The Essex

4.8
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278 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Modern American Dining With a Focus on Sustainable and Local Product, Cutting Edge Fish Program with $1 oysters ALWAYS.

"Voted Best New Restaurant in New England" Yankee Magazine 2018
"Best Restaurants in Connecticut" CT Magazine 2019
"Not to be Missed" Town And Country

The Essex provides an intimate yet energetic upscale casual dining experience built around our double sided open fireplace. Focused on our locally sourced products from the New England Family Farms, Fishermen, and our partner farms along the shore, we provide a food forward experience with cuisine that plays with flavor profiles of Japan, Korea, Thailand, and China rooted in familiar styles from American Dining Favorites.

Special Offers

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1,000 point tables

Sun 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Wed - Thu 5:00PM - 6:30PM

What 278 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
Food
4.8
Service
4.8
Ambience
4.5
Value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Unbelievable, must go!

RG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Fabulous experience for may first time at The Essex! The food was sensational, the best around here on the shoreline. It was a very cold Sunday night so it was quiet with very few diners and the temperature of the room was very cold (until our server kindly raised it at our request) but the restaurant is beautifully decorated and the food was fantastic. We tried the tasting menu with wine pairings and everything was exquisite. Can't wait to return and try the menu.

B
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Consistently delicious and so creative! Plus, the staff is engaging and thoughtful....

GG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 11 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

I loved how you could visit 3 places in 1. There is the very classy, comfy restaurant, the upstairs lounge, and the Mexican ‘cantina’. Each of these offers a different experience. The food at The Essex was delicious! And the service exceptional. We’d definitely go back. It was worth the 40 minute drive.

e
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 3 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Such a great discovery. Amazing food, drinks and service.

DJ
New England
1 review
Dined on 3 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent atmosphere. Service was 5 star. Owner/chef has a great personality and obvious culinary skills. Will return often.

WP
1 review
Dined on 28 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

A wonderful dinner experience!! Nice people, outstanding food, and a personal welcome and follow up discussion with the chef!!

OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wonderful experience! We enjoyed our meal and it was great to have the opportunity to meet the Chef and members of his team!

A
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Delicious and inventive

E
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Perfect! Beautiful venue with fireplace comfortable cozy seating. Definitely will go back

LS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 21 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Fabulous, inventive food that is delicious and surprising.

GS
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

All I can say is wow! This is my new favorite restaurant. The food is spectacular-- there were four of us in our party and we all ordered something different for sampling purposes. Every single meal was out of this world. I had a lobster and fusilli with beets. The flavors were complex and everything was cooked to perfection. The service is top notch. Our server, Peter, who we knew from L&E is always wonderful. Colt, the chef and owner, came out to speak with us several times to make sure we were having a good experience. Great ambience as well. There was a very loud party in there and it was difficult to hear, but it's Christmas time and to be expected. My only regret is that I waited so long to try this place. I'll be back again soon.

l
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 18 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We had a wonderful meal at the Essex on Wednesday night as part of their Wednesday night supper club.
The food was amazing. We enjoyed the family style serving. We had a wonderful seat in front of the fireplace and very close to the beautiful Christmas tree. Our server, Peter, and chef and owner, Colt, along with a cocktail expert all showed concerned that our every need was met. Just a great experience all the way around. Hope to be Wednesday night regulars!

FS
Naples
1 review
Dined on 15 December 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED

I
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food,just delicious and unique. Terrific waiter who was so attentive, delivered our food at just the right leisurely pace. Paired our meal with a perfect wine. Chef came out to welcome and greet us. Quiet and cozy. And the price!!! Can’t say enough about a wonderful “date night”.

DS
Philadelphia
37 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Had the 7 course tasting menu for 2. Was our anniversary. Took 2 hours but waiter was very informative (although a little slow and forgetful at times). Portions were small (expected) but great textures.

OT
1 review
Dined on 4 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Their supper club dinner was outstanding, more food than my wife and I could even eat.

JH
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on 23 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Simply amazing tasting menu meal over the weekend. Happened to be in the Essex CT area this past weekend and made a reservation based on a recommendation. Chef and his team hit it out of the park. Each course was superb and the wine pairings just added to the experience. Don't think I have had a better meal anywhere. Can't wait to go back.

T
New England
15 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We went there for our anniversary. We had a great table near the fireplace and the food was fabulous. Added plus of having part of our meal cost donated to a veterans organization. Ended the night with a visit to the Coco Club, very cool venue. Nice to go to dinner and be a able to hear each other😊

CL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always fantastic meal and experience at The Essex!

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food and service. Enjoy a seat by the fire. Go upstairs and grab a cocktail and thank me later

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The Essex is an experience! Outstanding creations by the super-talented Chef Colt who perused the dining room throughout dinner to check-in with his patrons. The newly opened CocoClub upstairs provides a wonderful, casual-chic space to enjoy before or after dinner cocktails (be sure to check out their seasonal cocktails creations!). And, there is yet a third option to mix in with Chef Colt's Los Charros Mexican right next door through the shared hallway. Three concepts make this a destination for a fabulous evening of the highest quality food and drink. Enjoy this wonderful gem in Essex, CT!!

OH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Very good food, nicely presented. Good atmosphere as well. The service was pleasant but not polished. We ordered the tasting menu with wine pairing and more often than not a course was set down without the wine and it took some time for waitress to bring the accompanying wine - they should be served together. Drinks were good though the variety of spirits could be expanded - no citron vodka? No Cointreau? Then how does one follow Dale DeGroff's cosmopolitan recipe? picky yes, but that's the difference between a 4 and 5 star rating. Overall, however, it was a very positive experience and we look forward to returning.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 31 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food is excellent and the staff is very friendly. We came for date night after we saw a posting from them on FB and it looked too good to pass up.
This was our second time at the restaurant and we will definitely come back again.

JU
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

THIS RESTAURANT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE VALUE OF A HANDS ON OWNER THE FOOD WAS AMAZING AND THE OWNER CAME FROM THE KITCHEN AND KNEW WHAT WE HAD ORDERED AND ASKED ABOUT OUR SATISFACTION CANT GET BETTER THAN THAT1

AB
New York Area
88 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We shared the delicious mushroom raviolo which was yummy. I had the beef Wellington and my husband had the chicken. Both superb! Chef Colt came out to see how everything was which was appreciated. Definitely recommend

m
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 25 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Birthday FANTASTIC!!! Magical night. Our server was fantastic. Gave us excellent recommendations. Wish the night would not end. Can’t wait to go back!!!!!! The barrel aged Boulivardier was gantastic as well as their wine selection.

SK
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

I am so appreciative of having this kind of creative food and lovely ambiance available in SE CT. The food is absolutely outstanding, carefully curated and of the highest quality. Congratulations to Colt and everyone on his extraordinary team.

OT
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great atmosphere. Friendly service. Food is outstanding and descent size portions. Definitely would recommend.

S
Tampa
12 reviews
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was the perfect atmosphere for a romantic evening. The food was incredible. I had the steak, my husband the cod and both were amazing. We had the ravioli app and the ramen app and those were outstanding. Nothing else can compare. The birthday cake dessert was one of the best cakes I’ve had

SF
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience5

Food, drink, service and ambiance were fantastic. The noise level is high.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We had an unusual experience as a table of 6 were loud, vulgar and disruptive in this small, intimate and always lovely space. Was impressed with how elegantly the owner handled the situation.

OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wonderful culinary experience as usual. We had the tasting menu, what a treat!

JH
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

Great food, however, it took a long time for the food and apps to come out. We were only one of two couples dining!

CW
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The chef, Colt, is creative and incredibly talented. We are always delighted to try new things and never tire of the surprise his interpretations bring. On this trip we were reminded that the bread basket is in itself a treat and the deserts are as well thought out as the rest of rye menu! Truly a sophisticated and superb experience.

AK
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

The chef's tasting menu ($85) was delicious and lots of fun. Our server Mark was excellent. Highly recommend The Essez!

The Essex
Responded on 2 October 2019

Hello Arthur! Thank you or taking the time to leave a review on your dining experience! And we really appreciate the 5 stars on food, and service! We were just curious as to how we can get the overall experience up from 4 stars to 5 stars? Anything short of 5 is absolutely a failure for us and we would love to address any shortcomings, thank you!

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k
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food. We tried a bunch of small plates and all were great. We went off season and had the entire restaurant to ourselves on a Sunday night!

The Essex
Responded on 3 October 2019

Thank you for your kind words! Happy to hear you had a great experience and looking forward to seeing you again soon!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall3Food5Service1Ambience4

Food was amazing; wait staff was great until other groups came and the. He acted like we were a bother. Ended up leaving more of a tip only because we didn’t want to wait another half hour to get our change. This was the 2nd time that happened to us within a month ; we won’t be going back.

The Essex
Responded on 21 September 2019

We are very sorry to hear that you had less than a perfect dining experience. Currently we are in the process of training new staff at The Essex and other staff members have been taking on more responsibility in the the interim. This may have caused the delay in response time at your table. We are happy to hear you enjoyed the menu and would be saddened to hear you will not revisit the restaurant because of an issue with service. We would love to invite you back in for a 5 star experience.

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R
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience3

Didn’t live up to the hype. Food was tasty, but only luke warm when it arrived. My husband’s pasta portion was very small. Overpriced for what you got. The dessert we ordered was given to the table next to us. However, they deducted the price for the dessert.

The Essex
Responded on 9 September 2019

As the Manager of The Essex I was very disheartened to read your review. I am so sorry that we came up short, we are training a new server currently, and that was our mistake not yours to burden. I am curious as to what you ate and why you felt underwhelmed... anything short of a 5 star experience is a failure on our end... We would learn from our shortcomings in your dining experience. A conversation and contact would be much appreciated so we can rectify this review?

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

wonderful place. the chef is a great guy, trying many inventive menus that are always delicious. i really admire what is being developed here. and, best vodka martinis ever!

The Essex
Responded on 21 September 2019

Thank you for your kind words! We are happy you enjoyed your experience and look forward to seeing you again soon!

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