Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday: 11:00am - 12:00am
Saturday: 12:00pm - 12:00am
Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Essex Bar & Bistro is happy to validate parking after 5pm at the Auto Park Garage at 4th and Church Street, just 2 blocks away!
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Welcome to Essex Bar & Bistro. We’ve put as much care into the craft of cocktailing as we do our menu of international cuisine, which are designed to complement our master mixologist’s liquid creations. Located in the heart of uptown Charlotte at Trade & Tryon.
Essex Ratings and Reviews
We had never been to Essex before but had seen some good reviews. Had a reservation and were seated promptly. Waited at our table for server for almost 10 minutes. Table wasn’t completely set for four of us and kind of puzzles server. Didn’t get the tapas concept explained until pretty much the whole party had ordered. There was an issue with an up charge for a drink that had not been explained. It was ok. Might come back.
Food: Cheese plate was fantastic, highly recommend - Butter Chicken, all the reviews rave about this but is is just like Tikka Massala and you can get much better at most Indian restaurants. It was good but there are better options on the menu. Brussels Sprout salad was great but the favorite of the night was the Short Rib Ravioli - WOW it was outstanding.
Timing of the food: It came pretty quickly so we were happy we ordered one dish at a time when we were ready. The table next to us ordered their entire meal at once and it pretty much came out the same way... all at once. Their table was packed with food.
Drinks: We each got a couple cocktails: Old Fashion was well done. She got two different Gin cocktails and they were both really good.
Desert: We got a Chocolate Mouse/cake. It was fine but nothing to go out of your way over.
Service: Really good, they were there when you needed them and weren't when you didn't.
Food ranges from good (flatbread) to outstanding (shrimp & grits), so I guess it depends on what you order. Service was pretty terrible, though. Drinks were forgotten, entrees were served more than 5 minutes apart, waitress had to be summoned every time we needed something - though we routinely saw her check on other tables near the front of the room, she never seemed to make it back to us. Luckily we enjoy each other's company, or this would've felt like the longest meal ever.
It was for my bday. I made a reservation for 7:45 but they did not have us seated until 8:30. That really upset me because I made the reservation time for a reason... not to wait. It’s wayyyy to noisy in there but a restaurant can’t control that. Food was pretty good. Seating was terrible. It was just way too packed in there. And I could barely get in the booth. I would come again, but maybe just go to bar.
Overall great experience! Nice ambiance and unique atmosphere. It’s on the noisy side but you can request a quieter location. Food was fantastic!!! Our server was kind and attentive! Most plates are tapas style so if you want to have fun, have your server randomly choose a plate or two! I will be back!
I was preface this that we went for Restaurant Week, which might be the reason for this, but we were there for 2.5 hours. It was the most ridiculous experience ever. Additionally, the table beside us got there at the same time we arrived and received all of their courses before we ever got any food. To start, we waited over 30 minutes for our drinks. Then another hour after that before our food arrived! The waiter and waitress kept checking on us to ask what we were waiting on and we had to keep telling them "all of the food we ordered!". Then, a waitress brought us a complementary order of dumplings and when placing them on the table goes "these are because you had to wait so long. Someone left these behind so you all can have them." Indeed they were left behind because they were cold, which only added to our frustration. Finally our food came and it was very good. However the service could not have been worse.
We’ve been to Essex several times. This time we took friends with us for restaurant week. Pretty much the whole menu is open which isn’t great. Noticed that the sliders we normally get were not as good with size, amount, and toppings this time. The others plates we’re good as usual.
Although the food was delicious, each plate came out individually with a long wait between plates. With 4 people dining, we basically ate one at a time which was awkward. Other tapas style restaurants manage to bring food to all diners at a table within a reasonable time frame.
We try to experience different restaurants during Queensfeast and this is one of the best places we have eaten at!! Essex has small plates that are more than filling. The atmosphere is vibrant and the food is AMAZING. Please try the Butter Chicken, Kale and Apple Salad, Shrimp Tacos and Lobster Tacos!!! You will not be disappointed. Can’t wait to visit again. Essex! Essex! Essex!
