The Gelston House

3.7
424 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Gelston House offers Fine Dining with a
spectacular setting with a view of the Connecticut River. Exquisite Cuisine and excellent service.

** Please allow an hour and forty five minutes for pre-theatre reservations.
** Please note that on Monday's we do not accept reservations, it is a first come first serve basis
**Monday's we are only open OUTSIDE
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Tuesday - Sunday: 11:30am - 3:30pm

Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

Brunch: Sunday: 11:30am - 2:00pm
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Phone number
(860) 873-1411
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
RT 149 AND RT 82
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Parking details
Handicap parking available in front of the restaurant and more parking available on the side and rear of restaurant.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
What 424 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.7based on recent ratings
3.7
food
3.8
service
4.0
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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CB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and service outstanding with a smile!

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CH
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We always eat here before Goodspeed and always enjoy the experience...

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G
New York Area
48 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Only reason we went for dinner was we had a play before and won’t go back.
Service is not great and food is edible

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R
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal and Betsy is a delightful server! Looking forward to returning !

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r
New England
23 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The menu was very intriguing with new entrees and they had some great specials. They are very accommodating to dietary needs as one of our group has celiac disease but never has a problem here. The staff are energetic and helpful knowing their menu very well.

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j
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Dinner was not whatvwas described on the menu. Ran out of bread.

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BD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

This was truly one of the poorest dining experiences I have ever had. I am married to a a very well known chef and would be mortified if he ever served anything like this! I am floored that they are still in business. My food looked and tasted like something I would have had at a wedding in 1985!!! For a starter I had the calamari which was overcooked and flavorless. My husband had the beet salad that looked like it was just thrown on top of his plate. Then for dinner he had over cooked Salmon ( which was obviously not wild caught) with FROZEN sauteed spinach and a lump of risotto that was thrown on the plate. I had Shrimp and scallops tossed in a cream sauce that was glazed over from sitting too long under the salamander. Finally for dessert we had STORE BOUGHT Carrot cake! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Our choices were Chocolate Mousse Cake, Cheesecake, Lemon Cake and Carrot cake! I have had better food and service in a diner than here.
This is totally not acceptable from a restaurant at this price point level. Our bill was over $100 and I left the server ,who was also nothing to write home about a 20% tip. After years of being in the restaurant industry I always try to find the best in a restaurant and never write anything bad but I am so beyond disappointed in my experience there! I would have gave negative stars if it were an option.
I am astonished that Goodspeed Opera House would even associate themselves with you!
Needless to say I will never frequent this abomination again.

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c
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I would recommend the Gelston House as a pre-theatre venue. They have a special menu for theater goers - four courses for $39.95, and the food was wonderful!! We had a large salad, shrimp cocktail, steak, mashed potatoes and veggies, and tiramisu and cheesecake with coffee. Lots of food and it was delicious. The ambiance was nice, too. Just what you would expect from an upscale restaurant.

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K
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Gelston House is a lovely old hotel next to the Goodspeed Opera House in picturesque East Haddam, CT with gorgeous views of the CT river. It was the perfect place to have lunch with a friend before a matinee at the theater given the location and atmosphere. The food was so-so -- stick to the basics here, I think (which I did not, regrettably).

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NY
Phoenix
19 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

My Dad and I arrived shortly after the 2 pm Goodspeed Opera House Show ended. We had a lovely view of the water and the bridge. We had delicious meals (my Dad had the Gelston Chicken and I had the Branzino fish special). Even when the restaurant started filling up, the noise level was fairly low. All in all, it was a pleasurable experience.

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P
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Periodic trip from NYC to enjoy the productions at THE GOODSPEED OPERA HOUSE. Our visit to East Haddam is never complete without a stop at the Gelston House. Over the years, the food and service have consistently been excellent, and the view from the dinning room is just an added bonus. It is an ideal location for a quiet dinner with that "special someone!"

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RM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a wonderful restaurant for celebrating a special occasion. The food was delicious and the staff courteous.

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JS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The Gelsen House is always a great spot, conveniently located right next door to The Goodspeed Opera House and right on the Connecticut River. Our visit was for lunch right before the performance of Oliver on Sunday afternoon. My aunt was visiting from Maryland and this is the fourth time we have made reservations for lunch before a performance. For the first time, we sat out on the patio as Sunday was cooler and a beautiful day. Our main meal was delayed due to a large party, but we didn't mind. We enjoyed the afternoon and watching the activity of the river.

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TS
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Always, dine here before or after a performance at The Goodspeed Opera House (next door). Food is very good. Service can be very good or at least fair (sometimes inexperienced college students). View is wonderful during the summer, situated on the Connecticut River. Outdoor dining available ( you can get inside menu if desired). Special Prix-fixe menue available with show purchase on Friday evenings.

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q
New England
5 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Service was friendly but the bar couldn't seem to deliver drinks without various mishaps -- wrong drink, no lemon, etc. Food was good, though. And we got to sit outside and see the river, so hard to think too much about what was less than perfect.

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BC
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Leisurely meal and excellent service. The food was very flavorful and cooked just right. Our table had a great view of the river and the Goodspeed Opera House.

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JM
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Awful food, awful presentation, everything was overcooked and poorly prepared

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AB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Special dinner with friends who have never been there and heard how good you were. Very disappointed to be seated in the Pub, after having reservations at least 5 days in advance.

