Beauty & Essex Grand Opening, Las Vegas

Ellen Pompeo & Bethenny Frankel Attend the Grand Opening of Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas | Photo: Al Powers
Affair: Beauty & Essex Grand Opening

When: Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hot Spot:
Beauty & Essex, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

Deets: TAO Group and Chef Chris Santos debuted Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas this May. The opening marks the second location of the New York City pawn shop, restaurant and lounge that originated in 2010 from the chef who pioneered the small, share plate dining trend that has swept the nation.

Spanning 10,000 square feet, the Rockwell Group-designed space celebrates the exquisite beauty of jewels. With over 230 seats for dining, and another 90 seats in the bar and lounge, the restaurant explores jewels in all forms—from pearls and gemstones to vintage jewelry boxes, to antique and heirloom pieces. Guests will experience a dramatic transition as they journey through the gritty pawn shop-inspired space to discover a light and decadent entry, before arriving in the Pearl Lounge. Here, a custom chandelier comprised of thousands of draped pearls which radiate from the ceiling and down the walls to plush, tufted purple banquettes. The opulence continues in the Mirror Bar where a DJ will spin from a gold DJ booth and through a corridor featuring a 40-foot-long screened wall composed of framed vintage lockets that leads guests to a trio of ornate dining rooms complete with custom finishes, metallic and jewel-toned hues and glamorous lighting.

The menu from Santos, a celebrity chef judge on The Food Network hit series “Chopped,” will echo the multi-ethnic signature dishes of the New York City location and feature additional culinary offerings exclusive to Las Vegas. Share plates including New York City favorites Tuna Poke Wonton Tacos, Thai Style Crispy Shrimp and Tomato Tartare join Roasted Bone Marrow, Oven Braised Chicken Meatballs and more. The Beauty & Essex Las Vegas menu will also feature classic dishes from The Stanton Social, Santos’ first New York City restaurant, including the iconic French Onion Soup Dumplings among other favorites. A creative selection of pasta, prime dry-aged meats, an award-winning burger and inventive desserts round out the menu, while aptly named libations such as the Emerald Gimlet and Beauty Elixir as well as an expansive wine list provide an ideal accompaniment to any meal.

Fresh from their January launch of VANDAL, New York City’s hottest dining destination, Beauty & Essex Las Vegas marks another step in collective expansion for Santos and TAO Group, who together will open a Beauty & Essex outpost in Los Angeles later this year. Also forthcoming from Santos is his first cookbook, “SHARE – Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table,” debuting February 2017.

Jaime King, Bethenny Frankel, Ellen Pompeo, Derek Hough, and Anthony Mackie were among the elite who celebrated the Chris Santos and TAO Group opening of Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Bethenny Frankel, who is a longtime fan of the Beauty & Essex New York location arrived looking stunning in a black floor length dress after hopping off of a JetSmarter private jet. After stopping in the pawn-inspired shop to browse the jewelry, Frankel took home one of the custom “Beauty” necklaces. Austin Stowell also made a trip through the pawn-inspired shop, and was thrilled with the drum set cufflinks that he picked up, as an ode to celebrate his role in the hit, Whiplash.

Frankel and Stowell both mingled with other guests including Jonathan Cheban, Ellen Pompeo, Chris Ivery, and Jaime King who enjoyed a date night with husband Kyle Newman.King wore a beautiful orange dress and enjoyed Beauty & Essex favorites such as the Tomato Tartare and the Avocado, Lemon & Espelette Jewels on Toast. Derek Hough was also at the restaurant celebrating his birthday with a surprise cake. Afterwards, Derek tapped into his musical side by grabbing a guitar off the wall in the pawn-inspired shop to play an impromptu medley for friends and guests.

As guests entered the restaurant, ‎Andrew Watt treated guests to live music, playing a mix of covers and original music with the vintage guitars offered at the pawn inspired shop.

Jermaine Dupri DJ'ed the opening, getting the crowd going. DJ 88 opened and closed the party while guests enjoyed the small share plates, a dining trend pioneered by Chef Chris Santos. Guests enjoyed Beauty & Essex favorites such as Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Dumplings, Tuna Poke Wonton Tacos, and Thai Style Crispy Shrimp.

Other notables who attended included Busta Rhymes, Anthony Anderson, Austin Stowell, Dan Bilzerian, Victoria’s Secret Model Shanina Shaik, Angie Everhart, Celebrity Chef Scott Conant, Musician Andrew Watt, and Professional Poker Player Antonio Esfandiari.

The party continued at Marquee where Vice performed showing off his newly purchased Rolex from the pawn-inspired shop at Beauty & Essex. Anthony Mackie, Jonathan Cheban, Derek Hough, and Jermaine Dupri also enjoyed the after party at Marquee.

Hint For The Average Socialite: The restaurant will be open to the public for dinner starting May 16, 2016.

Beauty & Essex will also serve brunch each weekend starting in late summer 2016.

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