Essex

4.3
870 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
International
Welcome to Essex Bar & Bistro, where the cocktail is king. Charlotte’s newest uptown craft cocktail bar and gastropub, Essex is part bistro, part lounge, and part meeting place. We’ve put as much care into the craft of cocktailing as we do our menu of international cuisine, which are designed to complement master mixologist’s liquid creations. Located in the heart of uptown Charlotte at Trade & Tryon, and only steps away from Spectrum Center. Essex is the perfect place for happy hours, evening cocktails, after-dinner drinks, or a late night rendezvous.
avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details
What 870 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.0
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience!

D
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food! I took a friend here to celebrate her birthday and we sat at the bar. We had the potato gnocchi, shrimp scampi, fried cauliflower, warm Brussels sprout salad, veal meatball and bang bang grouper. Everything was amazing with great flavor! The only one I wouldn't order again would be the fried cauliflower, it needed some kind of dipping sauce or something, was kind of dry for me. One of my favorite places to people watch if you are able to sit outside on the deck/porch. Cool bar area and great booth seating options available too!

Essex
Responded 11 hours ago

So glad to hear that you enjoyed your recent experience at Essex! We hope to see you again soon!

Report
OT
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful amazing food with great service and pleasant atmosphere.

AV
Charlotte
16 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We shared several apps & enjoyed them all... loved the hummus & really loved the falafels!

DG
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Overall this is one of the hidden gems in uptown Charlotte - the staff is very friendly and attentive. The atmosphere is causal to upscale depending on what you are looking for.

The food is Tapas style and very tasteful- I would definitely go again and tell my friends about it!!

Essex
Responded on August 13, 2019

Thanks David! We are so glad to hear that you think Essex is one of the hidden gems in Uptown Charlotte. We hope to see you again very soon!

Report
k
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 3

Something we were served gave my wife and I an upset stomach for more than a day. Won’t be going back.

RK
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 5

Good food, but extremely poor service detracted from the experience, we sat for 20 minutes waiting for our bill

Essex
Responded on August 13, 2019

Thank you for the feedback Ryan. We apologize that you had poor service during your visit. We will make sure to address this with your server. I hope you will give us another chance for an all around wonderful dining experience.

Report
OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The food is amazing!! The service is ok. I went twice, my first waitress was really good and super nice. My second waitress was a total ditz. She took away my food as I was eating it, she couldn’t tell me if there was a house glass of white wine, she messed up splitting our checks, and when my guest asked if a chicken sandwich was served hot, she said “well the chicken is cooked.” ... I hope it’s cooked!!! She was just an idiot. But that was one waitress out of many and my other one was very good so I don’t wanna label the service as overall terrible.

S
Charlotte
13 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love the variety of small dishes, some of which are pretty sizable. Some of my favs are fried cauliflower, short rib ravioli, beet salad, tikka masala, ahi tuna tacos, and the list goes on. Can be loud in the evening but there is a nice space for a group in the back. Patio is great for people watching. Love this place!

Essex
Responded on August 13, 2019

Thanks for the great review! So glad to hear you enjoy the food and atmosphere at Essex. We hope to see you again soon!

Report
OT
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome experience! Food was terrific and waitress was excellent! Will definitely be coming back again.

Essex
Responded on August 6, 2019

So glad to hear that! Please come back and see us soon!

Report
NB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Great menu with a lot of choices. Apps where very large & shareable. Food arrived quickly. Server was indifferent

Essex
Responded on August 6, 2019

Hi Noreen, we are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the menu and food at Essex. However, we apologize that the service was not quite up to par. We will be sure to address with your server, and hope that you will come back and see us in the future!

Report
u
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

Our shared app was great but the Naked Lamb Kefta was hard as a rock! I had 4 little hockey pucks. They were so burnt my guests could see and asked if they were. Everyone said that I should have sent them back but I worry about what they will do to your food when you do that so instead I just peeled off the outside burnt and ate the very little dry insides. It was my first time there with 4 out of town guests, and yes it was also my last time.

