There are our go-to spots, and then there are our go-to spots – the places that we can not only get a reliably delicious meal but that also lend us an instant cool factor amongst our peers. Sons of Essex? It's our ace in the hole.Let’s be honest, there are our go-to spots, and then there are our go-to spots – the places that we can not only get a reliably delicious meal but that also lend us an instant cool factor amongst our peers. Sons of Essex is our ace in the hole. It may look like a quaint coffee shop in the front, but really, that’s just a front (literally and figuratively speaking). Just take a short stroll through the wooden door in the back and let the real fun begin. This speakeasy-style entrance leads us to a realm of antique decor, rustic cuisine and high-class old-world vibes. Delightful smells emanate from the kitchen, craft brews flow at the bar and chic Lower East Siders order up plates of Braised Short Ribs and Truffle Mac and Cheese.
A believer in a true blue neighborhood establishment, Chef Roger Llanes emphasizes local, seasonal fare and is known to swing by the neighborhood’s greenmarkets every chance he gets. The menu takes a cue from the cultures that have called the Lower East Side home throughout history, with dishes like the Chinese Spiced Pork Belly Sliders or the Settlement Lamb Shank. (Photos straight from the nearby Tenement Museum also dot the walls as a nod to the L.E.S. of decades past.) We can’t imagine wanting to leave this ambiance too quickly, so stick around for some of expertly shaken (or stirred, of course) cocktails. The Old Law Margarita spices up the traditional drink with jalapeños, ginger and mint leaves, but The Bowery Mission takes the crown for us. It’s a delicate blend of Makers Mark, lavender peppercorn honey, lemon juice, egg white and bitters that had us wanting seconds. We’ve found our trump card.
Chinese Spiced Pork Belly Sliders, $15
Manischewitz Braised Short Ribs, $29
5-Spice Pork Belly Sliders, $15
Truffle Mac n Cheese, $16
Truffle Mushroom Pizza, $18
Double Cut Pork Chops $30
Essex St. Burger, $18
Monday – Sunday, 5 p.m. - 4 a.m.