Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beauty & Essex’s Champagne Brunch Is Back—And It’s Beautiful And Bountiful!

By Anne M. Raso

I love Beauty & Essex’s retro glamour vibe with a funky edge—there is even a pawn shop with high-end collectibles from guitars to 14K gold cabochon earrings! The Champagne Brunch not only gets you’re a family style spread of eight different dishes, but each diner gets two glasses of Moet & Chandon Brut Classic from California. Knowing that most eateries charge $16 a glass for this type of champagne makes this brunch special a real deal! There are a lot of the “young and beautiful” to look at as well.

My dining partner and I started out with flakey, buttery Dark Chocolate Croissants, which were fresh-baked on the premises. There was about a tablespoon of dark chocolate inside each croissant and it was thick like a pudding or mousse and added just the right touch of chocolaty goodness without being overwhelming. Three small to medium sized croissants were served for the both of us, then we moved onto the Red Velvet Waffles (there were also three of these, and they were about four inches by four inches each). The piece de resistance was not just that the waffles were hot, moist and right out of the oven, but they were drizzled with a cream cheese icing that was like a bit of heaven. The icing was not too thick or too sweet, as it is at most establishments making waffles and pancakes.
Braised Short Rib with Huevos Rancheros
The Braised Short Rib With Huevos Rancheros came out next and was an interesting combo of classic braised and pulled short rib meat with a tomato and black bean sauce, cotija (grated white Mexican cheese) put on a bread-like pastry cup. On the top, there is a sunny side egg. This is one of the most innovative egg dishes I have come across on any brunch menu anywhere in town and it is available done with chicken as well. As a matter of fact, Beauty & Essex takes pride in making creative substitutions for people with dietary restrictions.
Skillet Roasted Potatoes
The much talked about Fried Chicken Biscuit Bites came to the table next. Bits of chicken breast are breaded and fried to a golden color in classic Southern style and then put on buttery biscuits, and topped with a knockout one-two punch of red cabbage slaw and Tabasco honey butter. This is again typical of the super-creative brunch cuisines the genius chefs at Beauty & Essex come up with constantly. I would go back for brunch and order ten or 20 of these, LOL! (In a family style brunch for two people you get three 3" diameter portions.) Then came a huge (three cup portion) of Skillet Roasted Potatoes, which were white potations lightly pan-fried with olive oil, roasted pepper and herb sea salt. There were large fresh parsley leaves scattered throughout and the herb sea salt includes "blackened" seasonings for a kick you get at the end of a mouthful.
Caramel Mousse Bombe
For dessert, my dining partner and I got a Caramel Mousse Bombe to share. The mousse was light and fluffy with a light chocolate flavor, which the cookie was like a chewy caramel brownie. The chocolate outer glaze was hardened a little less than a tartufo, and was subtle and milky. This is a "dreamy" dessert that doesn't sound like it would be light, but it was--and just right after a super-filling fusion meal.

I would highly recommend the Champagne Brunch (which is only served upstairs at B&E) for not only a personal Sunday brunch for a group of friends, but for special occasions like a birthday party or engagement party where you want classy food and good bang for your buck. The champagne's already included, which makes it great for a celebration where you do not want to spend extra money on drinks. The elaborate lighting seems to literally put a romantic light on everything, and it's a warm feeling. There is also unique bric-a-brac on the walls. In the room where Champagne Brunch is served, the walls are covered with elaborate gold picture frames with long necklaces hanging inside them. Pardon the pun, but Beauty & Essex is truly a beauty!

Beauty & Essex
146 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 614-0146
Cuisine: Modern American/Fusion

Beauty & Essex on Urbanspoon

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