About Gabrielle’s

Food that is sociable AND affordable with a comfortable dining experience. Gabrielle’s in Centerbrook, Connecticut (within the Town of Essex) provides extraordinarily fresh and skillfully created dishes and drinks. Bring your friends and come back often!


We are proud of Jay Groten’s 7 years of commitment and passion at Gabrielle’s in Essex. He develops sophisticated yet comfortable and tasteful recipes emphasizing quality, fresh ingredients.

Jay enjoys creating simple and approachable food. Starting his career washing dishes at a public golf course restaurant in Clearwater, Florida, he moved north and learned “old school” Italian cooking with a co-worker from Westside Market in Rocky Hill, CT. Later, Jay attended the Connecticut Culinary Institute in Farmington, CT, and then graduated to the Culinary Institute of America in Hide Park, New York, which included an externship in San Diego, CA for Croce’s. Prior to his current position at Gabrielle’s Restaurant in Centerbrook, CT, Chef Jay worked at Bricco’s, Sigs, Grants, Straight Wharf with Steve Cavagnaro and Max on Main. Jay enjoys incorporating different styles and techniques from around the world into dishes for others to experience and enjoy. He is continually creating new recipes–many of which appear on Gabrielle’s ever-changing menu.

“I have long believed that good food, good eating is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime associates, food, for me, has always been an adventure.” -Anthony Bourdain


Gabrielle’s is more unique because of its caring staff. The restaurant could not operate without the people in front and behind the scenes. Everyone plays a crucial role in helping to present Chef Jay’s creations and providing a dining experience you will enjoy, remember and want to experience again.


“It’s a perfectly warm and unobtrusive space to enjoy a confident range of cuisine. The general theme is Mediterranean but it doesn’t stop there. French, Thai, American, even a splash of Mexican, everyone gets a turn on this menu, enabling you to design endless creative meals”

The Hartford Courant-Michael Gannon


“Now there’s Gabrielle’s, which with architectural alterations and a monochromatic color scheme, is as suave and sophisticated as the coolest restaurant on Manhattan’s East Side.”



Insiders’ Guide® to Connecticut (Insiders’ Guide Series)
Featured in the 2nd edition of the Insiders Guide to Connecticut, Published March 2015


“Fantastic Meal – the Pear Martini is a fantastic drink. The vegetarian plate is very nicely balanced. Those two alone will bring us back all the way from Boston.”

– Visitors