Great Escape
Great Escape
Reviews Coming Soon

Great Escape

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.greatescaperest.com/
  • Phone: 9787455022
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm; Dinner: sunday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: We have someone playing acoustic guitar and signing on Saturday and Sunday night.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bridge Street
  • Public Transit: Commuter rail is across the street.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Free valet service every night with some on site parking available for lunch.
A word from Great Escape
A casual restaurant located in a 200 year old jail. At one time this was the oldest active jail in the country being in service for 177 years.
Continued
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Great Escape reviews from OpenTable diners
  • One year Anniversary
    GBAE
    Dined on 9/28/2013
    I decided to take my girlfriend here for dinner for our One Year Anniversary. Figured if we can survive a year together lets see if we can survive Jail. Everything was perfect, we made a reservation using Open Table, and everything was ready when we arrived, including the free simple to use Valet Parking. Our server was perfect, everything came out in a quick orderly fashion, starting with the water. We never had to wait for anything. I had the Mafia Steak, and she had the Pork Chop. Everything was decadent. We were both thrilled with the service and the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Just Bread & Water....
    MangiaJake
    Dined on 9/27/2013
    The Great Escape! Formerly the Old Salem Jail...Is a delicious destination on the North Shore in scenic & historic Salem Ma.. From the wine list to the Beer/Ale list & upscale cocktails right through to appetizers & entrees. The small batch menu has wonderful selections that are Italian inspired & prepared to perfection! I will definitely be eating here again!! Our server was well versed in the menu & willing to help pair libations with entrees. Tristan (waiter) was very attentive thoughout our entire experience. Anyone who loves Italian inspired dishes should visit The Great Escape! The one negative observation...the ambience is a bit lacking. Although quaint for an actual rebirthed jail...they could use a few candles on the tables...
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodielover1962
    Afoodlover1962VIP
    Dined on 9/24/2013
    Great Escape is a fun destination to have lunch with friends Located steps away from the PEM museum Great Escape is just what I wanted. Located inside an old prison ,the space is charming ,clean, bright and the food is excellent I recommend the risotto. Excellent service ,fast and a friendly. Overall I had a great experience and I highly recommend Great Escape.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • (Below) Average Escape
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/29/2013
    The unique venue was the primary draw for us to this restaurant. Unfortunately we found the food overpriced for non-exceptional Italian. Although the seafood stew was flavorful and the server was friendly and accommodating, the calamari was heavily battered and the veal was tough; not one of our favorite meals. Was probably a one time experience for us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We sat outside and had a wodnerful
    lmusterVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    We sat outside and had a wodnerful experience. But the acoustics are not great inside -- there were a few groups and it was very, very loud -- we could hear them every time the door opened.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jail Food
    WaterLover
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    The very unusual decor of this restaurant drew us in...eating in an old jail in downtown Salem was a first... lots to look at and talk about. We were cordially greeted and quickly seated. Our waiter, Mateus, was very attentive and engaging throughout the meal and checked in frequently. Food was good and courses arrived quickly. Would definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cool place--food was just ok
    Jessi
    Dined on 8/20/2013
    This place sounded cool and reasonably priced, so that's why we went there. I ordered a sandwich and the meat was unbelievably tough. I couldn't finish it. It was pretty neat in there, and my server was very nice.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food but there was no
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    Great food but there was no one there on a Friday night. Music was depressing, needs more energy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved it!
