'Cesca

4.2
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3340 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
An original pioneer of the casual upscale dining scene on the Upper West Side since 2003, Cesca is proud to offer you the best culinary experience featuring contemporary farm-to-table Italian-American cuisine that explodes with flavor and freshness. Housemade pastas, poultry, steaks, seafood, wood-burning oven, artisanal cocktails and an Award Winning wine-list, all complementing this upscale cosmopolitan establishment.
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Sun 11:30AM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:30PM 4:30PM - 5:30PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM
Mon - Tue 4:30PM - 5:30PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM
Wed - Fri 4:30PM - 5:30PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Sat 11:30AM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:30PM 4:30PM - 5:30PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM

What 3340 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Chaos! I've dined here many times, food has been good and service decent. However yesterday was a disaster. First entree I ordered, a menu staple Amatriciana, I could not have as they did not have the sauce. Second entree I ordered, clams a la vongole -- have also enjoyed before -- was absolutely tasteless and the majority of clam shells were empty; one bite and I sent it back. Third entree was tasty, but was barely warm so the cheese congealed on top of the ravioli. I was so disappointed as I looked forward to dining here. I will give them credit as they did the right thing by not charging for my meal, and my companion enjoyed his meal, but I am now hesitant to return. In addition, the restaurant was packed and there were not enough staff to keep things moving smoothly -- long wait for both service and food. It's also incredibly noisy, and you need to shout to converse just adding to the chaos. They did offer us no charge coffee and dessert, but we just wanted to be out of there at this point and declined. Truly a very disappointing outing.

m
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

The food was warm. The service was poor. The place was loud. Waste of time and money.

l
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Probably the best halibut I've ever had. Great service, inviting, cozy atmosphere and delicious food.

s
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We both ordered a salad with additional protein, salmon in one case, shrimp in the other. The protein was OK. But the salads arrived in a large platter with a very large rim and a very small indentation for the salad so the amount of salad vas very small to begin with. The contents were worse: 3/4 sliced red onion and one quarter mixed tomato, cucumber,etc. Nothing really interesting about the contents and barely any dressing. Ridiculous for the price.

KG
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great menu and food. Fun atmosphere and good service. Close to the Beacon Theater, so an easy stop for dinner before an event.

WS
New York Area
71 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Four of us had the $24.99 PreFix lunch - excellent value - good choices - generous portions - delicious food - attractive surroundings - attentive professional staff. I have only positive things to say about this restaurant this chef.

F
New York Area
57 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was delicious. The service was a bit haphazard. We were never offered bread, although I later noted bread on every table as I walked through the dining room en route to the restroom. In addition, when we ordered dessert and coffee, we informed the waitress that 2 people in the group had tickets and needed to leave quickly. The coffee and tea arrived quickly but we had to wait a long time for the cake (which did have a birthday candle) which made my friends anxious about getting out in a timely fashion. When I later informed the manager about the lack of bread service, he did try hard to make amends.

RS
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Had a great brunch this past weekend. Food was at the expected cesca quality level as was the service. Brunch/lunch is a good way to try the place as it’s not as packed as it normally is for dinner. One of the top establishments on the UWS.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The mushroom soup was good. The duck breast was prepared well. The leg was not, skin was wet and meat was tasteless.

CW
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Pork chop was great. Cauliflower was very good. Salad was mushy and salmon tartar was an undistinguished glop. With that said, the good dishes where good enough to make it a positive experience.

Service while dining at the bar was sub-par.

F
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

I really wanted to like this place since the location is really charming, but this is not an Italian restaurant. Italian has only the name. You can’t say the sweet pastry served at the beginning is your bread.
Wine list is really good.

d
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We used to go to Cesca all the time, but stopped when food and service became uneven. The new decor is refreshing, and the dining room remains comfortable and energetic. The food was well prepared and the menu has welcome breadth. My only complaint is that the roast chicken, which was simple and garlicky and one of the best in the city is now fussy and only a tad above mediocre. Tuna tartare is excellent.
The wait staff is good and attentive but the front of house is chaotic and needs a lot of work, from the table assignment system to professionalism of staff.

DB
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I enjoyed brunch here with friends. Nice atmosphere, very sleek vibe. Menu was excellent and we all enjoyed our meals. Service was attentive but not pushy. Definitely would try out for dinner too.

RI
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner. We met friends there and everything was perfect.

F
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A very fine meal, service was fine. Arrived at 8:30p and closed the place at 11:00p. Service was fine and non-intrusive. A very fine dining experience altogether.

VD
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

great choice for pre-show at The Beacon

OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food and ambiance here is top notch. We sat at the bar for our reservation and I enjoyed both the drinks and the snacks we devoured. The only problem we ran into was during happy hour the bar really filled up and our bartender was overwhelmed being the only bartender making drinks/taking orders for a fairly full restaurant and a packed bar. I would suggest that the restaurant hire a secondary bartender to lighten her load as she was an EXCELLENT barkeep and very friendly, just overworked.

B
Atlantic City
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious- salmon was cooked to a perfect medium, salad was lightly coated so every bite was tasty, and the mushroom ravioli was the perfect al dente. The ambiance was a more modern take on classic Italian fine dining with great lighting. The noise level was a bit louder that preferred.

