The Griswold Inn

4.5
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81 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 81 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
4.8
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BS
New England
107 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great night out! We were seated in a quiet room with a fireplace. We had a wonderful meal, good drinks and really good service.
Thank you Griswold Inn.!

AM
New England
15 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent dinner... a bit pricey

NA
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love the Griz! Will try to make it more often .... from Branford CT. My mom and dad have been coming here for years dancing around the place on Sunday nights with banjo player singing "When the Saints Come Marching In". Many many years ago

N
New England
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jazz brunch hors de série.

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Q
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was EPIC !!! Standing Piano performances were a nice touch and added to the already historic charm. Lots of friendly patrons and the drinks and eats were fairly priced. Also had a majestic fireplace.

DR
1 review
Dined on 17 February 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

We had a fine time and enjoyed food. Server could have been more attentive.

D
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on 16 February 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Kind of a tourist trap if I am being honest. Food was mediocre at best. Limited choice, bad attitude by staff, dessert was a choice of cookies. Better brunch options elsewhere.

B
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took my wife for Valentine’s Day and the food was amazing. The staff was extremely helpful and kind.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food staff and atmosphere

F
New England
41 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic dinner and service on Valentines Day! Excellent food and ambiance. Highly recommended!

ML
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent! Special occasion Valentine's Day dinner with my bride of 50 years. Food was outstanding (best beef short ribs I've ever had...highly recommend). Service was excellent. Friendly, attentive but not overbearing. Rustic, warm atmosphere. Great experience overall.

CC
New England
20 reviews
Dined on 12 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

54 years ago we celebrated our wedding with dinner and wine at “The Gris”, and we returned this year to find once again all that is exceptional about the oldest continuously operating inn in the U.S. - exquisitely prepared food (one of us had the duck and the other scallops), a superb server - Taylor, unique atmosphere, and a warm welcome. The Inn went over and above to provide us with a bottle of wine and a night in one of the suites. Many thanks to all who made this occasion so special.

DS
1 review
Dined on 9 February 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Not much of an assortment of brunch items. Desserts were sub par. Waitress came to our table at her convenience. Ran out of water. Would have ordered a drink or two more, but didn't want to wait for her to remember us.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very charming.

PL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s always a treat to go to ‘The Gris’! The historic atmosphere, great food, and friendly staff make the hour long drive worth it.

OT
1 review
Dined on 24 January 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Very nice as usual

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 19 January 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Sunday brunch buffet was good, somewhat limited. Service was abrupt.

RM
1 review
Dined on 12 January 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was actually very much how I expected it to be. It only a buffet brunch, after all..but the building is charming in that old-school, dark, New England way, and the food was actually pretty good. The waitstaff folks were outstanding. Very nice people.

OT
Key West
3 reviews
Dined on 11 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cozy and traditional

AP
1 review
Dined on 11 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I chose to celebrate our 35th wedding Anniversary at the Gris. This was my first visit and look forward to dining and staying again. Glad we stayed an extra night. We appreciated the friendly staff and yummy food. It was a welcomed bonus to be greeted by Geoffrey and to converse with him. We were pleasantly surprised and honored to stay in room 40. The atmosphere was topnotch and the bed was comfy. Heartfelt thanks to all of you.

CB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sunday brunch was the perfect ending to a weekend getaway

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on 4 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a lovely evening + fantastic meal! The ambiance of the place is great.

FR
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 3 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I hadn't been to the Griswold Inn in years, but I am happy to say I would go back again in a heartbeat. The service was crisp; the food was delicious (warm and of adequate portion); and there were bread/rolls with the meal. (We all had the cod, which I highly recommend.) Dessert was delicious as well - toffee pudding. And to top it off, the price was right. We definitely got our money's worth. All in all, a wonderful experience.

PB
1 review
Dined on 11 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Second time there. Food and atmosphere were excellent. My whiskey sour was mediocre, but everything else was great! One of a kind place. Definitely going back again.

BB
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The Griswold Inn never disappoints. Superb atmosphere, with fires blazing and excellent live jazz, and excellent food—my guests were delighted that it lived up to my description!

AB
1 review
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the atmosphere at this restaurant and the food and service are exceptional!

TE
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful atmosphere, delicious food. Will be back.

m
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 28 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a reservation, which was good, as upon opening at noon, the room was filling up with people who wanted a table. We were seated on time and in a lovely area of the large dining room. I was a little disappointed that the fireplace did not have a welcoming and warm fire going, but other than that, all was well. We each had a special of the day which were delicious. I love coming to this inn.

DG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5food3service4ambience2

We have been going to the Griswold inn since 1977.. each year lately it seems to get worse and worse.. the quail of the food is okay .. not great.. we mentioned that it was our 38th anniversary and that it was our first date etc.. there was no acknowledgement at dinner.. last restaurant we went to gave us a small glass of champagne and a dessert to share.. guess we’ll have to start celebrating elsewhere as much as I would have like to continue going to the Gris!

c
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our waitress was terrific. I didn't get her name. You could see how busy she was with many Saturday dinners but she was always there when needed. Made sure that we got our roast beef dinners that we had come for.
Host, hostess, bus girl, everybody was very friendly.
The only reason we came to Essex from NJ for the roast beef dinner and were not disappointed.

DL
1 review
Dined on 19 October 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Food was very good, portion sizes were appropriate, not monster sized. The inn is lovely, old and full of history. A little noisy and where we were seated everyone that walked by made the whole floor move like you were on a very stiff trampoline. A nice experience overall.

r
New York Area
78 reviews
Dined on 18 October 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

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

CT
Atlantic City
11 reviews
Dined on 17 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
25 reviews
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic atmosphere and yummy food !!

BW
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
44 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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