Last week's escape from LA to NY was a lesson in culture and taste. Without question, when it comes to nightlife, NYC puts any other city to shame. The vibrancy, heartbeat, and even trickery of the dining scene does so too.
Walking into Beauty & Essex's storefront, you think you're at an antique pawn shop. Step behind the green door and you're greeted by a whole new world of beautiful people, chic chandeliers, fabulous decor, and trendy tapas (even the ladies room offers free champagne).
L'Artusi is more straightforward. Simple, yet contemporary fair-sized Italian fare with modern elegance. The two-story property & gathering of people feels more like stepping inside someones home – a multi-million dollar home that is.
Beauty & Essex
- light, citrusy 'n smoky Sashimi of Tuna Tonnato Style with Lemon Zest Olive Oil, Chorizo & Sea Salt $13
- how could i not order my go-to, crunchy 'n sweet, guilt-free Kale & Apple Salad with Apple Cider Vinegar, Pancetta, Candied Pecans & Shaved Goat Cheese $12
- inventive, melt in your mouth with crispy crunch exterior Chicken Fried Oysters with Apple & Bacon Braised Spinach $16
- i wanted 10 more, sweet 'n smoky Fire Roasted Piquillo Peppers with Braised Short Rib & Queso Fresco $14
- not my cup of tea, wanted more Saffron Leeks & Tallegio Cheese flavor than fishy, Boquerones Flatbread with White Anchovies and aforementioned desired ingredients $12
- beautifully layered with never before seen Shaved Gorgonzola, Butter Lettuce Salad with Lemon Crema, Olives & Hazelnuts $13
- the star of the show, creamier & cheesier than a tomato bolognese, Tagliatelle with Bianco "White" Bolognese & Parmesan $18
- do yourself a favor and wait for it to cool down 5 minutes before you dive in 'cuz the temperature combined with the spicyness is a little overbearing, Orechiette "Ear-shaped pasta" with Sausage, Salumi, and Pecorino $18
- light, fresh, tough on the leg, Roasted Quail with Romesco Sauce, Cucumber, Red Onion & Mint $16
- the BEST DESSERT I'VE EVER HAD 'cuz it's creamy mousse-like, crunchy, sweet 'n salty, Hazelnut Chocolate Torta with Praline Crunch & Salted Caramel Gelato $10
Bottom line: Go to Beauty & Essex in the East Village for the scene, the wow-factor, and original concept food.
If you're a true foodie, L'Artusi definitely delivers with better portions and comfort cravings that have a modern twist (and the West Village couldn't be more lovely with treelined streets to stroll).
Beauty & Essex 146 Essex Street, NY, NY 10002. 212-614-0146.
L'Artusi 228 West 10th Street, NY, NY 10014. 212-255-5757.