Sneak Peek: Sons of Essex at 133 Essex

Posted on: October 4th, 2011 at 6:42 am by

Developments at the forthcoming Sons of Essex have pretty much flown under the radar these last few weeks. Aside from the recent shed removal, exterior reveal, and exclusive sneak peek at the Tats Cru replica mural in the rear of the establishment, silence has reigned. So it’s quite surprising to learn that the establishment is already on the precipice of launch. We gained access over the weekend and grabbed a quick preview of what to expect here at 133 Essex.  Shall we…

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Owner Matt Levine, Michael Shah, and crew left no stop un-pulled with the Sons of Essex restaurant venture, tapping the nostalgia teet of the Lower East Side. A sort of Gangs of New York meets 1920s prohibition vibe, but with a homey twist. The name itself is steeped in American history, deriving from the local revolutionaries who belonged to the Sons of Liberty freedom fighters (when the British tried to take over the Lower East Side, the Sons of Liberty protected the rights of the people).

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The foyer of the restaurant hosts a permanent vintage-style quick-stop deli. Menu for this eatery-within-an-eatery includes custom sandwiches, coffee, tea (branded blends from The Teaologiest), Danny Macaroons, Guss’ Pickles, Kosar’s Bialys, Picklepetunia baked goods, and Robiceli’s cupcakes. Through the main doors, we see a sprawling bar and walls speckled with vintage photos from the Tenement Museum collection and beyond; tables adorned with glass milk bottles for water. There is communal picnic seating, banquette nooks, and mid-floor table options.

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The inner workings of the dining room are built with salvaged wood from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and stocked with mix-and-match furniture, all of which was scavenged from nearby antique sales and flea markets. Overall cuisine for the joint is classified as “melting pot American,” served by a staff composed mostly of neighborhood denizens.

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Less than three months. Definitely a record tenant turnaround period between the closure of Mason Dixon to the full monty of Sons of Essex. Levine stresses to us that the new establishment is foremost a restaurant and will operate as such. Not a rowdy bar. Opening is slated for Friday, October 21. Street rumblings seem to indicate that many in the neighborhood are stoked for its arrival.  Are you?

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Sampling of menu items:

APPETIZER EXAMPLE
Shepard’s Pie Empanada
Flaky Latin pastry, classic Shepard’s pie filling

GRILLED CHEESE EXAMPLE
Mac N Cheese Grilled Cheese
Elbow Macaroni flooded with baby Swiss and White American Cheese, Toasted Challah

MAC N CHEESE EXAMPLE
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
Chicken stew, onions, gouda

ENTREE EXAMPLE
Apple Crumb Pork Chop
Grilled Bone in Pork chop, toped with sauteed apples and apple crumb butter

Loisaida Skirt Steak
Grilled Skirt steak marinated in a blend of Latin spices including mace, cinnamon, cumin, rosemary. Topped with Salsa Verde and Pico de Gallo

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