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Jul 8, 2007 07:25 AM

Village Restaurant, Essex

Last night headed to Essex to have drinks on the beach (Crane's Beach) and then some dinner. As we drove up noticed the lines of people and cars very long at Farnhams; drove a little further and the the lines were humungous at Woodmans; as we headed towards Cranes we stopped to put our name in at the Village Restaurant (good thing because the wait was 1 hr- 1 1/2 hrs). Had our drinks and cheese on the beach at Crane's then came back and were seated within 5 minutes at about 8 pm. Four of us split a small order of onion rings which turned out to be a perfect size because we just wanted a taste. The onion rings were excellent, no grease, very light batter and large rings. I had the fried Fisherman's Platter, it was the very best Fisherman's Platter I have had in recent memory. As is usually the case, it came with Shrimp, Scallops, Clams and I believe, Haddock and just like the onion rings the batter was very light and greasefree, it was delicious! Everyone else also proclaimed their dinners delicious. This spot doesn't get a whole lot of "play" on this board, but it should!

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  1. It is the most consistently good restaurant in Essex. We have lived here over 10 years and never have had a bad meal there and many were well above average; when we have out of town guests with the desire for seafood and local flavor, nothing beats it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsofatso

      A small group (5) of us are planning to do a birthday dinner next month and I had picked The Village as one of the group doesn't like seafood or fish. Then someone reminded me of Tom Shea's and now I'm torn. Which do people prefer? A view would be nice but it's more about the seafood and satisfying that one person who likes her red meat!

      1. re: mtm7654

        The Village restaurant is definitely a seafood place first, but offers a couple of steak and chicken options. My guess is the non-seafood items are probably "ok", but not as good as the seafood.
        (menu is on wedigclams dot com)

    2. We really like it too. Our friends LOVE the fried lobster.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Trixie Too

        I love the fried lobster there as well! I think this place is consistant and a place that my whole family often goes!

      2. I, too, love this place for seafood only. One thing that puzzles me ,though. For a place that focuses so much on seafood, why doesn't The Village serve MUSSELS?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gary Grill

          The reason we are reluctant to feature mussels on our regular menu is that a spoiled mussel can make you very ill. I love mussels myself, but I agree with Anthony Bourdain, who said in one of his books that he wouldn't order mussels off a menu, unless he "personally knew the chef". We feature them from time to time as a special, but most always have fresh local steamed clams, which are more difficult to find in a full service restaurant. Just my little personal quirk. Kevin