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The Essex, Old Saybrook, CT
0

The Essex

4.8
4.8
713 Reviews
$31 to $50
American
Set in the heart of downtown, across from the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, the “new” Essex will continue to offer the progressive, modern, approachable cuisine that has made it a top restaurant in the region. Whether it’s a pre-theater dinner, a casual gathering with friends, or a tasting menu for a special evening, guests can gather at The Essex to create memories with family and friends while enjoying excellent cuisine.

The Essex menu showcases modern American cuisine that draws inspiration from the land, sea and deep heritage of the Connecticut River Valley, using the freshest locally sourced products available from farm and sea. All will inspire an ever-changing menu of progressive interpretations of timeless dishes.

"Voted Best New Restaurant in New England" Yankee Magazine
"Best Restaurants in Connecticut" CT Magazine
"Not to be Missed" Town & Country Magazine
"Rising Chef Star" CT Mag

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 16 times today
Experiences are available.

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    American, Contemporary French / American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service

  • Hours of operation

    Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (860) 237-4189

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Colt Taylor

  • Private party facilities

    Your Special Events Destination: Elevating the Dining Experience on the Shoreline.Contact Colt@TheEssex.com

  • Neighborhood

    Old Saybrook

  • Cross street

    Across From Town Hall and The Katharine Hepburn Theatre

  • Parking details

    Parking in Rear

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor Firepit, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Gift card

Gift card

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Experiences

  • Tasting Menu At The Chef's Counter!

    $85.00 per person

    Prepaid

    Multiple dates available
    Enjoy our signature chefs counter experience for an interactive and immersive dinner served by the chefs! You will be charged for the standard 5 course tasting at booking but can upgrade to the 7 course and add on wine pairings if you choose upon arrival! The counter is a community table experience reservable for 1 person or up to 6! You will be refunded if canceling 48 hours or more before your reservation, refunded 50% 24-48 hrs, and charged fully within 24 hours. Thank you!
  • Valentine's Extravaganza!

    $145.00 per person

    Feb 14, 2023 only
    Celebrating Valentine’s Day With us is a celebration of elegance and indulgence. On Valentine’s Day we are ONLY OFFERING a choice of our special tasting menu or vegetarian tasting menu as options. The remainder of the week we will be offering our a la carte menu with our special tasting menu options! Please plan accordingly and space is very limited!

What 713 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.8
4.8 based on recent ratings
  • 4.8Food
  • 4.9Service
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Connecticut

    Best Service

  • Connecticut

    American

Sort by

Filters

  1. S

    Suzanne

    New York Area

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a great night! Delicious food and excellent service, we will be back!
  2. CT

    CTgirl

    New England

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We totally enjoyed our first visit to The Essex! Our server Peter was so friendly and entertaining too! Our dinner was amazing! We where able to speak with a few of the preparers, Ryan was so personable, and informative he answered the several questions my husband had for him with such ease, and besides he's cute too! We're ready to go back! Bravo Essex my husband isn't easily wowed, but you did WOW him! Thank you for a FUN time!
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Celebrating birthdays this time. All the staff is wonderful . The food and preparations are deliciously crafted and Peter master server and John master bartender really stand out on the front line.
  4. PS

    PamelaS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I had a most delicious halibut. Perfect in every way. A delicious Manhattan. Fine service and seating at the quite lively counter seats. Positive!
  5. J

    Joseph

    New York Area

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food and service every time! Got the 7 course tasting, each course continues to amaze the palate through the experience. Colt, Ryan, Ethan, Phil, and Cam in the kitchen did an excellent job. The cocktails from John and the wine tasting were both superb! Peter, Marcus, and the wait staff were all on their A-game. Will definitely be going back soon.
  6. R

    Reacher

    New York Area

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on January 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service was impeccable. Food was creative and fabulous. It is truly a great dining experience.
  7. MM

    MaryM

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 13, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place is a gem of a restaurant in Old Saybrook, bartender and waitstaff are super friendly and professional! Great addition to the town!
  8. EJ

    ElizabethJ

    Seattle

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 10, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great restaurant. We got tasting menu. Great value. Great good. Small dining room. Service impeccable. Very attentive to birthday celebration. It’s very quaint and cozy decor. Had super loud obnoxious group that destroyed evening. Reluctant to return .
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had their awesome Waygu Rib eye. What an amazing experience. John the man behind the bar AND Peter the waiter were both great!
  10. BM