Essex
Responded on August 6, 2019

Thank you for reaching out here and on Yelp about your recent experience at Essex. We would have gladly replaced the naked lamb kefta with something you enjoyed more, instead of having it ruin the entire experience. I hope that you will give us another chance to make it right!

Report
D
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 2ambience 5

Our service was very slow. We had brunch and 2 of 3 omelettes came together, the 3rd took another 10 minutes. Fries came with the omelettes but we received them very late. Also a veggie omelette listed as containing onion, mushroom spinach and cheese...it was creamed spinach. Truly gross.

Essex
Responded on July 30, 2019

I am sorry that you had slow service during brunch and that your omelette had creamed spinach in it. We will talk to the brunch staff to make sure that does not happen again.

Report
m
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant week date night, great food and many choices.

Essex
Responded on July 30, 2019

Thanks Mike! Come back and see us again soon!

Report
S
Charlotte
8 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful atmosphere and the best food so many great options one of our favorite restaurants . We recommend to many friends also.

Essex
Responded on July 30, 2019

Thank you for the great review! See you soon!

Report
B
Charlotte
18 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Essex was awesome! We went for Queens Feast and the portions were huge. So much bang for your buck. Everything we had was delicious! We will definitely be back.

Essex
Responded on July 30, 2019

So glad to hear you enjoyed Restaurant Week at Essex. I hope you will be back to visit us again soon!

Report
AR
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

I went to Essex for restaurant week with a few coworkers. We sat outside to enjoy the nice weather however, it was highly distracting due to all of the ruckus of the local beggars right beside our section. The Spicy Tuna TarTar was amazing however, my skirt steak was a little chewy! I have a friend who is allergic to certain food items but she can typically have them removed from a meal, it was not that way at Essex. The service was decent, no complaints! Overall I’d say that this is a decent place however, not a must have!

Essex
Responded on July 30, 2019

Thanks for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. I apologize that what was going on outside was distracting, unfortunately we can only control what happens on our property. I hope that you will back to visit us in the future!

Report
OT
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! The flavor was exceptional, the price was reasonable and the choices were aplenty. Definitely plan to return again with more friends!!

Essex
Responded on July 30, 2019

So glad you enjoyed your experience at Essex, we hope to see you again soon!

Report
TS
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious, service was great! We were told it was tapas enough to share... that’s true, not you typical small plates.

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

So glad to hear you enjoyed the food and service Tim! Please come back and see us soon!

Report
OT
Charlotte
5 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The waitress was not friendly, our food came out incorrect and the Bill was incorrect. Then they ran out of containers to take home leftovers and if we wanted any to go orders we had nothing to take the food home in. They gave us cups to take food home. This was the first time that I came to this restaurant and I’m not going to return.

Essex
Responded on July 30, 2019

I apologize that your recent experience was not up to par, and that your service was not friendly. We did unfortunately run out of togo containers during the busy weekend, and I am sorry for any inconvenience that may have caused. I hope you will reconsider returning in the future so we can make sure you have a wonderful dining experience all around.

Report
VS
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

$100 later and we're still hungry. Those were not tapas sized portions. we've been here before and the portions were about half the size. We went for restaurant week and I expected a lot more. First off, they were out of 3/4 of the things we ordered. Second, the service was meh. Our water was never filled up. we waited about 30 min for the butter chicken (which I'm sure they forgot about considering everything else came out within 15 min). I was finished with all of my food first. and we were never updated on the status of our food. third , the dessert. I swear they took a thin slice of cake, cut it in half and then gave it to me . I've attached the TWO portions of dessert we received. I will honestly never come back here , especially for restaurant week. I could've spent my money better somewhere else

KL
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was great. I think with a soccer tournament in town and restaurant week, they were over booked. 3 items from our order never showed up at the table. We had the server remove 1 item from our list and the other 2 items were boxed to go.

The short rib ravioli and potato gnocchi were super dense and chewy, like they may have been over worked when rolling. They were also out of several items due to the influx of customers.

