Historic Dining


In our historic dining rooms*, Executive Chef Toppin prepares classic American cuisine to perfection in simple, but imaginative ways. His menu showcases fresh seafood, aged beef, and the highest quality chops and poultry. After any meal, Chef Toppin’s house-made desserts are a “must”. Our historic dining rooms exude character, charm, and tradition, where one can be as comfortable in casual attire as in “black tie.” We are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

*We have four historic dining rooms – the Essex/Ward Room, The Library, The Gun Room and our largest space, The Covered Bridge, which is accessible to those with disabilities.

Named Connecticut’s “Coziest Restaurant”

– Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines

“Quintessential New England dining experience in picturesque downtown Essex, CT. Great food, great atmosphere with friendly and polite service. Good variety on menu including healthy options (seared salmon) and good old fashioned comfort food that goes perfect with the cozy historic atmosphere. Great shops and boutiques within walking distance to enjoy a stroll before or after your meal. Great for all occasions.”

~ OpenTable User


WOW! 🤩 Hands down one of the best restaurants I have experienced in a while! From the atmosphere to the food to the customer service. 5 out of 5 for me!!!!

~ Google Review




In December diners enjoy a unique and festive culinary experience: our Holiday Bill of Fare includes Seasonal Game Selections as well as Gris Classics and more “traditional” holiday favorites. There’s something for everyone’s palate! While served by costumed waitstaff the Royal Court Singers perform seasonal classics tableside! Though this experience may be enjoyed through the 30th, on December 5th only we have an added bonus: the Coast Guard Idlers, a spirited a cappella group of cadets, perform throughout the dining rooms and in our Tap Room. This event has been a favorite tradition for the Idlers and The Gris for many, many years! Festive indeed!