    BrianM

    New England

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Prepare for a culinary adventure by Chef Taylor. Interesting environment. The staff is informative and friendly. The drinks are wonderful. Great date night
  11. E

    Erin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food, beautiful setting, and our server Peter did a great job!
  12. IK

    IvonaK

    New York Area

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food is beyond AMAZING! Fine dining at its best!
  13. MA

    MikeA

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My wife and I found the tasting menu to be excellent, and our waiter was great.
  14. O

    Oliveoil

    New York Area

    25 reviews

    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    New Year’s Eve was amazing at The Essex! We rarely go out to dinner on NYE. I usually prefer to cook a special dinner at home. But my husband retired this week, so we decided that we would go to a favorite restaurant to celebrate the beginning of our next chapter in our married life. And we were not disappointed. The chef’s tasting menu was superb and the staff went above and beyond to describe each dish, including some of the more subtle flavors in the dishes. Highly recommend The Essex for a special occasion or for a light bite of awesome apps before going to an event at The Kate. Happy New Year all!
  15. CT

    CTFoodie

    New England

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall3food5service3ambience4
    The food was fantastic. They made a major mistake on our reservation even though we called in advance to confirm and they really didn’t do anything to address that mistake. Sadly, that marred our experience.
  16. JH

    JamesH

    New England

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Prix Fixe menu for NYE was very good. Service was attentive and excellent. Excited to try their regular menu.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    We went for New Year's Eve. The Chef made a special effort to accommodate my GF needs. The soup was ok , and the cassoulet was bland. Everything else was very good.
  18. LI

    LINDAP

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My partner and I had dinner at the bar on Friday night after several coworkers had raved about their meals there. I’m happy to say The Essex did NOT disappoint!! We opted for two of the “El Jeffe” margaritas to start, while quite pricey, they were absolutely a special treat and probably the BEST margaritas we have ever tasted with the Extra Anejo tequila. For dinner we chose the chefs 5 course tasting, which, if I could give 10 stars, I would. So many delicious little treats all totaled to equal one phenomenal dinner. I am telling everyone I know to go, try it for yourselves! You too, will not be disappointed. Special shout out to John, the bartender, for his amazing drinks and service, along with all the other staff who were also very attentive and professional. Stellar job guys!
  19. KS

    KSCT

    New England

    21 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    We made a last minute reservation on 12/29 and all that was available was counter seating. We did not know what that meant until we were seated. It is a counter that overlooks the cooking area and leaves your back to the restaurant. There were two open seats at the bar and after the hostess conferred with the bartender, John, we were moved to those seats, which were great. I don’t know if you can reserve the bar or not. There are tables as well, but this is not a large restaurant. We had craft cocktails and the five course tasting menu. All was excellent, as was the service. Our selections were pricey, so if you have a price point, do sone research before you go.
  20. M

    Makeyourmark

    Atlantic City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The location and decor is intimate and inviting, with an open kitchen. As usual, great service, wine, octopus and oysters.
  21. TP

    TimP

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I can't praise this restaurant enough. From its bartender, host, and server to its phenomenal food and excellent atmosphere, the Essex ranks among the best restaurants I know. Nuff said. Stellar across the board and bar.
  22. NA

    NancyA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 28, 2022

    overall5food1service5ambience5
    I loved almost the entire experience. The ambience, the service, the pre-dinner bisque, the dessert, the wine, the food presentation. Unfortunately, the entree (mussel and fluke bourride) was salty to the point of unpalatable. And I like salty! I’ve never in my life sent food back and I didn’t want to hurt the chef’s feelings. But in retrospect, I realized I should have. But seriously, lovely restaurant!
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding, creative food.
  24. AG

    AdamG

    New York Area

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on December 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our second visit. Got to sit at the bar this time. Daughter came up from the city and wanted to bring her to a cool new place. Super imaginative cocktails. Big shout out to John at the bar. Great drinks and conversation. Tuna tartare appetizer was amazing. Steak frites and chicken for entrees were great. Highly recommended.
  25. k

    kermitsmom

    Philadelphia

    95 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    95 reviews

    Dined on December 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Possibly the best meal I have had in my life. We had the 5 course tasting menu which had the most wonderful flavors and the most beautiful presentation. Service was excellent--not overbearing. Next time we will sit facing the chefs in the kitchen to watch them do their magic. Can't wait to go back!
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orlando

