120 Essex Street,
New York, 10002
NY, United States
It's barely noon when we arrive at Essex Restaurant (@EssexNYC)for brunch. Even with a reservation, we found ourselves crammed like sardines near the entrance, waiting for a table. Turns out by New York state law, alcoholic beverages cannot be served prior to noon on Sundays. Normally that wouldn't be a problem for most brunch spots, but at Essex, the alcohol is every bit as important as the breakfast fare itself.
While the internet has high regards for the food here, I am going to remember this establishment by the amount of alcohol that moves through the bar. Watching the bar for just a couple minutes left me fascinated at how quickly the champagne, vodka. and orange juice on the shelf was depleting. It's not until I saw a menu that it all made reasonable sense. "$22.95 Weekend brunch includes 3 Bloody Mary's Mimosas or Screwdrivers". Clearly the folks at Essex aren't joking around about doing brunch the right way.
Lots of people sitting, but just as many people standing waiting for a table!
These aren't your typical complimentary brunch mimosas. I watched them make these at the bar, and are definitely more than equal parts juice and alcohol. Definitely not to be consumed for the empty stomach!
Bloody Morty ($7) - Homemade bacon vodka and bacon garnish
For $3 more you can upgrade one of your bloody marys to a Bloody Morty, which is a bacon infused Bloody Mary. It's a commonly known fact that everything tastes better with bacon (who's with me here?), so we saw no reason not to order it. And let me tell you, this ended up tasting more like bacon, than bacon itself. Very concentrated bacon vodka, with a spicy Tobasco punch at the end.
SURPRISE! - The inside is stuffed with onions! :)
The Deep South ($22.95, includes 3 drinks) - Chicken fried steak, Biscuit, Eggs, Sausage gravy
The Brunch Salad ($22.95, includes 3 drinks)- Mesculun Greens, Butternut Sqaush, Sheep's milk cheese, Toasted pumpkin seeds, with choice of chicken or steak
The Aristocrat ($22.95, includes 3 drinks)- Potato pancakes, House-cured smoked salmon gravlax, Salmon caviar, Sour cream, Poached eggs
The CEO ($22.95, includes 3 drinks) - Chorizo, Egg, Onions, and Tortillas
The Sunday Platter ($22.95, includes 3 drinks) - House-cured salmon gravlax, Whitefish salad, Cream cheese, Tomatoes, Capers, Kossar's bialy
So what to say about this meal at Essex? For someone who's never been a die hard brunch fan, I left with only good impressions. I loved my order of The Aristocrat which came with the best of everything: smoked salmon, poached egg, salad, and potato pancakes that were TO DIE FOR. And who's going to complain over having 3 tall glasses of bubbly mimosas to wash it down?
Whether it be because of the food or the alcohol induced endorphins, brunch atEssex Restaurant definitely brought an enjoyable experience!