The Visceralist: Sons of Essex

Written by NY Press on . Posted in NY Press Exclusive.


The Visceralist, our new nightlife contributor, gives us the low down on the new Lower East Side joint Sons of Essex.

Sons of Essex

133 Essex Street (btw Rivington & Stanton)

NYC, NY 10002

(212) 674-7100

Bathroom situation – Visceralist recently used the adjective “swanky” in a conversation with two art school seniors. They had no clue wtf I meant (and yeah, they actually spelled out “W-T-F”). Commenters, is Visceralist just getting old & flabby or was it just them being willfully ignorant? It was them, right? See, that’s what I thought. Anyway, the bathrooms at SoE are swanky as all get out.
Takes credit cards? – yes, and with no discernible minimum. The drinks here are fairly costly though, so perhaps it’s just never an issue cuz you hit it as soon as you even look at the drink menu (more on that later).
Crowded on weekends? – yes if consider the weekend to be Wed-Sun. If you’re getting dinner, then reservations is a must.
Seating – 10 or so stools at the bar, two long communal tables just opposite the bar, a restaurant-style setup w/ 10 or so tables in back. Fun fact! This spot used to be a shithole travesty called Mason-Dixon that featured a mechanical bull in the back. The “bullpen” area now features a sunken lounge with a DJ booth adjacent.
Neighborhood – the part of the LES that you take friends from out of town to in order to show off your big-city bonafides, you swanky scenester, you.
Pretentious/assholes – so SoE has chosen to employ this new faux-storefront gimmick that they most likely sharked from their across-the-street neighbor Beauty and Essex. Your out-of-town friends will likely find this to be pretty swanky, but I think we can all agree that, really, it’s kinda triflin’.
Cost of Stella – not available. Wtf?
What time people start showing up – 8-9ish. Though the bar area is substantial, SoE is primarily a restaurant, so people generally try to get here around date-o-clock.
Bartender efficiency – fantastic. Visceralist has nothing but kudos for the bartenders, host & wait-staff here. Friendly like a Care Bear, quick like premature ejaculation, and cool-as-fuck like The Weeknd.
Official Website – here. A little too busy for Visceralist’s liking (tiled background? really?), but fully functional.
Food? How late – full menu with a whole section devoted to different varieties of that mac and that cheese.
TVs? What’s on – if you’re enjoying the new HBO show “Veep” what you should do is this right here: buy, then watch “In the Loop” on DVD, then go on YouTube and search “The Thick of It” and watch all the episodes in order, then say it with me, “Peter Capaldi for president!”
Guy:girl ratio – who was it that said that you only really realize how awesome you are after a bad breakup? Whoever it was has got it goin’ on.
Toys – nathan, so if you need one, you’ll have to do that origami chicken thing with your napkin.
Age of clientele – mostly late 20s – late 30s. I.e. “Veep’s” demographic.
Space for dancing? – perhaps in the lounge area, but SoE is likely subject to those wonderful NYC Cabaret Laws, so don’t you dare.
Music medium, style & volume – selections from the last time Visceralist was here: Outkast’s “Hey Ya”, Tupac’s “California Love”, LL’s “Doin It.” They have a DJ here Thur-Sat who spins mostly classic hip-hop. This is a rare treat in the LES, which is likely most of the reason why this place is so popular.
Specials or most popular drink – there’s a section of their cocktail menu devoted to Tea Blends. These are watered down, which is truly tragic because this is otherwise an excellent spot. Come on now, SoE.

To read more from The Visceralist visit www.visceralist.com.

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