JK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The wait staff was not simply attentive, but quite engaging. The food delightful. We truly felt welcomed, as if we were with family and good friends. It was a complete dining experience that we would cherish experience again.

l
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect anniversary celebration! The food was excellent and the portions were generous on the chef's tasting menu. Great value!

MZ
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Pleasant restaurant. Disappointing food. My partner was brought the wrong dish and I had to return my meal. I had requested my lamb chops to be at medium temperature and received them practically raw. The tortellini al funghi were bland, practically tasteless and were undercooked.

Service was spotty even though the restaurant was relatively empty. Other than an apology, no other effort was made to encourage us to be return diners. We will not be back.

N
New York Area
64 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had dinner at the bar.....and it was during happy hour with great drink specials.
The bartender was wonderful!!!

MC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was very well prepared. Disappointed since the chef's menu included striped bass caponata but then was told it was halibut but then it was branzino. Portion was small but delicious.

s
New York Area
57 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best lunches we've had in Manhattan in a long time.

T
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 2

Good not great. I thought the food was fine but would have liked to have seen a broader selection. We were seated almost on top of another couple and the guy that sat next to us was complaining non-stop - I felt sorry for his wife! This negatively impacted the overall ambiance and to be honest, bummed us out.

JR
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were excellent! Got the risotto and lobster in the appetizer portion and it was perfect.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Walked in for a table - which were plentiful- and had seen availability on Open table but since we were right there did not book. When we asked for a table we were told ‘nothing available’. I asked it’s available on open table should I book that? Long story short we booked it and then they sat us. Meanwhile thought the meal there were plenty of open tables.
On top of that for 4 people the bill was $300. 2 of us shared an entree and each only had 1 drink seemed very overpriced and we dine out a lot. Ultimately would not recommend and we live in the neighborhood!

S
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, beautifully prepared...and quieter than most places.

AH
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great neighborhood restaurant

OT
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Room is pretty. Staff a little intrusive. Food bad, bad. Four people had dinners they felt lifeless, on the cold side and tasteless. The ice cream was crystallized as if it had defrosted and was refrozen. Not a bad Place for a drink. Go somewhere else for dinner. $220 for 4 plates of unappealing pasta, two glasses of wine and inedible ice cream. Before the tip.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant because the food is hit or miss depending on what you order. The food at brunch is expensive for the same egg sandwich you could get at a diner. Service at dinner was rude and ruined a special evening. Maybe the service is like the food, depends on who you get.

AM
New York Area
201 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The first. courses were a disappointment. The so-called Sardinian salad had nothing Sardinian about it; it was just a tomato-cucumber-onion salad with a piece of toasted bread that was definitely not Sardinian. The fritto misto was pretty much calamari with too much batter. Main courses were much better. The pasta amatriciana was good, with plenty of sauce, and the halibut on minced vegetables with a pleasant sauce was excellent.

a
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I went for a good Mew York meal. The food was excellent, the ambiance was nice and the service was just right.

BG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wait staff was attentive and knowledgeable. The menu offered a good variety of choices and there were 2 tasting menus.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Went on a Friday, “pre-theater”, snuck out of work a bit early for reservations at 5:15. Received a wonderful greeting and seated promptly. Ordered a spicy margarita while determining what to order as far as food (very good, not too sweet with a nice amount of heat with several thin slices of jalapeños). We ordered a bottle of wine and decided on an appetizer of Polipo (delicious, highly recommend. Forgot to take a pic ), I had a main course of halibut while the wife had the linguine alla vongole (both good), and a slice of the Queen of Nuts cake (fantastic, do not pass on it). The service was warm, attentive, efficient, and friendly without being chatty. Water glasses were always filled and plates were quickly removed when finished but not rushed.

NY
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a large party with a 9pm reservation for dinner after a book event for a well-known author. Because of enthusiastic audience members who wanted to talk with the author, the event ran over, and half our party--including the guest of honor--did not arrive at the restaurant until 9:45pm. The kitchen at 'Cesca closes at 10pm, but everyone--the kitchen staff, the wait staff, the hosts--everyone made us feel very welcome and not at all rushed. Their hospitality saved what could have been an embarrassing occasion. The food was, as usual, carefully prepared and delicious. I remain very grateful for the kindness and hospitality of everyone at 'Cesca. Grazie mille!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Instead of sticking to my original plan of having 3 appetisers I decided to have the tasting menu which was only 3 courses so not what I would view as a tasting menu. The first and third courses were fine but the main course was basically a huge piece of meat - far too large for one person.

E
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful as always.

GG
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

'Cesca has been a longtime favorite Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side. While the food continues to be good, in general, they have scaled back their menu options too much, so not enough variation, and their dishes seem less ambitious, with less generous ingredients than in the past, so they are less interesting. They also removed my favorite item from the menu, the grilled veal chop, which was stellar. I even wrote to them to request that they bring it back, but so far, no. Our waiter was not well informed about the menu and not well trained, although was very well intentioned. The restaurant is eerily empty now, while it used to be quite lively. Not sure why the scale back on everything -- but maybe the menu scale back has discouraged people? I will definitely eat here again, but really wish they would kick it back up a few notches.

k
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

lovely birthday cel;ebrartion .7 of us .great service , fine food

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