The Willows
The Willows

The Willows

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.willowsbristol.com/
  • Phone: 860-584-7663x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast
    Monday - Friday 6am - 10:30am
    Saturday and Sunday 7am - 11am

    Dinner
    Monday - Saturday 6pm - 10pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Leo Bushey III
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Private Room, Wine
  • Special Events: Please check our website for a list of our upcoming events.

Getting there

  • Parking: Hotel Parking
A word from The Willows
With its modern design and stylish aesthetic, this is a contemporary restaurant serving creative, new American cuisine, focusing on farm fresh ingredients. The innovative, seasonal menu features farm-to-fork creations and regional interpretations of steak, seafood and vegetable dishes artfully plated. The menu changes regularly to highlight fresh, local foods of the season. Enhance your dining experience with our extensive selection of boutique wines from around the globe.
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The Willows reviews from OpenTable diners
15 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.3
    Noise LevelQuiet
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (10)special occasion (6)romantic (4)notable wine list (4)good for groups (3)neighborhood gem (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • hotel running a restaurant
    globalbite
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This restaurant was written up with a glowing review in a local newspaper. The food was good for a hotel run restaurant, but not outstanding. The dining room was designed to serve breakfast and lunch buffets ...not for a dinner menu with entrees over $25.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good service and food was excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    But the ambiance needs improvement. There were not many other diners, but the noise level was very loud. We came for a nice birthday dinner and I found I had to speak loudly to be heard. The tables at the banquet are too wide- my partner sat opposite me and he was so far away! So I had to strain to hear him above the noise. But there should be a simple fix- add some sound absorbers, make the tables more intimate. Food and =service were lovely, price was fantastic.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delish
    lynnieVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Great food and excellent service. We will return soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden gem. Love this place.
    SusieVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    This place is fantastic. First of all, it's beautiful inside. Love the decor. Secondly, the service is excellent. And now let's talk about the food - it's outstanding and beautifully presented. Top quality. We've been here several times and have never been disappointed with anything and we eat out a lot. People must try this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Incredible farm-to-table food. Salads were delicious, pasta was al dente, and duck was moist and flavorful. Loved desserts - lemon and raspberry creme brulee and an out of the ordinary chocolate cake. Fun specialty drinks - strawberry lemonade. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good choices, good service.
    karenb
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    My husband and I had a rare night out and decided to try the Willows. The food was very good. The salad was very fresh with a nice light dressing. The NY strip was a generous portion and the potatoes and broccoli were great. Since I am not a fan of mushrooms, I opted out but when my husband's order arrived, it turned out that the mushrooms were actually a sauce over the steak. If I had known that, I would have taken the sauce. The menu made it sound like mushrooms on the side. Also, the lava cake was great but I didn't order it (my husband did) because the menu said chocolate cake, not lava cake. The lemon Creme brulee was terrible but they were kind enough to take it off our bill. We will go back.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceeded my expectation
    ramartijr
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    The Willows restaurant was a very enjoyable experience. We stopped in for breakfast Saturday morning and were greeted by their friendly and attentive staff. The coffee was Starbucks and just a little on the stronger side which we both enjoy. On the menu was Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes with Local Maple Syrup, Whipped Butter. They were a treat. My partner had Eggs Benedict. The muffin was fresh and the hollandaise sauce just right. The only thing we longed for was fresh squeezed orange juice. But considering the experience we had, that was not a big deal. We are looking forward to returning for dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Who would think?
    live2eat
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Going to a hotel for dinner when we are not traveling is not my first choice ... but the food at the The Willows was very good. Chef Bushey came out to welcome us - I had met him briefly at a fundraising wine dinner - I am quite sure that we would not have gone if we hadn't had a gift certificate. But I am very glad that we did! My favorite was the Salad Nicoise ... not at all what you would imagine! The foie gras was excellent as was the Rainier cherry cobbler for dessert - since I am an appetizer and dessert person - I skipped the entree! Our server Lara was wonderful - great knowledge delivered with great enthusiasm.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    The menu was very small. My husband is not a beef eater, nor does he like salmon. That left him only the vegetarian dish as his choice. The bar is right next to the restaurant and the noise from there was overwhelming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Location, location, location!
    tripletmomVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Very odd location for such an excellent restaurant. The food and drinks were great. Our waitress however was very uninformed and slow. A restaurant of this caliber should be in prettier surroundings!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 5 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.6
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 38 reviews are from the The Willows reviews archive.
