We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“It truly is a Great Escape (from cooking at home)”
Review of The Great Escape - CLOSED

The Great Escape
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Bridge Street
Transit: Commuter rail is across the street.
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“It truly is a Great Escape (from cooking at home)”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We went to the Great Escape last evening around 5, and we truly don't understand what all the bad review are about. We had a gift certificate, so it was a little cheaper for us, but we would both go back in a heartbeat.
I plan to go back the next time for lunch, just to try out that menu next.
We had a wonderful waiter, a young Brazilian man, and the food was wonderful. I had the Black Angus steak tips and my husband had the Pasta Primavera. We shared a house salad before the meal, and it was well big enough for the 2 of us.
My husband asked for a substitute for the Balsamic Vinegarette dressing, and the young man very cordially offered him italian, which was fine for both of us (he is allergic to balsamic).
The tips were cooked just as I asked for (extremely rare) and the meal was huge, we took home doggie bags.
I would recommend this place to anyone. I can see that, due to the brick walls, and stone floors, that with a large crowd it could get very noisy in there, but last night we were one of only 3 couples, so it was perfect.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank travellerwithdogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

145 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Halifax, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
38 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great Food, Great Service, Interesting Atmosphere”
Reviewed September 17, 2012

After many years of having the old jail be the backdrop to some eerie cemetery photos, it was an experience to go inside. Albeit, it's changed a lot recently- haha.

I like how they've incorporated the jail theme into the decor and menu without being overly tacky about it.

My friend and I had lunch one day, I got the grilled chicken. The chicken was grilled perfectly, with crispy edges- just the way Iike it. It was sitting on a bed of saffron rice, which was cooked perfectly. The waitress was very friendly and even offered to take our picture. They must get a lot of people taking pics in there, and are used to it.

Went back the next evening to try the dinner menu. The waitress from the day before was there and remembered us. My only disappointment was that the saffron rice didn't seem to be included with any of these items. Everything came with roasted potatoes. I probably could have asked for a substitution, but I'm not one for doing that sort of thing. This time, I got the lemon chicken. It was very good, but not grilled nearly as well as the lunch chicken, I'd had. Still, I have no actual complaints. I also got a martini drink, the name, I can't recall, but it was made with Chambord and Lemoncello, and was delicious. One word of warning, the specialty drinks list does not specify what is a martini type and what is a cocktail, if you don't ask, you may end up with something you don't want if you find martinis too strong. My friend made this mistake and got a martini drink she didn't like.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Raven_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Now one of our favorite spots! Always have a delicious meal & great service here.”
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Yum! Had been wanting to try this place... It's cool inside w/the spirit of America's oldest active jail implied. The jail was built in 1813 and remained open until February 1991. It was an active jail for 177 years, housing an unknown number of criminals.

Focaccia is served warm w/a garlic/basil-infused dipping oil. Their pastas are homemade. Our very pleasant waitress, Kristie told us, "They cook to order," which are the magic words, so we ordered different sauces w/different pastas. Pasta Primavera was a colorful dish of homemade linguini or fusilli w/fresh sauteed zucchini, summer squash, carrots, spinach, fresh tomatoes & parmesan. Very, very good, especially w/their pesto cream sauce. Homemade Lobster Ravioli were perfectly stuffed & dressed in an asparagus cream sauce. The chicken in the Great Escape Pasta were moist, golden medallions tossed w/garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, & homemade pappardelle noodles--tried that w/a do die for Alfredo sauce. Still have lots to try. Very good service--Kristie worked the whole restaurant indoors, outdoors, & bar. Many, many delicious items we'd like to try. Even the coffee was very good. We're told it's ground fresh from the bean each time. Will return!!
Free valet parking in the evening!! Back bar is open till 1AM.
To be cont'd...

Visited September 2012
2 Thank J O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“lamb or no lamb?”
Reviewed September 11, 2012

I was please by the valet parking, the cemetery next door, the jail atmosphere. I must say the wine was excellent and clearly described.
My mozzarella/tomato salad was made with unripe tomatoes and a very average mozzarella sprinkled with few drops of balsamic vinegar. $11
I ordered the marinated lamb $28 and was expecting a great dish. The server put in front of me a plate with 3 huges deformed pieces of meat with half potatoes under them and broccoli on the side. It did not look appetizing at all and I was wondering how to cut that. I had to ask for a steak knife and to my surprise no sign of lamb. Beef, lamb? At that point I had no clue what it was I was eating. I know my lamb (I am french) and it was a tasteless lamb or UPM (unidentified piece of meat). I return the plate to my surprised server and ordered a risotto with scallops.
My friend and I had a great dinner for the conversation but the food was forgettable. At $25 a blend risotto with 4 scallops I do not want to return to that place again.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank cathyll123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good recommendation”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

The nice lady at the Peabody Museum suggested this restaurant and we were very pleased. Our waitress told us that her grandfather was actually a prison guard at the old jail and shared some rather interesting little tales. We started off with the calamari and antipasta which were both very good, great breading on the calamari.. For dinner we orderd the lemon chicken and veal tower with yummy sauces on both. Good selection of wines. This restaurant will not disappoint.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank shoregirls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Great Escape also viewed


Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing