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Griswold Inn ~ Dining

36 Main Street, Essex, CT 06426-1132
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Ranked #1 of 15 restaurants in Essex
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $15 - $40
Cuisines: American, Bar, Wine Bar
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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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186 reviews from our community

70% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Essex, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

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 NEW 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
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 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
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 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
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 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
12 helpful votes 12 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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Pennington, New Jersey
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Wonderful main dining room -- well-spaced tables and enough nautical art on the walls to keep you busy all night. Really quite historic and beautiful. The food isn't quite up to the setting, but it's certainly nothing to complain about. Great place to take a multi-generational family.

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Mesa AZ
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

I hadn't been to the Gris in many years. Went for lunch. They didn't have full bellied clams on the menu but the waitress said she would ask. She came through and I had one of my favorite things to eat prepared especially for me. They were amazing. The Inn is from the 1700's and such a charming place. The... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

We booked a week ago to dine in the Wine Bar at the Griswold Inn, Essex. Arrived with friends visiting from UK, who had heard about the famous Inn and back drop in the Wine Bar to be told that due to an event the Wine bar was not available. I commented that it would have been nice to have... More

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grisresponder, Owner at Griswold Inn ~ Dining, responded to this review

We are glad that you and your guests thoroughly enjoyed dinner in our Historic Dining Rooms recently. It is unfortunate, however, that there was a misunderstanding about the reason for our Wine Bar unexpectedly being closed on the evening you were joining us. Our Wine Bar Chef fell ill in the late afternoon. Due to a couple of other private... More

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