Beauty & Essex
Monday, January 10, 2011 at 8:10PM
Jennifer in 2011, Birthdays, Snapshots, Wine & Dine

This past Saturday, we celebrated our dear friend Judy's 30th birthday at Beauty & Essex in the Lower East Side. This massive, jaw-dropping restaurant & lounge is hidden inside what used to be the M. Katz & Sons furniture store, with its entrance disguised as an unpretentious, functioning pawn shop storefront. Wander toward the back, slip through the rear exit, and...

BAM. Suddenly you're transported into a spectacular lobby that resembles a massive boudoir. This immensely elegant, eclectic space is a complete knockout. Adorned with antique jewelry, art, crystals, peacock feathers, and flowers, each room is literally dripping with decadence. Repeat after me: Pearl chandelier and pony hair walls.

Beauty & Essex is the newborn brain child of The Stanton Social's Chris Santos and renowned design firm AvroKO. It houses four distinctive dining sections and exudes the luxurious aura of a boutique hotel. Our private dinner party was held inside The Vault, which contains multiple security cameras and an insane necklace that would probably snap my neck in half. Judy's custom menu featured courses of delicious tidbits such as tuna sashimi, lobster tacos, truffle meatballs, and baby back ribs. The meal was topped off with mini macarons and whoopie pies. Simply splendid.

Complimentary champagne is served in the ladies' room. As if we needed another excuse to randomly disappear to the restroom together! I usually cringe at the notion of food/drinks in restrooms, but sipping bubbly in that powder room, surrounded by vintage perfume bottles and plush chaises, was an irresistible exception.

Beauty & Essex was the perfect venue for the celebration of our charming, sophisticated, jet-setting friend. Boys - If you're ever looking to impress a classy lady with a lovely date, this place would be a sure bet.

Happy Birthday, Judy!

{Image credits: Katie Sokoler via Gothamist, Michael Weber via AvroKO, Thyra Heder via Vogue}

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