"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.
Complimentary special offers
Enjoy $1 Oysters with your dinner ALL night Wednesday-Sunday
best restaurant in town. best restaurant in the area. amazing food. wonderful menus. very exciting ideas about creating and sharing new food experiences. they plan to do take out as well during covid 19 distancing. and, open a store part to sell ready made foods. its brilliant.
The current tasting menu of Chef Colt May be our favorite so far! Incredible experience at one of our most favorite places. The one bite of Prince Edward oyster with live seaweed, fresh sea grapes and Meyer lemon zest was the best flavor explosion!
This was our first visit to this renowned restaurant. The greeting was very warm and pleasant. Seated immediately and primary tap water or bottled questions were asked and served. We waited a while for our server to make it to our table. He took our drink order and we waited a few minutes for drinks. Our martinis were served on a small carafe and on ice. Very nice presentation. Olives were small. A nice Gorgonzola stuffed large olive would be nice. Server could have used 1 less table at prime time because service went from 3-5 after we settled in. Starters were great, my wife enjoyed a dozen oysters and I really liked the spoon Kale salad. Entrees were mixed. My fish was well prepared and nicely spiced with fingerling accompaniment. My wife’s lobster and beef over pasta was not well prepared. Pasta was way overcooked. Bottle of wine was a very nice and well served. Chef owner came to the table to introduce himself. A very nice conversation became better when we found UVM in common. We will return soon and often. Need to try the speakeasy next time.
Valentines dinner with my wife. First time at the Essex. Started with barrel aged Manhattans, very good. Really good. We shared the Spoon Salad. Perfectly lightly dressed, great combo of veggies, cheese and nuts. For main course I had the Lobster Beef Fusilli and wife had the Salmon. The chef here innovates with combinations of seafood and meat. Both entrees were quite good. Very attentive service all around.
Our only criticism is that some tables in the dining room (including ours) are next to the entrance area. On a cold night we felt a cold breeze when other patrons entered.
Absolutely a fantastic restaurant outstanding food as always it is truly my number one favorite restaurant in the world the food there’s not even enough words in the world to describe how fantastic the chef is a genius we can take everything and make it taste so delicious we can’t get enough in the staff I just love the stuff so nice and helpful and educated about the food the wine everything I have to mention my favorite waiter Peter my all-time favorite he’s so knowledgeable and knows everything inside and out of that restaurant 😍😍😍😍🥇⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥🔥
OMG!! Valentine’s pre-fix menu was to die for. Great wine pairings, even pave on the courses, just the right portions and amazing changes in tastes/flavors from course to course. Started with a few craft cocktails up stairs (works of art, really) seated prompt/y on time. Could not have had a better experience. Sign me up for the next one!
Amazing experience from start to finish! My husband and I are already planning our next trip back! From the moment you enter the restaurant you are met with an intimate décor; cozy seating; and a double sided fireplace! The menu was incredible; it was difficult to narrow down what to order. My husband and I decided to try two appetizers; one entrée each; and then two desserts! Presentation; food; and the options were an experience not to be missed! Highly recommend this wonderful spot!
We were the only people in the dining room but it was early on a Thursday night. The duck appetizer was amazing omg and almost meal size. It filled me so much I really couldn’t eat the fluke entree which was also delicious. A table across the fireplace had the the nine course tasting which I will definite get the time. It looked wonderful from my mirrored angle of view. My wife and I both loved the specialty cocktails. So the bar is someplace I’ll go again as well.
Unbelievable, must go!
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.
Consistently delicious and so creative! Plus, the staff is engaging and thoughtful....
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.
Such a great discovery. Amazing food, drinks and service.
Excellent atmosphere. Service was 5 star. Owner/chef has a great personality and obvious culinary skills. Will return often.
A wonderful dinner experience!! Nice people, outstanding food, and a personal welcome and follow up discussion with the chef!!
Wonderful experience! We enjoyed our meal and it was great to have the opportunity to meet the Chef and members of his team!
Delicious and inventive
Perfect! Beautiful venue with fireplace comfortable cozy seating. Definitely will go back
Fabulous, inventive food that is delicious and surprising.
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.
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!
OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED
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”.
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.
Their supper club dinner was outstanding, more food than my wife and I could even eat.
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.
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😊
Always fantastic meal and experience at The Essex!
Great food and service. Enjoy a seat by the fire. Go upstairs and grab a cocktail and thank me later
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!!
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Great atmosphere. Friendly service. Food is outstanding and descent size portions. Definitely would recommend.
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
Food, drink, service and ambiance were fantastic. The noise level is high.
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.
The Essex offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (860) 237-4189.
The Essex is rated 4.7 stars by 286 OpenTable diners.
You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.