  • Good Hotel Restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Based on an excellent review in the New York Times our party of 8 went to the Willows, located in a Doubletree Hotel, with high expectations. As we were escorted to a stylish private dining, we anticipated those expectations would be met. Unfortunately, they were not. The menu was pedestrian. Some of the main courses (rack of lamb, scallops) were good, but none received raves, and the salmon was dry. The service was poor--our staff did not bring drink orders together, did not recall who ordered which meals, and, after bringing lamb to someone who ordered salmon, did little to rectify the mistake (one of the party who had ordered salmon took the lamb, instead). Overall, Willows is a hotel restaurant, for better or worse.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Surprising find
    BarbZ
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The food and service at The Willows is remarkable. The food is exceptional and at a level one would not expect at a hotel restaurant. The service is very professional and better than many other places I have been to. However, the decor is very bland and does not match the caliber of the food and service. They should improve the decor and more aggressively promote the restaurant if they want this place to succeed and be taken seriously. The chef is obviously very talented; everyone in our party liked their food.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vanilla
    SteveAndPaul
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    The renovation was a success, the place is nice, the staff is friendly, the food was acceptable, although pricey, and took forever to appear - we were the only patrons in the restaurant during our entire meal. Whether from the hotel lobby or the adjacent bar, the aroma of vanilla permeated everything. Since the review space is so limited here, I will write my story on TripAdvisor...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice quiet place
    RoquesVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    For being connected to the hotel this was a very nice place to eat. The fish and scallop dinners were equally well prepared and delicious. The wait staff was fairly knowledgable and attentive. My only complaint is the seating. My date sat on the bench seating against the wall and I sat in a free moving chair. The chair was lower than the bench and was very uncomfortable. It diminished an otherwise nice meal.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unappreciated - you have to go!
    SusieVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Don't be put off that this restaurant is in the Doubletree hotel. First of all, it is set away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel lobby. Secondly, it is gorgeously decorated inside - very peaceful and high class touch with the surroundings. What I also like is that they don't pack the tables in. Thirdly, the food is outstanding! Beautifully presented and delicious (even their bread which comes with a variety including olive oil and these wonderful butters). Fourthly, wait staff is excellent. You gotta try this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • salty and tasteless
    Mickey
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    My wife had ribeye. It had a salty brown gravy. The meat was tastewise unidentifiable as rare steak. It tasted like salty stew meat. Yuch,
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • All Adventurous Foodies Do
    mrharrybay
    Dined on 3/3/2014
    I had read very good things about the restaurant. Entrees are pricey and portions are on the small side, they are tasty and healthy so don't expect the Olive Garden, OK? The chef is indeed adventurous and if that's your thing this restaurant is well worth checking out. A pioneering enterprise for Bristol, but you know what pioneers often get: arrows in the back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wishy-washy.
