Trendy restaurants and gluten free dining typically do not go hand in hand. But I love trying new places and am not about to let my celiac hold me back.
You enter Sons of Essex
through a fully functioning coffee shop (not just for decor).
The place has an awesome ambiance; especially if you are looking to dine with a young, upbeat crowd.
And the name? According to the website…
What does Sons of Essex mean?
We named the restaurant after the “Sons of Liberty” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_Liberty) - who were a group of shopkeepers and artisans, the workers, the tradesmen, a movement… who held down the Lower East Side when the British tried to take it over. The Sons of Liberty were the voice of the people, the voice of the streets (taking down the Boston Tea Party, the Stamp Act) and us being on Essex Street, we wanted to pay homage to those that looked out for our rights, the people’s rights, Sons of Liberty + Essex Street = Sons of Essex (#swag).
I took one glance at Sons of Essex’s menu
and immediately knew 2 things:
1. There was pretty much nothing I could eat on the menu
2. I was self inflicting torture by going to a restaurant that had menu sections devoted to mac and cheese and grilled cheese.
I asked our lovely waitress Ro if they had a GF menu. She said no but told me she also eats gluten free and could tell me what I could have. Perfect.
Between all the apps and entrees, I could pretty much have two things: Salmon or Chicken. Not even the Scallops (which I intended on ordering) were GF.
So we went with:
Arugula Salad w/ roasted red pepper, goat cheese, candied walnuts, sliced pears and honey truffle vinaigrette: Did you say truffle vinaigrette? Done.
Brussels Sprouts: Another done order. One of these days I am going to make a “best of NY brussels sprouts” list. These were not my fave. Too mushy and buttery. I like crispy – burnt even.
Chicken Paillard w/ arugula, shaved parm and lemon chive vinaigrette: Hard to mess up on chicken paillard. Very nice presentation. This dish was good – perfect if you are on a diet….. oh, or have celiac.
My friend decided to be a little brat and ordered:
Truffled Mac & Cheese: Yeah um – no comments here.
I told Ro they’d make a killing there if they added GF pasta and bread. And that I would be happy to be their official taste tester.
I’d also like to give a shout out to the table of guys sitting next to us who were super cool. And one of them even had a wife who was celiac. This is becoming a damn epidemic if you ask me.
Pros: Cool scene. Awesome old school music (Bone Thugs, Warren G, Black Street etc).
Cons: VERY limited GF items. According to Ro – they are looking to become more gluten free friendly so keep your fingers crossed.
Sons of Essex: 133 Essex St, New York, NY 10002, USA