Came during restaurant week. Definitely make a reservation. We were a group of 10 and were seated in the back which worked out great because we could hear each other talk. The food was delicious everyone loved their food my top picks, short rib ravioli and bang bang grouper ( note that it's got some kick and heat). They have craft beers on tap so support your local brewery I had OMB's Copper Ale with my dinner . Aurora was our waitress and she did a phenomenal job keeping g our drinks filled and our orders correct. Definitely recommend and definitely will be back.
Pro-tip: Take the Light rail to the CTC/Arena station and walk over to Essex super easy and no worries about parking.
If you are up for a thumping loud place to eat this is for you. Weekday night and very busy. Music is so loud the crowd has to talk over it which makes the overall noise level obnoxiously high. We ordered 3 things to share and 2 of the three items were not what or how we ordered them. Waiter must have been oversat as we didn’t see him very often. Would probably be more enjoyable when the weather is warmer and you can sit outside. The Cesar Brussel salad was very salty- the Asian flank was very good. Didn’t have a great experience- but could have been due to a busy queens feast week. Prob won’t be back anytime soon.
Tried them out for restaurant week and was very pleased. The menu is huge, but all 4 entries that we tried were excellent so the kitchen doesn't seem to be overwhelmed. The "bang bang grouper was excellent, but we also enjoyed the shrimp and grits, short rib ravioli and the eggplant flatbread. A nice place before a basketball game or a show.
My dinner arrived quickly, at 6:30 p.m.. My husband's dinner never did show up. The waitress said the kitchen was organized by different sections of the menu. Mine should never have been delivered to the table until his was ready.
At 7:00 p.m. we gave up. The restaurant did not charge us for my meal or my husband's beer, which was appropriate for them to do. Even with that, we will not return.
My friend and I went here for brunch this afternoon. After being seated by the hostess who seemed she didn't want to be at work, we waited like 10 minutes before being acknowledged. The other servers were very attentive to the other tables and later on we noticed people getting acknowledged as soon as they were seated, so take from that what you want. I wanted to leave but my friend addressed the hostess about this issue and moments later our server came.
We both ordered passion fruit mimosas, which were overpriced and lacked champagne, but was very tasty. I ordered the huevos rancheros & my friend ordered the steak & eggs. The food came out fast and the presentation was great. I didn't like the sauce on my order and my egg was over cooked. They over cooked the egg on my friends dish as well (we both ordered over easy and got over hard) but she really liked her dish, even recommended it to this couple sitting across from us. I sent mine back and ordered their home fries and sauce (I tasted my friends dish and love that part of it, I don't eat meat so didn't try the actual steak) I also ordered 2 over easy eggs, which were again over hard.
I'm hoping I caught them on a off day, but the ambience was great and I would go back again to give them another try.
Party of 3 from Washington DC and Atlanta. Disappointing experience. Drinks took 10 minutes. During that time, waitress should have put in our appetizer order but she reconfirmed it when she delivered our drinks -- because she never wrote it down. Two of our 3 entrees came out an entire 20 mins before the third. Waitress never even picked up our menus -- I had to set them on the floor. Waitress never cleared our plates -- we had to ask staff to pick them up. Place is LOUD LOUD LOUD but that's just the kind of place it is. It was a challenge to get water service. Food was fair -- falafel was close to burned. The true dining tragedy was NO ONE APOLOGIZED FOR A THING -- they thought they were on it. Very disappointing after reading the good reviews. This restaurant did not represent the Queen City very well. We'll come back to Charlotte but we'll take a pass on the Essex experience.
We went before going to the theater with our 14 year old son. The location is less than a block from the theater, food was delicious, server was personable and helpful. We shared a total of 9 items between the three of us. This was more food than we needed, but was nice to sample a variety of foods. I will definitely return.
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