Essex

4.4
702 reviews
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$30 and under
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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.
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What 702 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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D
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Food is good. Too noisy for a lunch but have been there for dinner and drinks; the vibe in the evening is much better. Service was average this time; my dinner experience a few months ago was much better. Ourwaiter seemed a bit distracted and frustrated--it was very busy in the restaurant--I understand sometimes the crowds can be overwhelming. However, if you want a sterling review, staff should be able to handle the pressure with enthusiasm and a smile. It would make the experience for the customer much better even with a noisy crowd.

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AG
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience with exceptionally good food and service.

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T
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Excellent food!

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G
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

The room lacks anything to buffer the conversations therefore making it naturally very noisy.

The food was good but the waitress failed to explain what the charcuterie board was so we had no idea what we were eating. The creme brulee had the consistency of wall paper glue

Doubt I'll be going back there until there are making changes.

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C
New York Area
50 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great Lunch!!

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TS
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I got the Korean Steak and Eggs, and it could quite possibly be the best brunch I've ever had.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is literally my new favorite place to eat in Charlotte!!! Everything we ordered was incredible, especially the Honey River Sushi roll. There are probably 10 more things I want to try when I come back!! Delicious!!!!

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OT
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

Hopefully you'll see the memo before visiting this restaurant. Had we seen small plates in the restaurant description, the limited menu would not have been such a surprise and disappointment.

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OT
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great service...definitely a favorite restaurant in Charlotte!

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SC
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was delicious; for a tapas restaurant the portions were surprisingly larger than expected. Parking was atrocious in the area. The site advertising free valet parking, we had trouble locating the restaurant, called for location and was told on the phone about the free valet parking. We get there and no valet parking, one person from out party go in to ask about valet parking, he was told sorry they didn't have valet parking because of construction and an event going on...I presume the NBA basketball game. They told him were we could park but we had to pay for it...$20. The service was good.

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m
Charlotte
21 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was not their fault but two of their wait staff walked off the job and went home without telling anyone. So our server was overworked and we did not get water for 10 minutes after being seated. The woman at the table next to us was cackling like a witch and we could not hear each other talk so we had a drink and went to fin and finish where we had dinner the night before.

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CB
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing, I'm still dreaming of the lamb chop lollies pops!!! We had our company Christmas dinner her Friday night and I know we were a bit louder than most but out server was amazing and never missed a beat!

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Charlotte
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Service was really slow

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DG
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Beet salad is to kill for... spice on scallops and cauliflower... not so much

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DG
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

We went for Sunday brunch before a show. The place was not at all full but by 12:30 they had run out of Bloody Mary mix. It took 20 minutes just to get water. The eggs were dry and the toast arrived hard, dry with no butter or jam. The hamburger arrived with nearly inedible fries - again hard and dry - and no ketchup. The coffee arrived with no cream or sugar. We also had to ask for salt and pepper. I called the manager later that day and he said the server was no longer with the restaurant.....but the food was not good anyhow. The manager was very nice when I spoke with him and hopefully they credited our meal. It's such a great location that I'd be willing to give it another try - but only one more try.

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Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Everything was great except the service. Very inattentive, waiting a long time for drinks and never came back to check on us (it was less than half full)’

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SH
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Food was delicious but our serve was terrible. Drinks took forever, we didnt have enough silverware or glasses on the table etc

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RW
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We love the creative selection of tapas. Each time we come, we try different ones. The beet salad is delicious. Unfortunately, because we were two people and most tables in the dining room are four tops, we were seated in the hallway with the wine wall. In December it is cold there.

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TK
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 5

On prior visits to Essex, the food was great. The food quality has decreased substantially. It was average, at best. The service was slow...would not see the server for 30 minutes and had to flag down other staff members for help. Won’t go back.

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JR
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was absolutely amazing (although I thought we would get a little more for the price) - we got the shawarma and it was delicious. The drinks are great, too!

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DD
Charlotte
10 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great diverse menu. Portions reasonably sized. 3-4 small plates and a cocktail or 2 is perfect date night

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N
Savannah
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent date night restaurant. The food was good as well as the service.

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Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, great atmosphere, AMAZING menu! We ordered five dishes to split between the two of us and were STUFFED! 10/10

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D
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Modern and upscale with good vibe. Decent menu for sharing. Food 7/10, everything else 9/10.

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ML
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Good food with good service, but the noise level was too high for an altogether enjoyable experience.

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h
Charlotte
31 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Portion size is terrific for sharing. Fun!

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D
Charlotte
9 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Food that was supposed to be hot was warm at best. The cold Tapas were good. Food delivery was quick and server was both friendly and prompt. It was expensive for basically 4 tapas and a relatively inexpensive bottle of wine.

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Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We did this dinner as a pre-theatre and were favorably impressed. Lots of small plates good for sharing. The steamed pork buns were our favorite. Service was very good. We will definitely go there again. It would also be a good spot with a bunch of guys before a Hornets game.

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Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

One of the dishes came out of the kitchen cold, but it was fixed right away by our server. All the plates were delicious.

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Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

We used to be frequent diners but have been disappointed lately....esp with the quality of the food - not as impressive any more.

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Charlotte
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Thanksgiving meal!!

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JD
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

We went for the Thanksgiving buffet. Even though it was a buffet, we still needed service for drinks and that was sorely lacking. We got our first round and when it came to wanting another round, our server was nowhere to be found. In fact the table next to us (same server) never got their first order of drinks. So to add 20% gratuity to a check and service was pretty non existent, was definitely unwarranted.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Essex has been advertised for there Buffett on 95.1 for years. I finally was able to make reservations. When we got there the food smelt amazing but at a closer glacé was very limited for the price. In addition to the limited selection food was just ok.
Our service was the worst I have ever witnessed. Every time we needed a new drink we had to flag someone down. Then when we were ready for the check we were given checks that were completely wrong. In order for the restaurant to fix our checks we sat there for an additional 30 mins after all was said and done with were granted 10% off once we asked for it.
Total let down, we will not go back! In addition I will be calling The MRL show to tell them about our experience.

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UN
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Essex and had their Thanksgiving day buffet. The food offerings were extensive, and they were all delicious. In addition the wait staff was great. They all pitched in and stopped by our table to take dirty dishes or ask if we needed refills on our drinks when they went by. We will definitely be back to check out their regular menu on another day.

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SL
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Would HIGHLY recommend. Can't wait to go back! Was in Charlotte for quick weekend trip and made reservations here not knowing what to expect. When we were told "small plates" we were a bit hesitant but left VERY content and happy with the portions and food. Our server and food was PHENOMENAL. Great date spot.

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JR
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Good service, great food, a little loud at the time we were there

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Charlotte
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Service was very slow. Food is always good, but 1.5 hours for a business lunch is far too long. Place was not even that busy. The server did not seem to notice.

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SB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server was amazing. Made good recommendations.

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r
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was awesome and as described. Guess only thing would have been if all the food came out at same time but I guess we should have specified. Overall would definitely come back

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M
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

Menu much better now that they added more options, but their food with spices in them (like lamb burger) are way too spicy/hot. My friend could barely eat it.

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