My family and I stopped in Espresso Italian Grille & Pub at the recommendation of a local at the Crow's Nest Bar, a local bar used for the filming of "The Perfect Storm."
Since none of us had ever been to Gloucester before and didn't know of any of the restaurants in town, we were happy to get some sort of recommendation. After an hour or 2 at the Crow's Nest, we were ready for a good meal.
We all like Italian food, so we decided the restaurant would be a great choice to please everyone in our party. The restaurant was just a short walk away from Crow's Nest, which was perfect after being stuck in the car for several hours from Boston to Gloucester, a long 2 hour journey.
Although we loved the food and unique ambiance of Espresso Italian Grill, the surly service left us with a sour impression.
Despite the lousy service, the food was actually pretty good. Dinner options included all sorts of diverse entrees including meats, seafood, pasta, sandwiches, pizza, and more.
I love Italian restaurants because as a vegetarian I can actually find a few things to eat! I went with the "Tortellini Espresso," minus the chicken. This dish consisted of your basic tortellini with tomatoes and basil sauce and it was very good!
One of the highlights at our table was the "Ten Pound Island Burrito," a gigantic burrito overstuffed with chicken, beef, scallions, chili, tomato, and sour cream! Obviously it wasn't 10 pounds, but it sure was enormous! In fact, pretty much all of us took home leftovers.
Take a look at the Espresso Italian Grille & Pub Menus
Our waitress was pretty bad; this was definitely the disappointment of the day. She was sharp, not knowledgeable about the menu, very slow to bring refills, and not friendly in the least bit.
Maybe we just got stuck with a bad waitress or perhaps the service is not as good in the bar area as the dining room? Either way, we spent a lot of money and it would have been nice to have received decent service!
Espresso has a pub style vibe to it. There is a large bar, special events like trivia nights, and daily bar specials. We chose to dine in the bar area. The view from the windows was scenic with views of boats and historic houses- at least you weren't looking at a busy road.
The seating area was decently attractive with a nice bar, standard wooden type tables, and big windows to look out. The choice is up to you - would rather sit in the quiet dining room or in the more upbeat bar area?
Espresso is a good option for those looking for a local restaurant after a day out exploring tourist attractions in Gloucester. The menu is varied, portions are large and affordable, and the atmosphere is causal and comfy. I would advise sitting in the dining room for better service!