Current Menu: A study of Brazil
(Except for Our Valentine's Menu running February 14th-16th).
The Essex provides an intimate 30 seat dining experience built around our double sided open fireplaces. Focused on our locally sourced products from the New England Family Farms, Fishermen, and our partner farms along the shore, we provide an elegant environment with an upscale experience geared towards a 3 course prix fixe for $55 and various tasting menu options. Our cuisine plays with the flavor profiles and techniques from around the world while staying rooted in classic concepts.
October-December French Occupation of India
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Sun 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Wed - Thu 5:00PM - 6:30PM
The cozy atmosphere was wonderful on Valentines Day! The food was AMAZING!!! Every bite of the five-course meal was delicious and the perfect amount of food! The owner introduced himself to all of the guests, which added to our experience. We can’t wait to go back!
Would have rated the ambiance higher but we were stuck in an awkward corner table next to the fire, very disappointing for my first time and it being Valentine's dinner, however the food was interesting and very good
we had a lovely dinner..besides the exceptional menu orders that we placed the chef delivered an arugula salad and two tasty between course treats..a wonderful dining experience!
We decided to try the fabulous tasting menu. What a treat! The chef changes the menu several times a year. When we went, it was Brazilian cuisine. It was so much fun to try the variety of foods and ingredients. I think we had about 8 different small plates ranging from fish to meats to sweets. The chef or our waiter explained each dish. It was truly an event, not just dinner out.
Absolutely incredible, all around. From the service to the cocktails and food. The friendly waitstaff and chef explained each dish as it came out. Even more, as we were a bit unsure of some of the items on the menu, the chef came over with a tasting of a few of the items on the menu we did not order. My one critique is that I wish the waitstaff did a better job of explaining the menu before we ordered as we were left with no insight into the unusual Brazilian items on there, and as a result did not order many things we wish we had after tasting them from the chef.
Will definitely be back for the Japanese themed menu starting in April.
Hands down one of the best spots in CT. I can’t say enough about this food. We ordered the Omakase which is Japanese for “your choice or you decide” and WOW. If you are a fan of amazing culinary achievements this is a must visit!
The meal was very nice- we did not have the tasting menu but I would like to go back and experience that. We had three different steaks, they were all delicious and cooked to perfection- had the scallop and oyster app also very nice. Service was top notch. overall a very nice evening
Limited Menu, poor service but cozy on a cold winter night
Went to The Essex last Sat. night to celebrate our anniversary. Had a great table with Peter our waiter.
We have gone there several times and met other waiters and their suggestions are really helpful and they
really know their food and beverages Colt Taylor was the chef and he comes over and makes
sure that everything is perfect. It's a lovely restaurant with a quiet side and then a little more rambunctious
Mexican side ......which have yet to try. We will very soon. Thank you to The Essex for another memorable evening.
Susan and Michael Gula
Expected more from this restaurant - our first experience dining at The Essex and it was a little underwhelming. Food was only so-so, service uneven. Glad we went during restaurant week and did not splurge on their more expensive menus.
Amazing experience from beginning to end. Service was wonderful and our dinner was outstanding. I loved that the attention to detail was not spared in any aspect.
My husband and I went for the taste of Middlesex Week Jan 2019. It was an incredible meal, and an outstanding value. I love how they change the menu every few months and prepare food based on a specific area of the world. They featured Brazil during our visit and it was really spectacular.
Probably the most enjoyable dinner we have had in the last couple of years! Delicious food, well thought out menu, great service and good wine at reasonable prices. We're making it one of our new "go-to" restaurants!
We understand what the chef is trying to do with the “concept meals” but it just missed the mark. This restaurant is for diners who are looking to enjoy experimental meals. No lettuce or potatoes on this menu. The one vegetarian dish was squash. Dried out, over cooked with puffed wheat, had no flavor. Steak frites was cold. Best part was the bread and desert.
Over all amazing experience both Chef and Sous chef came to our table and welcomed us and talked to us about their concept on their food. They were more than generous and very passionate about everything they’re doing. As a Chef I know when something is done with passion and love and their FOOD you can definitely taste the LOVE and FEEl the PASSION!!
The 3 course dinner was awesome with some very nice additions that were quite flavorable. This is not your usual restaurant!
New menu was terrific. I had the black cod app and venison entree. Wife had the salmon and the short rib app. Everything was top notch. One of the best meals I have had in CT in over 20 years. I love this restaurant!
We had a party of eight, one person with dietary restrictions, and the waiter was attentive, knowledgeable about the menu, the food was outstanding, the cocktails were excellent, the ambiance was lovely. I can't say enough good things about this experience. I look forward to going back.
Creative, fun, unique menu. Food was excellent in wonderful environment. Server was knowledgeable and we had a very nice conversation with the owner/chef. An excellent additional reason to come to Essex, which is already one of our favorite Connecticut towns.
Wonderful! Will go back for their tasting menu with wine pairing. Next time we’ll take our foodie friends
Great food that was presently exquisitely! There were a few nice surprises from the Chef, like the beet, carrot, or garlic butter. The Chef also took time to visit guests at the table to describe the preparation of our meals.
Portions were very small especially the salmon and the menu was confusing.