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    Service was ok, not great. For a very pricey restaurant, the food presentation was woefully inadequate. I had the sea bass, which was yummy. Probably won’t go back.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our initial experience was exceptional. So much so that we returned with friends two nights later. From the host greeting to the bartender’s table visit to the server’s hospitality The Essex was firing on all cylinders. Chef Taylor’s menu is creative, varied and has something for everyone. The execution of our dinner by the staff in an open kitchen environment was spot on! The ambience is bustling but not intrusive. Excellent preparation to Black Bass and Salmon. We will return at every opportunity.
  28. B

    Belchar

    New York Area

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My 4th visit to The Essex. Every time I dine here, I find more depth of flavor in the food and cocktails created by Chef and Staff. I have been enjoying the Tasting menu selections (changes every week) and invited friends and family to join me in a culinary tastebud sampling! This visit was with dear friends who were feeling adventurous and wanted to venture out of the ordinary. Challenge accepted. It was an excellent service at the bar seating. John (our bartender) and staff served up the tasty bites of flavor in steady succession. Each small morsel had its own unique blend of flavors and were all delicious! Wish I could narrow down the various dishes to one favorite, but to be completely honest….I enjoyed each lil bite, with its own unique flavor, finishing with dessert. When you visit The Essex, prepare yourself to dine….embrace the various flavors. We arrived at 6pm and were pretty much the last to leave around 9:30 pm. How often do you get to sit and enjoy the company of friend’s and not feel rushed out the door. A memorable night out. Thanks again to the fine folks at The Essex.
  29. J

    Joananne

    New England

    116 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    116 reviews

    Dined on December 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was a wonderful dining experience.
  30. OY

    OldYankee

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 8, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    The service was amazing, the staff was so friendly which is not always the case at high end establishments. We were so pleased with the tasting menu and wine pairing it was a lovely experience. The chef is very skilled and we ate such a beautiful variety of delicious food. A great birthday celebration spot!
  31. R

    Runrun1

    New York Area

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on December 7, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Food and drinks were wonderful. The server had a few too many “senior moments” - his words, to say the service was seamless, but overall we had a lovely dinner and will return.
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Hawaii

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We can’t say enough good things about The Essex. Devine from entry to exit. The service, the ambiance, THE FOOD, the cocktails are all five stars. Huge Thanks to The Essex for an unforgettable dinner with family!
  33. P

    Pepsin

    New England

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 3, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Delicious food- we had the fresh clam chowder which was fabulous, with a bread pastry covering. The chicken was also fantastic. All the staff were friendly and fun attitude.
  34. JO

    JODITHES

    Atlanta

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on December 3, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    We had the 5 course tasting menu which actually was around 8 courses. Everything was high quality and excellent with our waiter very knowledgeable about the ingredients. This type of meal in a large city would be 200 dollars a person and it was 85 dollars at the Essex . We did not partake in the wine pairing as no uber that night. Would highly recommend this restaurant.
  35. BM

    BrianM

    New England

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 2, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Excellent date night experience. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Certainly planning on going back
  36. M

    Maggie

    New York Area

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on November 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was spectacular in every way…..the best restaurant in Ct
  37. S

    Suzette

    New York Area

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on November 26, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Loved the open kitchen concept. The lobster and beet fusilli was delicious. I think my husband enjoyed it way more than I. He had the tuna. My taste said it was ok but not a fan of the sauce on top. He also loved the octopus. When we got there, the bar was empty and I was loving it. By the time we left, it was full and we were squished in, barely able to move the chairs. We will definitely go back but there are other restaurants in Old Saybrook I like more.
  38. JA

    JAzz

    New York Area

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Fabulous evening. Dinner for 6 was superb. All of our guests enjoyed their meals immensely. The service was spot on and attentive. Thank you for a wonderful evening.
  39. GI

    GIACOMO

    Charleston

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 23, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Wedding anniversary
  40. LF

    LocalFromTheShoreline

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Definitely recommend The Essex! Great for a birthday or special night out.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

The Essex is rated 4.8 stars by 713 OpenTable diners.

The Essex does offer gift cards which you can purchase here.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 16 times today
Experiences are available.
Google Map for The Essex

247 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06745

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Across From Town Hall and The Katharine Hepburn Theatre

  • Neighborhood

    Old Saybrook

  • Hours of operation

    Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American, Contemporary French / American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    Parking in Rear

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Colt Taylor

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor Firepit, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (860) 237-4189

  • Private party facilities

    Your Special Events Destination: Elevating the Dining Experience on the Shoreline.Contact Colt@TheEssex.com

Gift card

Gift card

Send gift cards instantly by email or print to present in person.

Send a gift card
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