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Griswold Inn ~ Dining

36 Main Street, Essex, CT 06426-1132
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Ranked #2 of 15 restaurants in Essex
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $15 - $40
Sun 11:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 10:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Cuisines: American, Bar, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Description: Located in the “storybook” village of Essex mere steps from the Connecticut River, this 1776 landmark offers three distinct dining experiences. “Historic Dining” is offered in four handsome rooms - The Covered Bridge, The Gun Room, The Library and The Essex Room – where a renowned maritime art collection fills the walls. The Inn’s New England heritage and connection with the sea is apparent in the classic seasonal cuisine offered; diners may enjoy a more contemporary culinary experience in the stunning wine bar featuring tapas-style dining and an extensive selection of wines by the glass; tavern fare is offered in the atmospheric, award-winning Tap Room where lively music rings out nightly. Patio dining is an option May through October, weather permitting. Lunch and dinner served daily, Hunt Breakfast on Sunday.
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189 reviews from our community

70% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rumford, Maine
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

You'll be hard-pressed to find a prettier, charming, quintessential New England town than Essex. (Apologies to Woodstock, VT). The Inn itself matches the character and beauty of the town perfectly. It's 1776 patriotic heritage is clearly evident. They even serve a "Revolutionary Ale" from a 1770s recipe -- an excellent brew for a warm summer day. We stopped in for... More

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Burlington, Canada
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

We went to the Griswold for lunch with our 2 little girls as we were visiting family in Old Saybrook. The lunch was great - my husband and I both enjoyed the half sandwich and chowder. The inside is unlike anywhere we have ever been and the kids loved looking at everything. Will definitely go back!

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Petaluma, California
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

I first went to the Griswold Inn when I was eight years old on a family cruise around Long Island Sound. That was 50 years ago, and I have to say it has not changed much. The interior is still a classic New England tavern, lots of small rooms that ramble through the ground floor and dark wood with nautical... More

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Essex, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

I recently moved into Essex; the Griswold was the first place I went out for dinner to. Upon walking into the dinning room I was taken by its commitment to its heritage, dating back to 1776. It was a Friday night, and the place was packed. Yet, service was accommodating and steady. Their Revolutionary Ale is the quintessential English pale... More

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 via mobile

Great place to stop by for lunch and a nice glass of wine during your walk through Essex village. Food is good and the waitstaff is very friendly. The pasta on the lunch menu was good and the lobster roll was excellent. They have bands in the evening most nights of the week during the summer season.

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Milford, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

We drive from Milford to Essex just for their Sunday brunch. It's a buffet and the spread - which includes an omelette and waffle station - is amazing and delicious. I love the old world charm of the place and whenever we went there was some live music. They are always busy so I recommend having reservations instead of walking... More

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Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

On a recent trip to Essex, CT for lunch, I checked Trip Advisor and saw that this place was #1..so off we went. We have eaten here in the past but not recently. What a disappointment! I ordered Fish and Chips because it featured it as a house specialty and I love Fish and Chips. I felt embarrassment for this... More

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Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

We drove down to the coast to look around and visited Griswold Inn for lunch. I can't remember where I heard of it but it was stuck in my head as a place to get good food. The atmosphere is very charming. Ordinarily we would have sat out on the patio but the dining room looks like the hull of... More

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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

Essex is a favorite town,we have great memories of staying at the Island Marina on a friend's boat every July 4th with regular visits year round.My shopping style is reknowned- I'm a familiar face for the last few decades.It's a gentle place with a great vibe. The Gris has charming rooms with ancient slanty floors,the restaurant a series of warrens... More

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New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

We didn't stay at the Inn, but did have lunch there twice. We ate inside once, and enjoyed the décor and walls dripping with history throughout. The second time was very pleasant outside, so we ate outdoors. The lobster rolls (they serve both the hot and cold variety) were excellent, as were their beers on tap and they made a... More

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