The Hersch

Essy's Carriage House in North Arlington - Family-Owned on Lee Highway near Military Road since 1978

15 posts in this topic

(the wine list doesn't appear to be a priority).

It doesn't, but they list Bolly at $70. There are retail wine merchants who charge that (they're ripping you off, of course, but still). I've often wondered about that place when taking my dog to the (wonderful) vet across the street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was driving home with my Crisp and Juicy last night and, while I'm not on that part of Lee Highway every day, was surprised to see a this place that I'd never heard of so close to home. No activity related to the food at all on this board doesn't leave me with a lot of hope, but does anyone have any reports?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been there either although I checked its menu online and it seems to be an old style steak and seafood place. I have been past it innumberable times and have never seen anyone either entering or leaving it. It reminds me of La Perla, a reputed Italian restaurant near the bridge into Georgetown, which has been there for a long time but with absolutely no word of mouth as it whether it is any good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been there either although I checked its menu online and it seems to be an old style steak and seafood place. I have been past it innumberable times and have never seen anyone either entering or leaving it. It reminds me of La Perla, a reputed Italian restaurant near the bridge into Georgetown, which has been there for a long time but with absolutely no word of mouth as it whether it is any good.

Essy's is old-school local, and I suspect frequented by many senior citizens; La Perla is expensive and touristy and advertises in national publications. Like everyone else, I've been driving by both of them for years, and can't bring myself to go to either one (although if I had to choose one, I'd choose Essy's for its longevity and presumed character). Guilt-racked, because I feel like I "should" try every single restaurant in the area at least once, these two - along with just about everything at the Wharf - have been left untouched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suck it up and go get some Chicken Diane and a bottle of Bolly, Don. Take one for the team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been so tempted to go in there myself but couldn't bring myself to do it on my own. I'll go with you Don - we can hold hands and play footsies under the table.

Or maybe not. That might be awkward.

(No, I have nothing productive to add but a snarky response, and this can be deleted. :D )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made it there with some friends for Friday dinner about 8:30. The place wasn't crowded at all. The prices of dishes are in the mid-twenty dollar range. I had fried oysters which actually tasted quite good. There was one older waiter who would have fit in at a standard New York deli. They do have a fairly large parking lot behind the place.

If you get to go there, it is fine, although I prefer the variety of Portobello across the street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am always tempted to try this place... They have some old school entrees that I love, but it's not cheap, but I would try it, once... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to Essy's in early December when my bride was out of town.  Everything I ordered (lobster bisque and short ribs) was pretty tasty although a little saltier than I prefer.  As noted above, it's not cheap - my dinner, with a cocktail and a glass of wine, came to +/- $60 with tip.

PS - that older waiter mentioned above?  That's Essy himself!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2012 at 2:29 PM, The Hersch said:

And what variety! Their dinner menu lists "Mixed Goat Salad" -- I don't believe I've ever seen that on a menu before, nor can I imagine what it's supposed to be.

Having been years and years ago, I'd be surprised if this wasn't Goat Cheese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally made it back into Essy's Carriage House today after probably close to twenty years.

Nearing the 1 PM lunch hour, there were about five other tables in the restaurant, and mine was the only one that didn't contain at least one person over the age of 70 - this is a restaurant that aims at senior citizens, treats them well, and shows them respect.

I was almost stunned at how expensive the lunch menu was - aside from a small appetizer section, there were some sandwiches in the mid-to-upper teens, and then, half the menu was entrees ranging from the low-to-upper $20s, with a few cracking the $30 barrier (keep in mind, this is an old, somewhat decrepit, Arlington institution, and not a particularly high-rent space - I suspect they own the land.

Not wanting a sandwich, and repeatedly seeing the promotion of their lump crab on their menu, I was torn between the Crab Cakes ($28) and the Crab Imperial ($29), and asking the Mâitre d' for his opinion, and having been told both were good, I went with the Crab Imperial. Since it was lunchtime, I didn't feel the need to get anything else, other than a glass of Diet Coke, which came in an ice-filled pint glass, and was not refilled throughout the entire meal - I don't know if refills are free or not, but I do know the gentleman running the floor was very polite and cordial.

The Crab Imperial arrived, and consisted of a rather classic version of this dish - which I adore - baked and serve in a scallop shell, alongside of an ice-cream scoop of mashed potatoes, and precisely 14, frozen, green beans, saved by a light marinade of white onion and something which glistened a bit.

The Imperial was covered by a thin coating of something yellow which vaguely resembled Hollandaise Sauce, but I'm not entirely sure that's what it was. It was made with 100% lump crab meat (although I don't know from where) that had, at the minimum, tiny specks of red and green pepper, a bit of mayonnaise and possibly egg stirred in, and maybe some lemon juice among other things. It was a solid, honorable rendition of Crab Imperial that probably had a comparable amount of crab to two small-ish Crab Cakes. 

It would be mildly jerk-ish off me to mention that the scoop of mashed potatoes tasted like it was made with margarine, especially considering there were about a half-dozen foil-wrapped pats of butter that came with my little basket of sliced baguette. The entree also came with a very typical, very old-school green salad with vinaigrette dressing in a little tub on the side which I used for dipping. I normally don't eat salads such as this, but this force me to do it.

That's about all there was - there was nothing special about this, and there was also nothing wrong with this (mashed potatoes being a nit-pick, as I suspect many people wouldn't even notice the margarine-like flavors). 

I wish I had more to offer, but that was my lunch, and when the bill came, the total, including tax, was $32, so the Diet Coke was perhaps included with the meal. Incidentally, Essy's Carriage House is open on Christmas Day, and has the Crab Imperial for exactly $10 more - probably due to increased demand - they're serving until 10 PM.

In the Dining Guide, I had Essy's ranked way too low in North Arlington, and I wonder if that's the reason it was nominated for a review (was it?) - I subsequently raised it a number of slots, and while it will never win any awards, it's a solid restaurant which caters to senior citizens, and is really beyond any bare-knuckled type of criticism. I'm glad I went, and enjoyed my lunch while not having any sort of culinary epiphany.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I nominated it because I frequently drive by it on my way home from work, but after living 10 years in Arlington had never been.  It seemed like a sit down restaurant with an old school menu, and I didn't know if it was old school like a San Francisco steak house or just something that hadn't died yet.  I always like to nominate some really old places, kind of like the strive to get a new post to the place that has the very oldest post on this board, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ktmoomau said:

I nominated it because I frequently drive by it on my way home from work, but after living 10 years in Arlington had never been.  It seemed like a sit down restaurant with an old school menu, and I didn't know if it was old school like a San Francisco steak house or just something that hadn't died yet.  I always like to nominate some really old places, kind of like the strive to get a new post to the place that has the very oldest post on this board, etc.

I would describe Essy's Carriage House as "an everyday dining hall for well-heeled senior citizens who choose to bypass culinary adventure for comfort." 

That might sound like a back-handed insult, but it isn't - it's just a description.

In this area, "well-heeled" really means upper-middle class. Several of the tables had what appeared to be a child having lunch with their parent, who was in their 70s. I was enough of an outlier where the gentleman working the floor asked me if I was getting my car repaired (there's a dealership next door).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now