Drinks were good.

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

Thank you for the feedback on your recent visit to Essex. It was a very busy weekend with Restaurant Week, the soccer game and Cirque du Soleil. However, that is no excuse for not receiving items you ordered, or having to get items togo. I hope that you will visit us again in the future for a great dining experience all around!

Report
HD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was fantastic, service for us was pretty good. People around us were having horrendous service with various servers, so it feels like we may have gotten lucky with a good server. Based on service around us I’m not sure if I’d recommend a friend go.

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

Thank you for the feedback Heather, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the food and service. Ashleigh is always great. I hope that you will join us again in the future!

Report
YJ
Charlotte
5 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food as always. Really good prices on wine. My only complaint is the noise level. You can't hear because of the noise.

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

It does get loud during busy times unfortunately, once it cools down a bit, the patio would be a great quieter option for you!

Report
L
Charlotte
13 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is it our 4th time at Essex. We always have a great time. And the food is delicious!

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

So glad to hear it! Hope to see you soon!

Report
SR
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was phenomenal! My husband and I had the curry mussels, lamb sliders, shrimp & grits, and short rib ravioli. All of it was amazinggg!
It gets pretty loud in there, we felt like we had to scream to hear each other. Our server was also too busy flirting with the girls at the table next to us we had to get someone else to provide service.
I would still go back because the food was so great, but I would prefer to take it all to-go home.

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. So glad to hear you enjoyed everything that you ordered! It does get pretty loud during busy times, once it cools down a bit the patio would be a great option for you that is a little quieter. I do apologize that your server was distracted and unattentive, we will make sure to talk to him about that.

Report
OT
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Valet parking was a great plus. Prompt greeting and seating and a great table with quick service and a wonderful waiter. All our food was really delicious and got us to our show on time without being rushed in the least. Easy 4 stars and will certainly be back again. Great location and great food with valet parking and a great staff... what more could you be looking for?

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to Essex. We hope you will come back and see us soon so we can take it up to a 5 star experience for you!

Report
MH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Sat down at 12:20 for lunch and ordered 3 salads immediately as server was pouring waters. At 12:55 still hadn’t received anything nor told what the hold up was. Asked for 1 of them to go at this point. At 1:15 still hadn’t received anything at all. Ridiculous way to run a lunch service or restaurant. Manager also couldn’t make time to talk to me as we left after an hour WITHOUT having eaten a bite

OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

I’ve been here twice prior for work lunch with no complaints. However this visit was not a good experience.

Kitchen was out of chicken, which should have been stated when we were seated instead of when we were placing order. Half of the table had to change their selection.

The meal for one of our six diners was not delivered to table. We had to hunt someone down to ask and needed it to go by that time. Got a blank stare and no apology.

To top it off a 20% tip was added to check. Not deserving of it.

Essex
Responded on July 23, 2019

Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. Our truck delivery was late, causing us to not have the chicken ready in time for lunch service. You are absolutely right that you should have been informed of this before placing orders. I hope that you will give us another chance, as this is not a typical lunch experience at Essex. We sincerely apologize.

Report
AB
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

They changed the menu and I was left a little disappointed. Different sauce for the calamari. The pork bell sandwhich had a different bread...it was ok its been much better.

Essex
Responded on July 16, 2019

Thank you for the feedback on your recent visit to Essex. We are sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the recent menu changes. We are constantly evolving our menu, so your feedback is valuable to us. We hope to see you again soon!

Report
OT
Charlotte
15 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

The food that we received was good. They were out of several kinds of seafood. A friend that is pescatarian finally had to ask what they did have. Another friend order scallops. The manager had to come over again to say that they smelled bad so they threw them out. He had to make another choice. The manager gave us all 20% off. The hot food came out before the salads. I never received the Butter Chicken after 40 minutes of waiting. We were going to the theater so told the server to cancel it and bring our checks. When we placed our orders, we instructed how to divide the checks. We were 3 couples sitting across from each other so easy to determine. When the checks arrived, they were mixed up. The server took them back but they still came out wrong. We finally just paid and left to make our show.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful dining experience at Essex today! Had the chimichurri chicken and shared a dip trio and both were very good. We sat on the patio, which was lovely, but the inside is beautifully decorated. Going to try and talk my company into having our holiday party here!

