In naming their Lower East Side restaurant, The Line Group was inspired partly by the Sons of Liberty, a band of American revolutionaries who formed to fight British control of the colonies. But while the menu at Sons of Essex has plenty of straight-up American dishes—fried chicken, barbecue mac and cheese, a burger—it’s not nearly so hostile to invasion from outside influences. Today’s Reserve selection invites you to dip into a melting pot of American and global flavors with a choice of the following options:
$90 for dinner for two
$175 for dinner for four
- One salad or shareable plate per person
- One entree per person
- Two cocktails per person
- One dessert per pair<p>
$40 for brunch for two
$80 for brunch for four
- One entree per person
- One side per pair
- One carafe of mimosas, bellinis, or bloody marys per pair<p>
At brunch and dinner, Sons of Essex celebrates the diverse mix of cultures found in its neighborhood historically and today. To that end, the seasonal selection of entrees might include anything from short ribs braised in Manischewitz to BLTs with guacamole and jalapeno mayo. As for drinks, you’ll find a concise list of classics—an Aviation, a Dark and Stormy—spiked with the occasional unusual ingredient such as chinese five-spice powder. Brunch brings irish benedicts in whiskey hollandaise and daytime cocktails such as bellinis with peach puree.
The ambiance also melds old and new New York, as hip-hop beats bob through a Gangs of New York-inspired dining room. (Occasionally, so do actual hip-hop stars—see, for instance, a favorable video review by rapper Fabolous.) Behind the old-fashioned deli facade, the spot is furnished with locally salvaged materials including old wooden beams, steamer trunks, and gilt-framed photos of Lower East Siders discovering texting for the first time.
Sons of Essex
The residents of the Lower East Side have never hidden their pride for their neighborhood, revering it and protecting it before the United States was even a nation. During Revolutionary times, when the British tried to seize control of the LES, they were opposed by a defiant group of local shopkeepers, tradesmen, and artisans determined to defend their rights, calling themselves the Sons of Liberty. This historical account of neighborhood devotion is the inspiration behind Sons of Essex, whose owners celebrate the area by serving seasonal menus that reflect its melting-pot heritage.
A serving from each course of the updated-at-any-time menu takes guests on a gastronomic odyssey as varied as the LES. The appetizer list may present dishes such as Chinese-inspired pork-belly sliders, served open-faced and seasoned with a five-spice hoisin-and-plum sauce. The journey continues from there, maybe with truffle mac 'n' cheese made with truffle sauce and parmesan gratin; the truffle mushroom pizza with three cheeses, roasted seasonal mushrooms and arugula; or perhaps the pork belly sliders with soy-mirin glaze. To further demonstrate their neighborliness, chefs share recipes on the website, demonstrated in how-to videos.
The interior strikes a look somewhere between industrial and farmhouse, with lots of aged, rough-hewn wood, exposed floors, and tufted booth backs that wind around the perimeter. This is the handiwork of designer Chien Dao, who rounds out the vision with flea-market wares such as vintage lamps and chandeliers, repurposed food crates, and antique pretzel canisters sourced from places such as the Brooklyn lumber yards. Behind the old-fashioned deli facade, the spot is furnished with old wooden beams, steamer trunks, and gilt-framed photos of Lower East Siders discovering texting for the first time.