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“Fun trip and fantastic food”

Essex Clipper Dinner Train
Ranked #7 of 17 Restaurants in Essex
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Cicero, New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Fun trip and fantastic food”
Reviewed October 19, 2011

My husband and I went on the Essex Clipper Dinner Train on a Saturday evening at the end of our 7-day vacation through New England. The experience takes you back to the heyday of elegant train travel complete with conductors in the old uniforms stamping your ticket, dinner servers dressed in tuxedos, white linen tablecloths, fresh flowers, candles, and fine china. The river scenery and fall folliage along the river route were beautiful, although after the first hour and a half, it was dark and the scenery was irrelevant. We, being a two-party table, were seated on the left side (as you face the front engine) of the train, while most of the good scenery was on the right side, where only four-in-a-party were seated. The train does not turn around (the engine moves to the other end of the train when it reaches the end of the line), so you still are looking across the train out the other side window across other diners. We were fortunate as there was no one seated at the table next to us, so we had a clear view, but other than that one empty table, all the twosomes on our side of the train were looking out the windows through other people. I would recommend that if you go, try to find another couple so you can sit on the "good" side of the train. The only other complaint we had was that the servers took drink orders before the train left the station, which was OK as we expected that by the time drinks were served, we would be under way--not so, the salads were served before leaving the station, and before the drinks arrival some 20 minutes into the trip. That was the only thing that seemed odd. The dinners were absolutely delicious. My husband had prime rib (which was no less than 1 inch thick and filled the plate), while I had the stuffed chicken (stuffed with apple stuffing and topped with a cranberry glaze). Roasted potatoes and fresh steamed green beans also accompanied the entrees. Dessert was a generous portion of chocolate mouse cake. topped with whipped cream. Yummmmm to everything. While the cost of the trip was $75 per person, I didn't think that was overpriced, considering you would probably pay at least $50 to $60 in a good restaurant for a similar meal. Wine was $6 per glass and tip envelopes were on each table for patrons to leave whatever tip they wished. Reservations are made on-line, and when you arrive, you go directly to the train where they match your name to their reservation list, you are assigned a numbered table, and then escorted to your table on the train. The whole thing was very well organized, was a great experience and would highly recommend it to anyone living in or visiting the Essex area.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank TravelcriticfromNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    18
    4
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    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
CT
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Lovely relaxing evening”
Reviewed September 11, 2011

My husband and I took the Clipper to celebrate his birthday. By the time hurricane Irene showed up on our orginal date, the valley railroad had all ready called to reschedule our reservations. Though, it was worth the wait. We took the Sunday afternoon train and both had the prime rib. Lovely atmosphere and good service. It is close quarters so I was happy that all passengers were there for the same quiet meal we were looking forward too.

While the bar menu is limited, it seemed to offer a little bit of everything and our bottle of wine was great and a reasonable price. They do accomadate credit cards for both bar service and tip. We would go again some time for another special occastion

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kris578
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“wonderful fun and romantic”
Reviewed September 3, 2011

The train ride is great, the food delicious, the staff wonderful. My boyfriend and I celebrated our anniversary and had a fantastic time. Highly recommended!

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank aprilly78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flushing, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Romantic Train Ride”
Reviewed October 25, 2010

I took my mother and my boyfriend to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday, it was great and had beautiful weather. The trip was 2 1/2 hour long. The service and the food was great, everybody very friendly. A must do when you are in the Essex or Mystic area!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank travelgirl2430
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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