The Griswold Inn

4.5
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50 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American

The Griswold Inn is an inn and restaurant located in the historic seaport village of Essex. The Gris, as it is affectionately known, has been in continous operation since 1776. Guests enjoy dining in historic, art-filled rooms which exude character, charm and tradition. The Inn's chef prepares classic American Cuisine in simple but imaginative ways. Menus showcase fresh seafood, aged beef and the highest quality chops and poultry.

The Inn boasts a wine list consistently recognized by Wine Spectator with the prestigious Award of Excellence; an award-winning Tap Room, where lively music rings out nightly, and a stunning Wine Bar. Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure have recently recognized the Inn's restaurant as "Connecticut's coziest" and it is included in Patricia Schulz's "1000 Places to See Before You Die". The Griswold Inn is also the recipient of Connecticut's Highest Award for Hospitality. The best of old and new meet here.

What 50 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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r
New York Area
73 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Worth a visit. Always an excellent experience in a beautiful town.

CT
Atlantic City
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner with my mom. The drinks were great and the food delicious. The staff was friendly and attentive. As mom and I were staying at the Inn overnight, they offered to hold moms leftovers in their fridge, which was very thoughtful of them!

C
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful gem in a fabulous town. The food was excellent and the history on the restaurant made it a very special experience.

R
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the inn. Service and food were impeccable. Our waitress was delightful and attentive!

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic atmosphere and yummy food !!

BW
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific meal, every course was wonderful, our server was very attentive and helpful, the atmosphere is very New England, lots of colonial shore decor. It’s always a great spot for excellent food

DF
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was an awesome experience! The food was amazing and our server was excellent! The historical nature of the restaurant and Inn made it all the better. Can’t wait to go back.

BD
New England
39 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The Griswold Inn is a beautiful and historical building, and the ambiance alone is worth the trip. Food was very good, and it was plenty of it. I love this place, and it is a great spot for meeting friends, going on a date, or having a family get together. It is truly special.

R
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, service and New England atmosphere. The prime rib was especially tasteless.

P
New England
5 reviews
Dined on 11 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing atmosphere and phenomenal food. The staff was very friendly. Loved it!

LS
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 11 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Armani was our waitress. She was friendly, knowledgeable and quick with our order

RA
1 review
Dined on 10 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the MOST OUTSTANDING dining on the planet. Great menu made it difficult to decide on one choice. The the decor is unbeatable anywhere. This is a top five and a must visit place on a top quality bucket list !

t
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on 2 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a traditional American restaurant which provides the good food and comfortable services.
The waiting staff is friendly and very attentive. They provide the best value for our dinner and the feeling of coming home.

R
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food, service and ambiance great, they just need a screen or wall in front of rest room.

F
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and entertainment at bar on weekends is fun

GP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had lunch with friends and it was a wonderful experience. The food was delicious, service was excellent and the ambience unique. I highly recommend The Griswold Inn.

OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on 19 August 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 5

Slow service, overpriced food

LP
New England
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I have been to the Griswold Inn a few times. I love the atmosphere and the staff is very friendly and attentive. Two friends and I went there for Sunday brunch buffet and I was a little disappointed. The food was average. It’s been much better the other times I had lunch or dinner there. But the ambiance and the peach mango sangria I had made up for it. I would still highly recommend the Griswold Inn.

BO
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I had a wonderful time! Our server was very helpful and amiable.
We would highly recommend The Griswold Inn.

DL
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The ambiance is wonderful and so is the service. The sea salt caramel chocolate mousse torte was one of the best I've ever tasted. I would definitely recommend The Gris.

KK
New England
1 review
Dined on 11 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent dinner and service. Lovely old historical inn with lots of character. Only downside was the noise level coming from the bar and a large number of small children in the dining room!

SC
1 review
Dined on 5 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great music, friendly service, would come again

d
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 5 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

good food with excellent service. The noise level was a little too high

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 28 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect I’m ever way

CH
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff were very pleasant and helpful. The food was excellent and pleasingly presented. The old world feeling in the tavern was comfortable.

OT
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it were there for sea shanty sing along. Was fantastic! Such a cool spot!

DW
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Went here for lunch on a Sunday. The menu is a little bit lacking in the tavern, but the quality is excellent. Our server was prompt, courteous and professional. The ambiance is amazing- 18th -19th century fare with an authentic live jazz band. An overall awesome experience.

OT
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food wonderful at this fair great price

FE
Denver
1 review
Dined on 4 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and very interesting atmosphere. Good choices for all ages/tastes. Got pretty crowded waiting to open for lunch and I was very glad we had a reservation. I’d definitely go back next time I’m in Essex.

DC
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

The food was pretty good, exactly as described in the menu. The bar drinks were bad, overpriced and tasted like medicine. My family were the only Hispanic people there and we definitely felt uncomfortable with all of the stares, however the staff there were friendly and professional.

BJ
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our whole party felt the food we had was very good. We had a great time for our first visit and are sure to come back again. The setting was pretty neat with the nautical theme. Definitely worth a visit.

RM
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We love the nautical ambience. Excellent food in a quiet, yet stimulating setting. Our table was behind a column, however, making it challenging for the waitress to serve with ease. We had to pass plates and glasses and it was a bit awkward. We frequent the restaurant several times a year and plan to return soon!

Thank you!

LS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 24 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The table in the corner is a bit crowed for four adults especially if one has mobility issues.

JH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

My father had dreamed about this restaurant for YEARS and loved the idea of an old local feel. Upon stepping inside the restaurant, I was taken aback. We went for a brunch and the restaurant was extremely dimly lit. My party and I had tripped over the step to the buffet without even a warning. I also have Celiac Disease and I understand eating out can be difficult but the waitress seemed to have no knowledge of the topic. She suggested I could eat toast and waffles when in fact - THAT has wheat/gluten. In fact - it's commonly the first ingredient in most pancake/waffle batters. After brunch, for dessert we were asked for a pie and an ice cream. One waitress came by to the our ice cream order and then never came back. We waited about 10 minutes - since it was busy - and when our original waitress came back - she hadn't known we put an order in. It wasn't anywhere on our receipt. Overall, this whole process of eating here was by far my least favorite. I do believe that restaurants deserve a second chance but this may be a one and done for me.

MO
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

His too setting with outstanding cuisine. Service was personal and prompt. Lots of variety in menu selections. Would recommend to anyone looking for a wonderful dining experience.

MR
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is our go to meet halfway place when meeting friends. Never disappointed and lots of history.

The Griswold Inn
Responded on 19 June 2019

Greetings from The Gris! Thanks so much for your patronage - we're delighted you enjoy our spot!!! :)

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c
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not our first time and certainly not our last time visiting the Griswold Inn. Arrive early so you can start off with a few drinks or appetizers in either the Tap Room or the Wine Bar next door. Follow dinner in the main dining room with music afterward in the Tap Room! Great menu with a variety of plates and starters for every palate, as well as great service! Picturesque Essex Main Street is fun to walk around before dinner no matter what time of year you’re visiting!

The Griswold Inn
Responded on 19 June 2019

Griswold Greetings! We are so glad that you enjoy our spot and really know "how to do The Gris"! Only one or two experiences you might be missing...a visit to our Store across the street - Goods & Curiosities - and an overnight in one of our charming guest accommodations! :) We appreciate your enthusiastic endorsement and your patronage and look forward to serving you again!

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VM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner at a great location!

The Griswold Inn
Responded on 19 June 2019

Hello Valerie - we're delighted you enjoyed your experience with us and thank you for visiting! We hope you will return for more! :)

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N
New England
4 reviews
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Bar staff was good - waitress in the dining room had a terrible attitude- very inattentive. Food was mediocre at best. Fish and chips and fried shrimp were like fish sticks - have had better from frozen Gortons frozen fish. Not worth it. It's the only act in town - drive into old Saybrook - better places to stay and to have meals-especially for the money.

GI
New England
12 reviews
Dined on 5 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Very cool place...great artwork and ambiance.
Loved it.

The Griswold Inn
Responded on 19 June 2019

Thank you for your visit, Ginny - we're delighted you enjoyed your experience with us and hope you will come back for more! :)

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