    Amir
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    My wife & I wend for supper on a Friday night and our food came out fast and it tasted delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    bigmamaVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2013
    We were looking forward to trying this restaurant but found the food and drinks to be very expensive and just okay. We had a party of seven and no one found their food to be outstanding. The wait staff was very attentive and the service was great; however, I probably would not return to this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent Food BUT Very Noisey!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/27/2013
    The food was excellent BUT we almost left due to the noise level - Last Saturday there happened to be a rehearsal dinner (over 20 people) seated in the middle of the restaurant - they were extremely loud - the noise level escalated when the waitress passed out "shots" for the entire table. We will return someday BUT will request "outdoor seating." We were a party of 5 and we all enjoyed our meals although somewhat pricey.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was good but service slow
    JeannoJN
    Dined on 7/27/2013
    The food was rich tasty italian fare which was what we were expecting, so that was good! We arrived at 615 on a Sat night and were sat and brought water quickly, but that was the last thing that happened quickly for the whole meal. There was only one server for the entire patio. We didn't receive our entrees til 730, and we couldn't get a water or drink refill until our entree came. The food was good - we had the scallop risotto and the veal handcuffs, but we really didn't enjoy our meal because of how long we waited and were ignored, so we got the check because we knew that process would take another 20 mins (which it did.) Also, the table next to us left after 30 minutes with no apps or bread...not good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun for out of town guests
    Bookchick
    Dined on 7/24/2013
    Interesting ambiance and better than expected food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Again, food and service was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    Again, food and service was excellent. The eggplant appetizer was great. Just loved the sorbet dessert.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A good jail experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/17/2013
    Made a reservation for 5 at 6:30 on a Wednesdsy night. We were seated promptly. The waitress greeted us and took our drink order. She allowed us time to peruse the menu which has many intriguing items. It has a good mix of pasta, meat and seafood. The menu is Italian with some catchy name. The food was well prepared and of good size portion. I had the Mafioso - a seafood dish that is served in a cast iron pot that can easily feed two. Overall a very enjoyable evening we would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It is incredibly noicy once
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/16/2013
    It is incredibly noicy once the tables start to fill up
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Aldela
    Dined on 7/11/2013
    Mafia steak was grizzly and to smothered with sauce. Handcuffs pasta was very gummy and the sauce was to sweet We would not dine there again nor recommend it
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Went here on a Sunday night,
    TableforTwo
    Dined on 7/7/2013
    Went here on a Sunday night, not crowded, help is very good, but can sometimes be annoying when you're trying to converse with your party and they keep asking you questions. I felt very rushed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OK Italian at a decent price point
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    Housed in a former Salem jail this restaurant has nice ambience (lots of brick and bars - jail bars, not wet-bars). It's a little hard to find and parking nearby is non-existent. They offer free valet parking so that works very well. Service is friendly and attentive. Menu is pretty typical mid-level Italian with entree's in the high-teens to mid-twenties. Small selection of draft beers and an OK wine list. Some of the tables face the southwest windows, and there are no shades to be drawn. We had to ask to be moved mid-meal because the sun was shining directly in our faces and we couldn't even see out plates. This is a good option in Salem if the better restaurants are crowded.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The place was a great experience.
    Pucks
    Dined on 6/30/2013
    The place was a great experience. The food was marvelous, especially the eggplant tower and the sauces were fantastic. I had the veal with tortellini and the sauce was perfect, veal tender and tortellini delicious. My wife had the seafood stew, also delicious, with a zesty tomato base.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved the jail themed atmosphere.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 6/30/2013
    Loved the jail themed atmosphere. Was there for an early lunch on a Sunday so the place was mostly empty. I suspect when crowded it must be uber noisy due to no sound dampening elements in the restaurant. Thought the lunch menu had more interesting dishes than the dinner menu. Be warned all they serve on Sundays is the dinner menu which got pretty expensive for a lunch. Mafia steak was great and so was the Al Capone pasta.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • You Don't Want To Escape
    cejam5
    Dined on 6/29/2013
    The Bruschetta was tasty and not filling (good portion). The Portafoglio, "Grilled marinated veal folded with prosciutto, spinach, roasted red peppers and smoked gouda topped with a marsala wine reduction sauce served with roasted potatoes" was amazing. One of the best marsala sauces ever. The Cia And Kgb "Atlantic salmon, scallops, sundried tomatoes and baby spinach served in a dijon mustard cream sauce with roasted potatoes" was very good. Again the sauce very smooth and creamy and excellent. The placed filled up quickly by 6:30pm on Saturday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food
    Henleyfamily
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    Very accommodating for life threatening food allergies. The staff was knowledgable without having to run back and forth to the kitchen for answers. Our daughter says her food was "awesome" she had calabrese. Locked up was delicious and so was mafia steak. The desserts were wonderful. They had a fantastic soup that night too, it was a carrot potato soup. The free valet parking was relatively easy to find and very conventient. All in all its a must go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Evening with friends
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/27/2013
    Service was excellent...attentive, but relaxed. The fish (we had the haddock and the scallop dishes) was among the best prepared fish dishes we have experienced. The prices make this an excellent value as well. Thanks for a wonderful evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We ate early on a Friday night
    dinerx2
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    We ate early on a Friday night Service was attentive not intrusive. The special of the night arrive hot and it was full of flavor. The shrimp tasted like shrimp.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Interesting location good food
    Micheleb
    Dined on 6/8/2013
    We didn't realize there was not any parking except valet (free), so after a drive around the block we located the entrance for valet parking, bit tricky to find at night. Our meal was good, nothing special but good. The CIA and KGB, salmon and scallops dish, was good but the salmon was a bit stronger taste than typical. Scallops were huge, again not the best we have had. The Handcuffs, veal w/prosciutto and mushrooms was very good, lots of mushrooms, sweet as a marsala sauce is. Wild mushroom tortelloni was also very good. Good value for the price. The Creme Brulee was excellent!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • escaped......
