"With an Ever-Changing Menu and Familiar Feel, The Essex Takes Inspiration from the River Community"
"The Essex: An Evolving Menu In An Elegant Atmosphere"
From growing up on Bushnell Street in Hartford to his days of being a corrections officer in New Haven, Michael has built a life of perseverance, honor and diligent work ethic to uplift those around him. Thirty years ago, he began his pallet manufacturing business in New Britain Connecticut and, now, is bringing his experience from years of travel and dining to help reinvest in his home of Essex Connecticut.
Thus began a lifelong passion for the culinary world which led him, after graduating from UVM with a degree in small business entrepreneurship, to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America.
After graduating, Colt spent time traveling through Europe, and upon his return back to the US, worked as a professional chef in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Through this expansive culinary journey, he continually sharpened not only his cooking techniques but also his perspectives on food, wine, and the essence of what it means to be a restaurateur.
Also on his travels, Colt scouted places that he would eventually desire to one day open a restaurant. A trip back home to the Connecticut River Valley and contemplating the bountiful harvest it offered, led him to finally put down permanent roots in his hometown of Essex.
As an outdoorsman and lover of the land, Colt works closely with his purveyors: the farmers, fishermen and foragers who dot the surrounding landscape , ever searching for the most pristine bounty to bring to his kitchen.
Terra Firma Farms, North Stonington CT - LINK
Arethusa Farm, Bantam, CT - LINK
Seacoast Mushrooms, Mystic, CT. - LINK
Niantic Bay Shellfish Co., Niantic, CT. - LINK
Burnsy Homegrown Fresh Produce, Deep River, CT - LINK
Upper Pond Farm Old Lyme, CT - LINK
Long River Farm Old Lyme, CT - LINK
Huntsbrook Farm Waterford, CT - LINK
Snake River Farms Boise, ID - LINK
Browne Trading Portland, ME - LINK