Local Food and Seasonal Ingredients

Essex – Lower East Side – 120 Essex St.

By Melissa Limberg

So, just to give you a peek at the inner workings of moi, here’s a brief rundown of the thoughts that go through my head every Saturday or Sunday morning when I wake up: “BRUNCH BRUNCH BRUNCH BRUNCH BRUNCH ADVIL BRUNCH BRUNCH BRUNCH WATER BRUNCH BRUNCH BRUNCH BLOODY MARY BRUNCH BRUNCH”

Now that you know me a little better, let’s talk about a fabulous brunch spot.  Essex is everything you could want.  It’s trendy, it’s modern, it includes three drinks with each brunch purchase.  Hello? Can I love you more? Please note, all brunch is cash only.  Don’t get caught without them Benjamins, baby.  Also, you’re crazy if you try to go there without a reservation.  It gets very busy, but then again, what awesome places in New York aren’t busy?  I tend to only steer you toward places that are worth the trouble or the wait, and this is one of those places.  So, just make the reservation mmmk?

 Atmosphere is very open.  From the very industrial, bland looking outside you wouldn’t expect the inviting space that you walk into.  As you pass the bar there is an expansive eating area on the first floor, and more to be found up the stairs.  Feels a bit cramped because of the number of tables and chattering people that fill them, but this is soothed by the food. Plus, I kind of like being in a place that’s so full of energy.  I like to look around and know that I’m in the middle of the New York that people always talk about.  Young people drinking, laughing, eating – isn’t that what it’s all about?

 The Lower East Side is known for its ability to serve up some of the best Lox in the city and Essex takes pride in this.  Several Lox options, but I highly recommend The LEO.  Lox, egg, and onions – don’t expect to be super kissable afterwards, but you’ll be so full and satiated that you won’t even care about not being kissed. They also have a lobster or crab cake benedict that brings tears to your happy little eyes upon first bite.  Wonderful selection of matzo brei, chicken fried steak, and loads of other brunchy bits.  Think classic American comfort food with a LES twist.  I have never tasted something form the menu that I haven’t liked.

 Extra bonus points are awarded because after you pay your tab at brunch your server will give each guest another token so that your party can enjoy another drink, on them, at the bar.  So we’re talking $29 for some delicious food + 4 drinks.  You don’t have to be good at math to know that this equals a fabulous Saturday or Sunday meal spot.  You don’t even have to be hungover to fully enjoy it!

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