The Essex

4.8
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284 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Modern American Dining With a Focus on Sustainable and Local Product, Cutting Edge Fish Program with $1 oysters ALWAYS.

"Voted Best New Restaurant in New England" Yankee Magazine 2018
"Best Restaurants in Connecticut" CT Magazine 2019
"Not to be Missed" Town And Country

The Essex provides an intimate yet energetic upscale casual dining experience built around our double sided open fireplace. Focused on our locally sourced products from the New England Family Farms, Fishermen, and our partner farms along the shore, we provide a food forward experience with cuisine that plays with flavor profiles of Japan, Korea, Thailand, and China rooted in familiar styles from American Dining Favorites.

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Sun 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Wed - Thu 5:00PM - 6:30PM

What 284 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This was our first visit to this renowned restaurant. The greeting was very warm and pleasant. Seated immediately and primary tap water or bottled questions were asked and served. We waited a while for our server to make it to our table. He took our drink order and we waited a few minutes for drinks. Our martinis were served on a small carafe and on ice. Very nice presentation. Olives were small. A nice Gorgonzola stuffed large olive would be nice. Server could have used 1 less table at prime time because service went from 3-5 after we settled in. Starters were great, my wife enjoyed a dozen oysters and I really liked the spoon Kale salad. Entrees were mixed. My fish was well prepared and nicely spiced with fingerling accompaniment. My wife’s lobster and beef over pasta was not well prepared. Pasta was way overcooked. Bottle of wine was a very nice and well served. Chef owner came to the table to introduce himself. A very nice conversation became better when we found UVM in common. We will return soon and often. Need to try the speakeasy next time.

P
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Valentines dinner with my wife. First time at the Essex. Started with barrel aged Manhattans, very good. Really good. We shared the Spoon Salad. Perfectly lightly dressed, great combo of veggies, cheese and nuts. For main course I had the Lobster Beef Fusilli and wife had the Salmon. The chef here innovates with combinations of seafood and meat. Both entrees were quite good. Very attentive service all around.

Our only criticism is that some tables in the dining room (including ours) are next to the entrance area. On a cold night we felt a cold breeze when other patrons entered.

RB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely a fantastic restaurant outstanding food as always it is truly my number one favorite restaurant in the world the food there’s not even enough words in the world to describe how fantastic the chef is a genius we can take everything and make it taste so delicious we can’t get enough in the staff I just love the stuff so nice and helpful and educated about the food the wine everything I have to mention my favorite waiter Peter my all-time favorite he’s so knowledgeable and knows everything inside and out of that restaurant 😍😍😍😍🥇⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥🔥

C
New England
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

OMG!! Valentine’s pre-fix menu was to die for. Great wine pairings, even pave on the courses, just the right portions and amazing changes in tastes/flavors from course to course. Started with a few craft cocktails up stairs (works of art, really) seated prompt/y on time. Could not have had a better experience. Sign me up for the next one!

RH
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing experience from start to finish! My husband and I are already planning our next trip back! From the moment you enter the restaurant you are met with an intimate décor; cozy seating; and a double sided fireplace! The menu was incredible; it was difficult to narrow down what to order. My husband and I decided to try two appetizers; one entrée each; and then two desserts! Presentation; food; and the options were an experience not to be missed! Highly recommend this wonderful spot!

DN
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We were the only people in the dining room but it was early on a Thursday night. The duck appetizer was amazing omg and almost meal size. It filled me so much I really couldn’t eat the fluke entree which was also delicious. A table across the fireplace had the the nine course tasting which I will definite get the time. It looked wonderful from my mirrored angle of view. My wife and I both loved the specialty cocktails. So the bar is someplace I’ll go again as well.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unbelievable, must go!

RG
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Fabulous experience for may first time at The Essex! The food was sensational, the best around here on the shoreline. It was a very cold Sunday night so it was quiet with very few diners and the temperature of the room was very cold (until our server kindly raised it at our request) but the restaurant is beautifully decorated and the food was fantastic. We tried the tasting menu with wine pairings and everything was exquisite. Can't wait to return and try the menu.

B
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistently delicious and so creative! Plus, the staff is engaging and thoughtful....

GG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved how you could visit 3 places in 1. There is the very classy, comfy restaurant, the upstairs lounge, and the Mexican ‘cantina’. Each of these offers a different experience. The food at The Essex was delicious! And the service exceptional. We’d definitely go back. It was worth the 40 minute drive.

e
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a great discovery. Amazing food, drinks and service.

DJ
New England
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent atmosphere. Service was 5 star. Owner/chef has a great personality and obvious culinary skills. Will return often.

WP
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful dinner experience!! Nice people, outstanding food, and a personal welcome and follow up discussion with the chef!!

OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience! We enjoyed our meal and it was great to have the opportunity to meet the Chef and members of his team!

A
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and inventive

E
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect! Beautiful venue with fireplace comfortable cozy seating. Definitely will go back

LS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fabulous, inventive food that is delicious and surprising.