    eat2much
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    was very hot out that night and unfortunatly hot in...... the service was solw, however i think she was just overworked becasue she was very nice and noligable about the menu. they forgot our salads and there was one of the fish in the very expensive dish that my husband ordered,/ that was missing, they did compensate but really no pasta side given with this dish is insane even in boston if you are in an italian restaurant they give you pasta......its very cheap and can be very impressive!! too bad, i will not go back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The service was great -- the
    Josn
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    The service was great -- the staff very accommodating and responsive to requests. some of the food was underseasoned while some overseasoned On the whole, the food was good the night we were there was very hot --while the air conditioning was on, the restaurant was very hot and uncomfortable- which made the evening very uncomfortable ---
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Kinks
    Mary
    Dined on 5/31/2013
    The Great Escape is a unique venue due to Jail theme and original bars and brickwork. The food is good, rather standard. They rework the same ingredients into multiple dishes so that the menu really is limited. The waitstaff tries hard however it is slow. The air conditioning is sporadic. Often it is very hot and then it cools down. The waiter who brought our food to the table was visibly sweating! The portions are a god size, not overly large and on the pricey side for pasta. It is a fun take but needs serious work on time, staff, air conditioning and menu choice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A nice work in progress
    CharmedInSalem
    Dined on 5/27/2013
    The menu staples are always a good bet. At times, the "specials" seem a bit thrown together. The staff are outstanding and when outdoor seating is available, that's the spot to be. Hopefully the building management will come up with a better landscaping privacy idea for the fence around the patio, the view is a bit stark.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New favorite!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/26/2013
    Went for the first time and really enjoyed it. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food!!!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    This was the second time that we've been here. The food was amazing. We started with the Calamari which was great. My wife had the Calabrese. She was only able to eat about half of it. I had the Alcatraz which was excellent! The only thing that is keeping this from being 5 stars is the waitress. We had a hard time hearing her when she was explaining the specials to us. We sat there for close to 10 minutes at the end of the meal waiting for her to clean off the table. I gave the waitress the groupon that I had. She returned with the check and showed my wife that she had applied the groupon and gave her the check then walked away. The hostess and valet were very pleasant as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great resturant. Food and
    mb1201
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Great resturant. Food and service was very good!!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mother's Day!
    MysticLocalVIP
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Made a reservation for our family for Mother's Day and the folks at Great Escape made it a memorable occasion. Great food, great service, and a fun atmosphere. We'll be back for sure!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • food was good ...
    cfallon67
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    valet parking only. Since this restaurant is in the old jail in Salem I was expecting a little history or story about the place but there was nothing. Server was nice but not knowledgeable about menu.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice middle of the road place
    MikeT
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    Interesting location in an old jail; much of the ambience is based on this. Food is nicely done modern Italian, with very good seafood and pasta dishes. Prices are moderate, perhaps slightly higher than one might expect at this level in this town. OK wine list is also moderately priced, with lots of wines by the glass. Service was friendly, but staff did not appear to be especially well trained or familiar with the menu.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/7/2013
    We had a delicious dinner. It was a Tuesday night so it was pretty quiet. The restaurant could use a little ambience. Maybe some candles on the tables would help. We had two great apppetizers, the fried calamari and the eggplant tower. Would definitely get again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Great Escape. We've
    FullPlateVIP
    Dined on 4/27/2013
    Love Great Escape. We've been there twice now and would definitely go back. Great service; delicious food; lively atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Interesting ambience, being
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/14/2013
    Interesting ambience, being in the former jail. Great service and good food overall. Some dishes were outstanding, especially the eggplant tower and cream of chicken soup. Waitstaff could not have been more accommodating and friendly. Music selection did not add to the atmosphere in our opinion. Too energetic and peppy for dining. Suggest they revisit playlist.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Have never been to "jail"
    WaterLover
    Dined on 4/14/2013
    Have never been to "jail" before but this is the way to go! Went for an early Sunday night dinner, very welcoming staff, attentive and helpful. Our waiter, Matt, was knowledgable, able to describe the menu items in detail, and had a great sense of humor. Food was excellent...from appetizers to dessert. Will definitely be returning!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet