New York City is full of hustle and bustle so it’s always great to get away a day or two. The fabulous thing about being in NYC is that it’s close to so many other charming.
A destination of note is Essex, Connecticut. It’s made up of three villages: Centerbrook, Essex Village, and Ivoryton. Now I admit that I wasn’t familiar with the town until I was invited for a tasting at a restaurant called: The Essex. What’s special about this spot is that the menu will give you dishes like you would find at high end restaurants in the city.
The Essex is a locally sourced modern American restaurant led by Chef & Co- Owner, Colt Taylor. He is trained in French cuisine and techniques. While he has worked in restaurants across the US from New York City, Seattle, Miami, and Los Angeles, he’s now back home where his cooking career started.
He may be from Connecticut, but I say he has “NYC vibe” written all over him. That’s probably why the eatery has the ambiance of something you would find in New York. The walls from the dining room were removed to put a spotlight on the are of the cooking in an open kitchen and showcase the food, wine, spirits, and of course the hospitality. Taylor also focuses on using local culinary talent versus bringing in people from NYC. There is a daily happy hour from 5pm-6pm featuring affordable wine and cocktails that can be paired with oysters or other options on a selected menu.
I had the opportunity to try food from a tasting menu designed by Taylor with the wine pairings by Katey Walker. I think selecting this option is great because it lets you try around seven dishes and seven different wines. That’s a winning combination. I could go on and on about how amazing everything tasted. That’s a bravo to the chef, while Walker knows how to select just the right wine to go with each dish. The menu changes due to it being local and seasonal so you can go back to have a different food experience anytime.
If a tasting menu isn’t what you are looking for, within The Essex is their sister restaurant, Cantina Los Charros. What’s not to love about tacos and tequila? The tequila selection is on point, plus there is the mezcal. There’s also a speakeasy up the stairs where you can enjoy drinks after dinner. The spirit selection is top of the line. You might get to try a new craft spirit you haven’t heard of. Let’s just say that The Essex has a little something delicious for everyone. A one stop shop for any lover of food and libations.
For those of you who like to take advantage of getaways on public transportation restauarant is close to the train so you don’t even have to drive from NYC. It’s conveniently located at a train stop that’s short walk away or a few bucks in an Uber/Lyft.
30 Main Street
Centebrook, CT 06409