GS
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All I can say is wow! This is my new favorite restaurant. The food is spectacular-- there were four of us in our party and we all ordered something different for sampling purposes. Every single meal was out of this world. I had a lobster and fusilli with beets. The flavors were complex and everything was cooked to perfection. The service is top notch. Our server, Peter, who we knew from L&E is always wonderful. Colt, the chef and owner, came out to speak with us several times to make sure we were having a good experience. Great ambience as well. There was a very loud party in there and it was difficult to hear, but it's Christmas time and to be expected. My only regret is that I waited so long to try this place. I'll be back again soon.

l
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful meal at the Essex on Wednesday night as part of their Wednesday night supper club.
The food was amazing. We enjoyed the family style serving. We had a wonderful seat in front of the fireplace and very close to the beautiful Christmas tree. Our server, Peter, and chef and owner, Colt, along with a cocktail expert all showed concerned that our every need was met. Just a great experience all the way around. Hope to be Wednesday night regulars!

FS
Naples
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED OVER PRICED

I
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food,just delicious and unique. Terrific waiter who was so attentive, delivered our food at just the right leisurely pace. Paired our meal with a perfect wine. Chef came out to welcome and greet us. Quiet and cozy. And the price!!! Can’t say enough about a wonderful “date night”.

DS
Philadelphia
37 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Had the 7 course tasting menu for 2. Was our anniversary. Took 2 hours but waiter was very informative (although a little slow and forgetful at times). Portions were small (expected) but great textures.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Their supper club dinner was outstanding, more food than my wife and I could even eat.

JH
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Simply amazing tasting menu meal over the weekend. Happened to be in the Essex CT area this past weekend and made a reservation based on a recommendation. Chef and his team hit it out of the park. Each course was superb and the wine pairings just added to the experience. Don't think I have had a better meal anywhere. Can't wait to go back.

T
New England
16 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went there for our anniversary. We had a great table near the fireplace and the food was fabulous. Added plus of having part of our meal cost donated to a veterans organization. Ended the night with a visit to the Coco Club, very cool venue. Nice to go to dinner and be a able to hear each other😊

CL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fantastic meal and experience at The Essex!

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Enjoy a seat by the fire. Go upstairs and grab a cocktail and thank me later

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Essex is an experience! Outstanding creations by the super-talented Chef Colt who perused the dining room throughout dinner to check-in with his patrons. The newly opened CocoClub upstairs provides a wonderful, casual-chic space to enjoy before or after dinner cocktails (be sure to check out their seasonal cocktails creations!). And, there is yet a third option to mix in with Chef Colt's Los Charros Mexican right next door through the shared hallway. Three concepts make this a destination for a fabulous evening of the highest quality food and drink. Enjoy this wonderful gem in Essex, CT!!

OH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Very good food, nicely presented. Good atmosphere as well. The service was pleasant but not polished. We ordered the tasting menu with wine pairing and more often than not a course was set down without the wine and it took some time for waitress to bring the accompanying wine - they should be served together. Drinks were good though the variety of spirits could be expanded - no citron vodka? No Cointreau? Then how does one follow Dale DeGroff's cosmopolitan recipe? picky yes, but that's the difference between a 4 and 5 star rating. Overall, however, it was a very positive experience and we look forward to returning.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is excellent and the staff is very friendly. We came for date night after we saw a posting from them on FB and it looked too good to pass up.
This was our second time at the restaurant and we will definitely come back again.

JU
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

THIS RESTAURANT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE VALUE OF A HANDS ON OWNER THE FOOD WAS AMAZING AND THE OWNER CAME FROM THE KITCHEN AND KNEW WHAT WE HAD ORDERED AND ASKED ABOUT OUR SATISFACTION CANT GET BETTER THAN THAT1

AB
New York Area
88 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We shared the delicious mushroom raviolo which was yummy. I had the beef Wellington and my husband had the chicken. Both superb! Chef Colt came out to see how everything was which was appreciated. Definitely recommend

m
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday FANTASTIC!!! Magical night. Our server was fantastic. Gave us excellent recommendations. Wish the night would not end. Can’t wait to go back!!!!!! The barrel aged Boulivardier was gantastic as well as their wine selection.

SK
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I am so appreciative of having this kind of creative food and lovely ambiance available in SE CT. The food is absolutely outstanding, carefully curated and of the highest quality. Congratulations to Colt and everyone on his extraordinary team.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere. Friendly service. Food is outstanding and descent size portions. Definitely would recommend.

S
Tampa
12 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was the perfect atmosphere for a romantic evening. The food was incredible. I had the steak, my husband the cod and both were amazing. We had the ravioli app and the ramen app and those were outstanding. Nothing else can compare. The birthday cake dessert was one of the best cakes I’ve had

SF
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food, drink, service and ambiance were fantastic. The noise level is high.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an unusual experience as a table of 6 were loud, vulgar and disruptive in this small, intimate and always lovely space. Was impressed with how elegantly the owner handled the situation.

OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful culinary experience as usual. We had the tasting menu, what a treat!

JH
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great food, however, it took a long time for the food and apps to come out. We were only one of two couples dining!