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Sons of Essex: When seeking a happening hot spot, Sons of Essex may not be the first spot on the block to catch your eye. Its storefront features a tiny, bright white French-style patisserie, complete with fresh-baked croissants—but if you breathe in deeper, you might just catch a whiff of the fine spirits found in the Oz-like mahogany speakeasy behind the café. You’ll know you’re not in Kansas anymore when you try the Guss’ grilled cheese (for the table; Monterey Jack & sharp cheddar, sliced and fried Guss’ pickles, and tomato, $13) and wash it down with one of seven beers on tap ($7). If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try a tea-blend cocktail from resident “teaologist” like the William “Boss” Tweed (Bacardi, coco chai, pineapple juice and agave, $14). No matter what, you’ll be thankful for being a New Yorker, because when it comes to innovative fare and behind-the-storefront surprises, Sons of Essex proves that there’s no place like home.