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BW
New England
117 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

My main reason for dining here was that it appeared to be the only restaurant close to the Goodspeed Opera House which took reservations. I made a reservation which should have allowed me to sit in the main dining room, but there was a wedding in there. However, I really wanted to sit in the pub or patio area where I could have a more casual menu but where I could not specifically reserve a table. When we arrived on Friday night with a 6:15 reservation, that was not an issue. We chose the pub over the patio because it was very hot outside. We were given the dining room menu (slightly more expensive when the same item was also on the pub menu) and had to ask for the pub menu. My friend ordered a cod entree which was on the small side and just OK. I order the salad nicoise. The tuna was cooked as ordered (rare), but did not have a lot of taste. The salad dressing was very good and the portion adequate. Our service was mixed -- slow at times and fast at times. We share cheesecake for dessert, and that was excellent. I would probably eat here again if I were dining out before going to the theatre.

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JG
New York Area
59 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We have been eating at the Gelston House for years pre-theater. It is consistently good and always has a beautiful view of the river. The menu changes slowly and for us that is good. There are new items just about the time we are ready for new items. Sometimes the wine list is exciting.

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g
New York Area
54 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Kim, our server, did a good job making our visit most enjoyable

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LC
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quaint old house on the CT River. Price Fixed menu for theater was reasonably priced and a good value. Food was delicious Service was outstanding

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J
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There were three of us in our party and each ordered a different main course. We had NY strip, lobster and shrimp scampi and scallops over angel hair pasta. All were absolutely delicious and the steak was so tender you didn't even need a knife. We shared calamari and crab cakes for appetizers and they were also delicious. The food has been exceptional the last few times we've dined there. Our waitress, Marianne, was pleasant and efficient and attentive but left us to enjoy our meal and conversation in peace. A wonderful experience we will repeat again in November when we visit Goodspeed Opera House for our final show of their theater season.

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F
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Best place for pre-theatre dining when going to Goodspeed Opera House.
Most beautiful setting possible.

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D
New England
11 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Adjacent to Goodspeed Operahouse. Portions too large. Quality adequate.

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MG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Preparations not unique or special but tasty and sufficient. Waitress was delightful and attentive. Deserts sadly lacking appeal. Timely kitchen prep.

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DG
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Basically, I had the $29 Prix-fixe meal which was a special with season ticket subscribers at the Goodspeed Opera House. It definitely was well worth the price because it included an appetizer, salad, entree, desert, and coffee. The portions were not any smaller (in fact, very generous), presentation of food was excellent, and quality of food was 4 stars. The food would receive 5 stars, if the mashed potatoes were not so bland and the sauce on my steak was a little less salty. Joey, my waiter, was very helpful, had a great personality, and served our food graciously making sure everything was great. In fact, he said he would mention to the chef about the potatoes and saltiness, so perhaps, the next time it would be rectified. As a final note, the meal was well worth the price and was a great enhancement as a pre-dinner before the fantastic show "Oliver" which exceeded Broadway expectations. I definitely will be returning to The Gelston House for my last show at The Goodspeed and would recommend the restaurant to all who enjoy great food and ambiance. Again, make sure to ask for Joey who will make your meal the "perfect delight."

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Food was very good, but lack of service, waited a long time for entrees.

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JC
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wait staff was very accommodating. Helped make a 16th birthday celebration for our granddaughter very special and one she will always remember! Thank You!

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j
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Gelston House is our go-to place for pre or post Goodspeed dining. The ambiance of the room with its large windows is elegant, and you can't beat its views of the Connecticut River. On the day the four of us were there, the service and foo d were both exactly what we expected. Unfortunately, with a pretty full house that day, the noise level was pretty challenging, but there are very few restaurants that can muffle the noise in a large room. It's just part of the whole experience.
There is a lot to be said for a restaurant that is always what you expect it to be: a real treat.

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l
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 2

Waitress spilled drink on tablecloth... waiters delivered food that we did not order...waitress kept interrupting to ask if all was ok...at least 6 times...place has nice location but looks a bit worn...food was delicious.

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l
Orlando
12 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The view(s) are lovely. We were greeted quickly and seated in a timely fashion. Our food was delicious however we waited almost an hour for it to come out. The restaurant was filled with people going the Goodspeed show. We weren't going there, just came in for dinner. So we waited a really long time for our food - maybe because the theater people got served first? Two of us had the short ribs - they were tender, nicely seasoned and delicious with mashed potatoes and beans. One in our party had filet and was happy, the other had the fish special which would've been perfect if served a little hotter. Our waitress was mediocre at best and wasn't even friendly. While we enjoyed the food and friends we would probably pick another place because the rest of it didn't hold up.

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RK
New England
6 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I had the special haddock with butternut squash cake and my partner had salmon from the prix fix -both perfectly cooked with delicious seasoning. Watch your timing if you want the view ---theatre goers are your competition before shows at the Goodspeed.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were great! We will be back.

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S
Miami
19 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Terrific views on the outside patio. Perfect on a summer day. Had salmon over risotto and the fish was cooked perfectly. Have eaten inside previously and enjoyed it but the patio is still a favorite.

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OT
New England
74 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Enjoyed price fixe pre-theater dinner. A good value and good food.

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H
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

山清水秀,环境优雅,是个情人幽会,朋友相聚的好去处。菜肴一般,服务上佳,值得推荐。This is a special review for expected Chinese customers.

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TS
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food and the service was first rate.

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MI
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was great but small portions. But will come back.

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U
New York Area
93 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

This is not a destination restaurant, but there is a destination next door: Goodspeed Opera House. It is very handy to combine the two. The views of the river, from inside or outside, are glorious; the service is earnest and the food is OK. I seem to recall better food on several past visits, but with a packed dining room they do a fine job of getting you to the theater on time, or afford a pleasant place to linger after a show. I'm afraid I have more the impression of banquet food than of a place to you go because the food is enticing.

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