We celebrated our anniversary at the Essex this week and it couldn’ Have been better. The food brought to our table by the chef was exquisite and creative While we ordered the three course fixed price we received three surprise additions, each showing off the chef’s substantial ability. The service was attentive and professional. The wine list had many good values. We’ll go back as often as possible
7 Course chef's tasting was catered to our liking as the courses progressed. Service was outstanding.
Great innovative dishes that take advantage of locally sourced food.
I love this restaurant for its innovation and sophisticated menu...I also enjoy the friendly, attentive service that lets me know that I am special and appreciated......the food is delicious! The menu changes frequently, to keep in tune with Colt, the executive chef who is an “ artist extraordinaire”...he has apprenticed under some of the finest chefs in many major cities across the US...google him...The fois gras is the best I have ever tasted..better than Daniels, the famous NY C restaurant. I look forward to trying the Mexican restaurant that shares space with The Essex.
Very high quality gourmet food. I loved my food selections, my husband not so much. But I think that's because he didn't understand the menu descriptions. Example, First course selection of mousse puree was sweet (not expected) even though honey was mentioned on the menu. Second course of short ribs was wrapped in dough (not expected). So my recommendation would be to ask the server lots of questions before ordering. Very attentive service. Nice casual modern atmosphere.
Very creative menu and eclectic selections. Excellent attentive service. Options for prix fixe selection from the full menu and two omakase levels are somewhat unique. While not our go every week kind of place, we will come back again, especially as the menu evolves with the chef's creations.
The Essex has never disappointed. Their inventive menu, coupled with a thought out wine list, makes for a memorable event. Go with confidence!
We dine frequently around SE Ct, and for some reason hadn't been to Essex before. We also travel extensively in Europe and elsewhere. Our meal far surpassed that of any restaurant we have visited anywhere in CT, and, really, anywhere in the world! The 3 course price fix was very fairly priced, particularly considering that we received some 5-7 small, surprise items between each course with a wide range of imaginative flavors. My Halibut was cooked what was called in the style of Japan, steamed. Very fresh, moist and tender. The wines were also fairly priced. A good selection by the glass. The atmosphere was terrific too. All tables surrounding a fireplace in the center of the dining room. I marked down one star for ambience only because several of the tables involved couches that were not comfortable. (They graciously found a table with chairs for us). The servers were terrific. I dropped a star for service only because they were so busy with delivering the added items between courses that everything felt a little rushed, and they didn't have time to really talk with you. Perhaps adding a server would help.
Excellent place for dinner with unusual and somewhat limited menu selection owing to emphasis on local and sustainable. Comfortable, uncrowded and unrushed. Great place for a night out. Prices a little higher than other restaurants in area but you get what you pay for.
well done! we are thrilled with all the changes with the restaurant. Peter our waiter is the best!
Wonderful dining experience. Very creative cuisine.
Amazing food with plenty of small plate surprises. The quality and consistency that comes from this kitchen is amazing.
They hit every note and made the meal feel like an adventure. It’s a great reminder that food can be so much more.
Connecticut more inventive restaurants like this one in the state. Rarely do you find this level of attention to detail with the cuisine in addition to the service.
We were delighted to be seated right next to a burning fireplace, and the tables were spaced so that we didn't feel crowded. All 4 of us ordered the 3-course tasting dinner for $55 per person. There were, in fact, several mini courses added to the 3 courses, each and every one mouth wateringly delicious and inventive. The food was scrumptious and beautifully presented. Service was fabulous, and though we sat for 3 1/2 hours catching up with old friends, we never felt rushed. The owner came out to chat about the menu and check up on how we were doing a couple of times, which was great. All in all, we loved it. A bit expensive for every day, but worth every penny!
Just a charming, pleasant experience all around. The food was better than you'd expect to find in rural Connecticut but a welcome surprise. My girlfriend and I visited with another couple we're friends with and we all had a wonderful time. The service was attentive, professional, and very friendly and the chef came out to visit us on numerous occasions.
The ambiance is laid back, semi-formal but comfortable, and kind of a modern rustic vibe. There's a fireplace in the middle of the room and a soft buzz from the bar in another area of the restaurant humming through the walls. It was quiet the weekday night we went in but it's a small dining room so I can imagine it fills up on busy nights and might not be as quiet then.
The food was great, I'd guess locally sourced but not 100% sure on that and even the dishes we didn't expect to love were fantastic.
It's priced to fine dining but that's apparent up front so you won't have any surprises going into it, it was well worth it in my opinion. Four of us had three course meals with drinks and spent around $300 including tip.
Very disappointing: this was another Emperor's New Clothes. Very expensive meal for very little food, but worse than that, very non memorable. The sources are impeccable, but I guess when you order $40 Waygu beef you expect to get 1 1/2 ounces, maybe less, half of it tasty fat, and a short rib (one) that is no better than what I make. No sauces, almost no vegetables......I guess when the sources are so superb you only get a tiny bit. Fish was no better. But the service was exceptional and the wine and margaritas superb.
This was our first time in Essex and I’m so glad we found The Essex! Everything about our experience was amazing. I would highly recommend the prix fixe option (we chose the three course) on the menu. We were pleasantly surprised by the many little “extras” in between the courses and came a way more than satisfied. It’s obvious that everything is locally sourced and extremely fresh. The chef owner definitely has a winner here!
The Chef was fabulous and what he put together for us I can only rave about.