A slick, sexy refuge for subscribers to the “I am where I eat” school of dining out, Essex can be surprisingly intimate on weeknights, when the lull provides a little breathing room. The corner location is prime and the brunches are mimosa-soaked. The food is not really the point, but it’s fine: Upscale takes on LES staples like potato pancakes strive to give the menu some local cred, and Wednesday’s lobster night is a reliable crowd-pleaser. It’s not the cheapest place on the block, but when you’re arriving from the Upper East Side in a taxi, money’s probably not much of an issue anyway.
120 Essex St
|Cross street:||between Delancey and Rivington Sts|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Thu 6pm–1am; Fri, Sat 11:30am–2am; Sun 11am–4pm|
|Transport:||Subway: F to Delancey St; J, M, Z to Delancey–Essex Sts|
|Price:||Average main course: $16. AmEx, DC, MC, V|