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“Nice novel experience”

Essex Clipper Dinner Train
Ranked #4 of 17 Restaurants in Essex
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 26 June 2014

Got tickets ahead of time on the Internet. We enjoyed the train ride. Boarding was smooth. Drinks were good too. Service was pretty good too. We had salmon and prime rib. Both were decent portions and taste was pretty good. Courses came at a pretty good pace. Scenery was "OK". Ride was about 2 1/2 hours. Liked the novelty the most of riding and eating on a steam train.

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1  Thank midwesternw0man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 - 45 of 60 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2014

My wife and I had been wanting to try the dinner train for some time and finally made the trip to Essex on June 21st. It was well organized, boarding process was excellent. We were lucky to be seated at a table for 4 in the Wallingford car. The service was excellent. One of our servers was a very personable college student from the area and she mentioned that new management took over last year and the meals were cooked on the train as opposed to previously when it was catered. The biggest issue we had was the air conditioning was too strong and our dining car was cold. My wife along with all the women seated around us were freezing, you definitely want to bring a sweater or something to put on to stay warm. Our server did tell the Conductor and it went off a couple of times, but then got cold again. The meal was about average, we both had the chicken and my first meal the chicked was not completely cooked. Our server quickly got me another meal that was just fine. The scalloped potatoes were very good. The appetizer was very good and dessert was excellent. The train ride was very nice, a lot of wooded area and local homes, but the parts along the Connecticut River were very scenic and enjoyable. One thing to keep in mind is that only coffee and water is included in the ticket price, soft drinks and cocktails are addtional. Also, gratuities are not included, which they don't tell you anywhere. Our server mentioned that some people are not aware of it and only tip on their beverages. We were satisfied with the meals, understanding that it is the overall experience of the train ride that we are paying for in addition to the dinner. There were some nice touches at the end such as hot towels after dinner and a rose upon departing the tain. We enjoyed it and would return again.

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1  Thank Al H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

Last year we did this dinner train and it was so good we tried it again tonite. This year out table was under the air conditioning vent. We froze. Asked twice to have it turned down and no luck. The food was also disappointing. We had prime rib which seemed reheated and overcooked. Not worth the $150.

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2  Thank lisas61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

The service was superb. The food was excellent. The elegance and authenticity of the decor were truly enjoyable. We had a wonderful time! We decided this is a marvelous activity to do with out-of-town guests.

Thank Elizabeth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2013

This review is about the dinner train. We were fortunate to get tickets very last minute as the train was fully booked but there turned out to be a cancellation. The man at the ticket office was very accomodation and arranged a river view table on the Wallingford wagon which is the most romantic one. We liked the ambiance of dining on a train and the atmosphere onboard the Essex dinner train certainly met our expectations. Service was good. Prices for drinks on board were very acceptable (e.g. bottle of (sparkling) wine $ 30). The quality of the food was good, albeit that the starter was somewhat simple i.e. a plain mixed salad: this could have been a bit more exciting, and one of the main courses was not served hot enough. The main drawback of the train ride is that there just isn't that much to see, and that you see the same 'view' twice as halfway through the trip, the train takes the same route back on the single train track. What you mainly see are trees as the track crosses through, well, trees and occassionally there is a view of the water, a marina and homes. Nonetheless, we liked it very much for the experience. Apart from looking outside from our table, we were also able to spend time on the balcony outside at the back of the wagon. A holiday on the Orient Express or something similar is already on our list for some time, and this was a nice 'appetizer' and way cheaper....

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2  Thank DeKokkies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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