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Essex market offers variety of foods from different restaurants in one place


ESSEX, Conn. (WTNH)– If you’ve ever been to Boston’s Quincy Market or New York’s Chelsea Market, you’ve probably enjoyed the variety of food offered all in one place. In the Centerbrook section of Essex, a local restaurant has brought that concept to town on a smaller scale but arguably just as tasty.

Whatever you’re in the mood for you may very well find it at this somewhat reinvented restaurant in Centerbrook.

“It’s the old adage you have to change enough that you have to reintroduce yourself,” said Chef Colt Taylor.

Allow me…. Meet Chef Colt Taylor, owner of The Essex Public Market & Food Hall.

“The awesome part is is because of this whole concept you can try a different thing every time while also getting your favorite every time,” said Sous-chef Charles Brousseau.

The food hall concept came about after a busy outdoor dining season at Los Charros Cantina. But then the cold wet weather arrived.

“It was either lay off half your staff and buckle down for the winter or hibernate,” said the Chef.

He chose the third option… get creative and try to keep his staff. He transformed the space into a take out style market and food hall with four micro restaurants. Los Charros Taqueria features its popular tacos and quesadillas.

“It’s all of our seven salsas that we’re known for and guacamole and chilaquiles,” said Chef Colt.

There’s also the Umami Noodle Bar.

“Everything from Raman to Pho,” said the Chef.

Proof Pizza & Meatball Shop has New York style pizza and The Joint offers guilty pleasures like a double Wagyu burger and Korean fried chicken.

It’s in equal parts honey and Gochujang glaze topped with scallion and sesame seeds,” said Brousseau.

After you place your order at the counter you can sit down at one of the socially distanced tables and they bring the food to you. They also come by and take your drink order if you care to indulge. 

The chef’s twins River and Sawyer, who were born November 15, are not far from his thoughts in making this restaurant family friendly and safe, with a UV light HVAC system and a vacuum system which keeps the air moving.

“Which means all air is changed over every ten and a half minutes,” said the Chef. 

The Essex upscale eatery is still sit down dining in front but out back they serve dishes that can be eaten in, taken out, or even delivered.

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