OT
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I eat at Essex often, but never write reviews

MC
Charlotte
12 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Business associate and I dropped by the Essex at the last minute for lunch (yes, Open Table does work in real time!). We came in the restaurant at the end of the lunch rush on the day before a holiday. Hostess was friendly enough and we were promptly seated. Our table and seats were not entirely clean (debris left over from the previous guest). Our wait person was friendly enough. Menu is interesting. It covers a broad spectrum of food styles. No specials on this day. Food came out promptly. Sandwiches were very good, sides were OK. I had a similar experience on a previous visit.

The Essex is in a killer location. To be competitive in the Charlotte restaurant scene, the experience offered by the staff is going to have to come up a couple of notches. I don't think friendly enough will be good enough in the long run. I'll be interested if ownership and management can raise their game in this respect.

Essex
Responded on July 10, 2019

Thank you for the feedback on your recent dining experience at Essex. I apologize that the customer service left something to be desired. That is something we are continuously striving to do better on. I hope you will visit us again soon!

Report
JL
Charlotte
12 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Been here a couple of times and really do like it. This time, service was on the slow side. Our server, once she came to our table, was very sweet and extremely accommodating but we constantly had to ask for her and even to pay our bill had to ask another server to help. Overall, I would still go back.

Essex
Responded on July 2, 2019

So glad to hear you enjoy visiting us at Essex! I apologize that the service was slow this time. You definitely should not have to keep asking for your server or get another server to help. We would love to know who the server was if you would like to reply with your reservation name or your server name if you have the receipt. We hope to see you again in the future!

Report
s
Charlotte
16 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

About 24 hours after making my reservation through Open Table, I get a message stating I would not be receiving points for this reservation. No explanation, just that my reservation does not qualify for points. Since the restaurant had 2 tables with patrons when I arrived, I would think they would have offered me double points for being there!!! I would like for someone to help me understand what makes a reservation qualify or not qualify.

JT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Food and service..Always get Lobster mac and cheese

Essex
Responded on June 25, 2019

Lobster mac and cheese is a must! Thanks for coming in!

Report
OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

Have been to Essex and really enjoyed it in the past, however did not think our waiter was very good and mumbled thru options, combined with being very slow. Also felt their selections are way over priced. Doubt we will be back with so many other options in area.

CM
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

My husband and I came here for the first time on a spontaneous date night. Food was excellent - highly recommend the dip trio and the Bang Bang Grouper. Only thing was service was a little bit slow. Slow to greet our table and slow to get drinks out. Food came out very fast. We will be going back because there were many other things we wanted to try but were stuffed! We ordered the dip trio and 3 other "small plates" and barely finished it. Good portion sizes for "small plates".

Essex
Responded on June 25, 2019

Thank you for the feedback on your recent visit to Essex. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the food so much. We will certainly address the speed of service with your server. Hope to see you again soon!

Report
CT
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

Our waitress wasn’t that good. We asked for straws (shouldn’t have had to) and she forgot. Once reminded, she came back with them in her bare hands and there wasn’t any paper or wrapping covering them...SO unsanitary. Needless to say, we didn’t use them. She never brought out the sliders we ordered, but we weren’t charged for them either. The Mediterranean Chicken skewers were just ok...chicken was very tough. Bang Bang grouper was very good! Brussels sprout Cesar was a little bland. My drink though, the Gingerberry, was VERY good. Overall, not a good dining experience. But, I would go back because I know this place can and has done much better.

Essex
Responded on June 18, 2019

Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. We would for you to send us an email so we can figure out who the server was. We would like to be able to make this right!

Report
1
2
3
22

Tweets by Essex