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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
The Willows reviews from OpenTable diners
27 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (19)special occasion (12)romantic (6)good for groups (5)notable wine list (5)neighborhood gem (4)kid-friendly (2)great for outdoor dining (2)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Not what it used to be.
    jasonct
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    On this visit to The Willows, I left a bit disappointed. Maybe it was because we ordered from the less expensive restaurant week menu but the food left me underwhelmed. Service also wasn't as I remembered it and our server disappeared for periods of time and it appeared that another server was helping her out too. They didn't know what the other was doing and plates from the previous course remained on the table when food was brought out by the other server who stated that she thought the plates would have been cleared. But the most glaring problem was that the food simply wasn't near as good as it has been when I have previously eaten here. My steak wasn't very warm and the experience definitely wasn't up to par where I remembered it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Debie
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The dinner started out great, but took a turn for the worse!! Great craft beer list and enough choices on the CT restaurant/beer week $20.14 menu to make both of us want to come for dinner. Service started out great an took a major turn for the worse! Mixed up checks and checks before all food was served. The restaurant wasn't even that busy! We are right down the road and thought that this could be a go to place....but after our first and maybe last experience....not so sure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Dinner
    Girlygirl
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The restaurant Week menu was fantastic. The $20.14 price could not be beat. We will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mrmuffin27
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Very good food, excellent service and very friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful dining experience!
    ShikkiVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    This is definitely one of CT's new dining gems. The menu is sophisticated but not overly complex and the food is well prepared. This is a great addition to Central Connecticut's dining options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • appetitea10
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    first time I tried it and the food and service were outstanding. Will come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Okay
    Cgam
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Food was delicious, everything else was poor of mediocre.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Decent food, ambiance was lacking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We dined at the Willows on October 5th. We were "checked in" at the desk by a very unfriendly hostess. very small restaurant, really no privacy. Waitress's were very professional and attentive. I had a scallop dish that was very good, and my Husband had the filet mignon which was a bit over cooked, but OK. tuna tartare, and artichokes for appetizers were good. We had a few cocktails off the very imaginative cocktail menu, and they were very good all and all it was good but the the atmosphere and the greeting we received would make me not likely to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mostly good food
    CharlieVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    We finally decided to try this place (we had put it off, thinking (snobbishly!) "how good could a nice restaurant in Bristol be?"). Overall, we were very pleased, and will definitely go back. The salads (mixed greens and "Autumn") were very good, and large. The popovers were excellent. The filet was also excellent. The pork steak special (different than the one on the menu) tasted fine, but arrived at the table barely lukewarm. After mentioning this to the waiter, he did offer to take it back, but it didn't seem worth waiting for that, so it was finished as it was. The "NY cheesecake in a jar" (no crust) was very tasty. The "melon-cucumber" sorbet was not, but in hindsight, that may be because it was melon-cucumber!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful service
    Exigente
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Didn't realize that The Willows was part of the Hilton. Our waiter Luke made sure that we were happy. There was a slight delay with the meals, as they were very busy. The Taste of the Suburbs menu was excellent, and they ran out of several items. The chef quickly prepared additional meals to satisfy demand. Very nice evening.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 9 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 40 reviews are from the The Willows reviews archive.
  • 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
  • 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.