    Fred
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    The food is interesting. Service and ambiance are not up to par for the menu and the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Willowing
    LenG
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    Excellent choice for a 60th celebration. Food & the ambiance was notable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great menu--innovative and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Great menu--innovative and food was very fresh. Hostess was great, server was not. Even though the decor is nice, the ambiance feels like it is in a hotel as opposed to a restaurant. Would go again to try more seasonal menu items.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valentines Day
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Went here for Valentines Day 5 course champagne dinner. While $85 a person initially made me a little nervous, I have to say it was worth every penny. The servers were knowledgeable, friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The food was outstanding, paired with a different champagne for each course. While I am not normally a shellfish or lamb eater, I indulged in and enjoyed both last night!! I will definitely come here again!!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Underwhelmed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    When first looking at the menu one would assume Adium to high level experience. NOT the case....poor service, poor attention to details (asked for a side and received something totally different). Do not go!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food and wine were excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    The food and wine were excellent ! The waitress was good but not totally knowledgeable about the wines or gluten foods If not knowledgeable about the wines I suggest she get someone who is and learns by listening. Also she needs to Know about foods that are gluten free , how the food is prepared. Is it cooked in the same pan as other food that isn't Gluten free. Otherwise the food was great, atmosphere was great and the wine was great. ( maybe a little more selection Would be good) will definitely come again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic Experience
    Eric
    Dined on 1/22/2014
    When writing restaurant reviews, I always try to add constructive criticisms even when my experience is positive overall. However, my dining experience at The Willows has left me completely devoid of anything to criticize! The food was so amazing that I asked our server to thank the chef, who later came out so I could thank him personally. The staff was courteous and attentive, and I would say that my experience was in the top 10 of all of my restaurant experiences WORLDWIDE!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A little dissapointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    We had heard so much about the fantastic food at the Willows the anticipation had been building up for awhile. Well it did not meet the outstanding reputation that it had been noted for. The apps were very good. Knot mozzarella, ahi tuna both unique and very good. The entrees were good but no where near outstanding. Two of us ordered the Salmon special. It was basically grilled and served with flavorless lentils. The salmon was dry. Other entrees were the braised short ribs which were good and the cod which again landed in the good category. The coconut almond tart for dessert was tasty and very good. Overall a good experience but disappointing based on what we had heard.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • NIght Out at the Beautiful Willows
    BirthdayDinerVIP
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    The Willows had really fantastic appetizers. We tried three, the duck ravioli, the beet salad and the mushroom soup. The mushroom soup was the best but all were plates were clean when the waiter picked them up. The entree items are a little adventurous for the norm. I chose the venison and it was delicious. Desert was good, but not great; the donuts were dense but the caramel ice cream was wonderful. The service was great at the beginning, but petered down at the end because we were one of only 2 tables left at the end of the night. The restaurant was never packed. I am guessing they let staff leave at the end of the night because I had to retrieve my own coat from the coat closet after waiting 5min for someone to show up at the front desk.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Have to try this place
    SusieVIP
    Dined on 1/3/2014
    We heard about this place in Ct Magazine where it got a great write up. Don't think it's just so/ so because it's located where the doubletree hotel is. The restaurant is drop dead gorgeous inside. Food was not only delicious but the presentation was beautiful. Service was excellent too. Highly recommend this place. It was our first time here and we will be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A True Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 12/11/2013
    The Willows is one of the best restaurants that we've come across anywhere, including culinary centers like Providence, Charleston, SF, and yes, Paris. We were treated to excellent venison and pork roast, each with the perfect complement of vegetables. Salad and desert were equally outstanding. This is one restaurant you wouldn't want to miss.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sophisticated, Delicious Dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/29/2013
    My husband and I had both breakfast and dinner at the Willows during a recent visit to Bristol. We were extremely pleased with the menu and wine selection as well as with the extremely capable and courteous service. The hotel itself has been beautifully redone and the restaurant reflects the thought and care that is visible throughout the property. The only negative, and it's slight, is that the dining room is not well separated from the bar, so sitting in the rear of the restaurant can be noisy on the weekends. We truly look forward to a return visit and locals would be well advised not to miss visiting often. It's a most welcome addition to the area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Innovative menu
    Jerry
    Dined on 11/26/2013
    The highlight of the evening is the innovative dishes. This is a special surprise since many would discount a hotel restaurant is average. The disappointing part of the night is the trend of so many restaurants to be so casual and open.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A winner
    Ctkathy1
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    Outstanding food experience. The lighting could be a little more flattering. Willows offers a $34 fixed price dinner menu that looks great along with their a la carte menu. Good value for the money. Excellent service. Wine list could definitely be improved to match the fine food. There is a private dining room that will accommodate 12!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Although scallops were slightly
    Lynne
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    Although scallops were slightly undercooked, the dish had outstanding flavor. The waitress was knowledgeable about the ingredients and enthusiastic about the chefs preparations. The home made donuts for dessert were very good also. Good wine selection. Pricey but worth it.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was good but very $$$$$
    Ladine
    Dined on 11/8/2013
    Food was good but very $$$$$ setting very blah to much like a hotel resturant
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A great neighborhood gem!
