn shop. (On closer examination, it is real. You can actually buy the guitars hanging up on the wall and the books stacked up in a corner, for the prices indicated on the tags.) But, truth be told, this pawn operation is mostly just a cool façade—and a mighty convincing one, too. If you didn’t know there was a restaurant here, you’d probably walk right on by it. In fact, even knowing it’s here, it’s a little hard to believe this is actually the place given the drab surroundings. But it is. Read the rest of this entry »