The Essex

4.7
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263 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 263 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
Food
4.7
Service
4.7
Ambience
4.5
Value
Noise · Quiet
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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I
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
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.

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
14 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
1 review
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
3 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
3 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
27 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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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Everything was great. Just the portions were a little small for the price.

The Essex
Responded on 9 September 2019

we appreciate you kind words, and we are sorry to read about the smaller portions... we simply do not like to waste food! we source the absolute best of everything we prepare and serve, including a fully sustainable seafood and meat program, and we are happy to bulk up a portion for those with a larger appetite! We hope to see you soon and make that 4 star review a solid 5!

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J
New England
20 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience5

What a pleasant surprise. Not what we expected. The food was delicious and flavorful. My Waygu patty melt was a 10. The “house@ salad was a 10. The chicken an 8. Overhaul. A memorable dinner. Wait staff reminded me of The old classy restaurants of the past.

LB
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always a delicious meal. Wonderful combination of flavors. We have brought several guests from out of town and all have loved it.

JG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always outstanding dining experience.

The greatest cocktails and finest creative food.

SR
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on 25 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My husband and I had oysters which were delicious salad by the wagu steak and halibut both entrees amazing , Oh such a complement my element was it delicious French Sauvignon Blanc which now is my favorite.

ON
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The meal was delicious. Flavors were crisp, sharp and on point. Service was excellent. The evening was made even better by the owner visiting our table to ensure our experience was to our liking. The Essex is definitely worth the trip!

K
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

Interesting menu ideas that are a little risqué for the area but appreciated here.

SG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 3 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fabulous service and food... Five of us went for dinner and everyone loved loved loved their meal. Also outstanding service.

DS
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on 28 June 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The Essex is a first rate restaurant serving an outstanding menu. Some of the dishes are very sophisticated but even simple items like lobster rolls and patty melts are beyond compare. The staff goes out of their way to provide attentive service and the delightful chef makes the rounds to assure a pleasant experience. Lots of parking, music not too loud, easy to find.

RS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Our waiter Peter was incredibly knowable about the cocktails and wine list. His recommendations were spot on. Chef Colt presented some inspirational food and desert. This is a must visit for anyone who enjoys great service, great ambiance and outstanding food.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

AMAZING food. The service was great, peter is very knowledgeable and friendly we loved having him as our server. The menu items are sophisticated but have nice twists. We loved our meal at The Essex and will definitely be coming back.

OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My partner and I tried the tasting menus. I can’t say enough about the variety, quality and tastiness of the food. Essex is so blessed with such high quality restaurant and chef(chef Colt). We always look forward to our dinning experience at The Essex when we are back in CT.

LC
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Absolutely loved it! Extremely accomodating and food was fantastic!

LB
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Delightful innovative food. Excellent cocktails and again some are quite inventive. The Asian themed dinners on now are excellent. Portions are not large but very sufficient, more like a NYC or European restaurant.

MS
Seattle
26 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

First time we’ve been there since they’ve rearranged into two separate restaurants. The menu has taken on a bit more of an Asian spin but there were foods any palate would still be comfortable with.