    jasonct
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    The Willows is truly a great restaurant. This is one of the best restaurants that I have been to recently. A great atmosphere and great array of cuisine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Time!
    Bristol18
    Dined on 10/17/2013
    The Willows is wonderful! Service is smooth and the food was fantastic! The $34 fixed price 3 course menu for October is wonderful! Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New place in town
    RHEPVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    We tried the Willows for my husband's birthday as it had been favorably recently reviewed. We had a party of eight, good friends who enjoy a good meal. The restaurant is small, tucked in the corner of the Doubletree which was recently smartly renovated. There are a number of other diners there but the restaurant wasn't crowded. The food was well presented and tasty. Several ordered the harvest Prix fixe menu and were very satisfied. The rest ordered off the menu. The wine list was reasonable. The only issue was the service which was disjointed and somewhat confused. Overall a very good experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific!
    ThePats
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    This was a delicious way to celebrate 13 years of marriage. The seasonal menu was filled with a variety of items to please any palet and the staff was very accommodating. Pear and Stilton Salad, Duck 3 Ways, Scallops and an Arabica rubbed Rib Eye were all perfectly portioned (which from other reviews, we expected undersized), melt in your mouth and finished with a shared decadent dessert. We will return and we are looking forward to trying the more casual bar menu in Time Out. Our only constructive feedback is the noise level. With no accoustical dampening, it was a bit loud for a romantic dinner but not a show stopper. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good - But Not A Good Value
    EAMOE
    Dined on 9/25/2013
    It would have been helpful if there were more signage to help you find the restaurant in the hotel and also to assist you in parking reasonably close to the entrance. The restaurant itself was nice, modern and the food was tasty. However, after having a salad, entree and desert, I was still hungry! It has been a long time since I felt that way after a meal. It is a good think that much of their business is likely expense-account related!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible food in Bristol CT.
    JimboVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2013
    I can't say enough about the wonderful food and service at Willows Restaurant in the Doubletree Hilton in Bristol CT. I had the Colorado Lamb Shank and it was huge and cooked perfectly, falling off the bone succulent and sweet meat, it was just wonderful. The wine list includes Nickel & Nickel, and Robert Craig, 2 of my California Favorites, and we had a bottle of the 2010 Robert Craig. We celebrated my Son's 40th birthday here and the kitchen made this incredible chocolate cake for us, just stellar service at every turn. I understand they serve the full Restaurant menu in the bar also.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Credit for the effort but ....
    AnAdultNightOut
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    Start with the good, easy reservation on opentable, friendly staff at the hotel directed us to the restaurant's location which was on the opposite side of the building from where we parked, ramps for 90+ yr old diners in our party. Negatives, one waiter for the whole dining room. Oyster on the half shell special was overpowered by the non optional sauce. Scallop appetizer was properly cooked but the brown sauce was amazingly slaty & the lobster garnished was cooked to rubber. Mushroom souffle was a congealed mass. Two 9 oz filets ordered medium rare were served well done, not red, not pink, not brown, shoe leather - destroyed a great cut of meat. Duck entree over cooked as was the sword shish. Wild rice side dry and tasteless.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate