At Esca, you can eat the most sought-after Pacific Ocean delicacies along side fluke that Dave caught on his day off. The menu changes daily and is driven by the fish markets of the world & the farms of Dave’s friends. Esca is the place where you can have stunning raw fish, an incredible bowl of pasta and then a Mediterranean Branzino cooked in sea salt. Esca is the best of Italian coastal cooking with access to the world’s greatest fish.
Book your next event with us
Instantly increase your points with dining rewards
See availability for bonus point tables
Sun 9:30PM - 11:15PM
Mon - Sat 10:00PM - 11:15PM
What Insiders Are Saying
Year after year, Esca remains in the conversation of the NYC elite. It’s always jam packed, mostly with the business and commuter crowd.
Excellent Italian fish cuisine. Great traditional ambiance
The food is wonderful but the place is quiet noisy
Perhaps some of the worst service I've experienced in NYC. Everyone from the server (ignored us for 30 minutes, then repeatedly asking if things were ok as we sat with no food) to the wine steward (could not clearly explain/answer questions) to the bus boys (literally dropped silverware in front of me) felt like the B team. The food was fairly good, but it doesn't come cheap and certainly isn't worth the experience of getting it to a plate in front of you. My last experience here.
All food delicious but a little expensive. In particular I wish the appetizers a little more generous.
Went here before a show. They were incredibly conscious of our show time and all around excellent. The food was absolutely delicious.
Excellent meal! Great service!
I have been here before. The first time was the best overall. This time. The food seemed not as delicious. Service was superb
Outstanding evening. Just a great experience. Can’t wait to go back.
Consistency among the highest of any restaurant we eat at in NYC
Seafood pasta perfect in flavor and al dente preparation
Food arrives at table piping hot
Pasternak has been delivering quality seafood diners for almost 30 years if you include the Sag Harbor days
One of my mentors and I have a tradition of going to Esca every winter restaurant week. The seafood has always been delicious and very fresh.
This visit I had the seafood soup appetizer and it’s the first time the fish was not fresh and tested fishy. It also had too much salt in it - to the point of being hard to eat - and I usually like salt in my food. My entree - shell pasta with seafood. The mussels were over cooked, the fish again was a bit fishy and there were no shrimp.
My mentor had the crudo appetizer which was delicious and fresh and the whole porgie entree which was tasty but a bit over cooked. Her food quality was better than mine.
I got the sense Esca was cutting corners on the food. It’s a mistake anytime but especially during restaurant week when people are previewing for new favorites.
Last year I ordered from the regular menu and the linguine with white clam sauce was just about the best I’ve ever eaten. The place is expensive so the food has to be excellent to make it worth the price.
The restaurant is beautiful and the wait staff is wonderful - attentive and fun. Ultimately though, restaurant selection is primarily based on the food.
from the General Manager down to our waiter and coatcheck person, all was superb!
They seemed to forget us a few times but were nice when present. Excellent wine and pretty good food. Ran out of several items that interested us, disappointingly, early on a Sunday evening. Lovely special birthday dessert presentation.
A favorite for years now. It has improved with age.
I was able to reserve this restaurant fortunately. All dishes are wonderful but “Zuppa di Pesce” is special one from souther Italian dishes.
The service was excellent. Attention to detail top shelf. The restaurant is very expensive and the food quality does not match the price. Italian Pasta course is about $28 dollars and offers about a dry cup measure of pasta, sauce and the smallest amount of shrimp possible. My Fish soup was $35. The soup itself bland and so was the fish. The best value was the $15 dessert which was excellent: Ricotta donuts with a delicious sauce.
The seafood and pasta dishes we had at Esca were superb. Briny, fresh, expertly prepared. Very friendly staff. Our grumble is with the space. First, the most annoying music ever. Each song starts really loud, then fades to a level just loud enough to impede conversation. We were seated by the wine storage cooler--- a large wood and glass affair that was lovely to look at; but the doors wouldn't shut completely so we had cold air blowing on us the entire meal. When we asked about it we were given a half-hearted "yeah, sorry about that." There were empty tables all around us; but we were not given the offer to relocate. So...amazing food, friendly service but in an annoying space.
Wonderful service and excellent food. Esca has the perfect ambience for quiet conversation or a romantic date. We will definitely be back.
Each course and dish was superb. Waiter was outstanding in explaining the food choices and airing the offerings.
We had the bronzino in salt and had two vegetables as our appetizers. It wasn't a cheap meal, but it was spectacular.
Food was tasty, but service haphazard. Perhaps some staff had not shown up.
Lovely small spot but food was not as good as we had hoped. The fish soup was overly fishy-unbalanced flavor. The calamari was too hot w red pepper. However the whole porgy and shell pasta with salmon and mussels were very good. Would have liked more choices on restaurant week menu.
This was our third time at Esca and it was the last. Our first lunch there was 100% wonderful. Our second was 50-50 and also the worst dessert I've ever had, an undercooked apple cake that was shockingly bad. This lunch was during Restaurant Week. The zuppa di pesce all'Amalfitana was fishy tasting and muddy. I immediately wondered if the fish had been left over from Sunday because we were lunching on Monday. The tomato bruschetta was submerged in the soup and falling-apart soggy, and the tomato sauce was acidulous and bitter. My grilled porgy was perfectly done and delicious. My companion's fusilli with leeks and mussels had the same fishy taste as the soup. I really do not think those mussels were fresh. I believe the pasta was house made and it was very good. I was surprised at the low level of quality, given that Esca is famous for fresh fish. Not going back.
Fantastic, favorite place to go when in NYC
Delicious drinks, friendly service, and top notch fresh fish dishes made this a lovely relaxed evening. We will definitely be back.
The food was so good -all of it - that it almost compensated for the tight seating, slow and disorganized service, high noise level, and high prices. One could only fantasize about being able to have the same meal a little more quickly, in more comfortable and civilized surroundings.
Food was not up to par! Over cooked and not fish fresh.
Amazing quality fish.
Esca never disappoints. The crudo is always amazing and the Sicilian wines were delightful.
Outstanding restaurant. Great fish dishes incredibly well prepared. Excellent service by a friendly and professional wait staff. One of my favorite restaurants in NYC. It is worth my travel from Connecticut just to have dinner at this notable restaurant.
Outstanding. Food. Service. It was amazing. Will definitely go back.
Very disappointing, does not match the description on its web site. That pasta was over cooked and too salty.
Esca was warm and welcoming with superb service as always. Branzino was cooked to perfection!! Linguini Vongole very flavorful but could benefit from a little less salt (and I’m a ”salt-a-holic!”). Otherwise a thoroughly delightful dinner.
I expected much more from this restaurant. They were unable to accommodate my low salt diet. My only option was a whole fish, which though low salt, was a small portion and which was presented poorly. A clam appetizer was inedible because the clams were impossible to chew through. When brought to the waiter’s attention, no accommodation was made. The one oyster I tried did not taste fresh. Otherwise, my party was satisfied with their food. But the service was slow, and the cost was way too expensive for what was provided.
We were there celebrating our anniversary and the dessert we ordered said Happy Birthday. We laughed about it but easy thing to get right - or don’t do it at all.
It seemed a bit too expensive for what we had but maybe that’s just New York pricing.
Absolutely delicious meal, but we almost fainted when we received our $400 bill for just 2 people....and we didn’t even leave stuffed!
Was so pleased with the wonderful attentive wait staff...timely meal suggestions and delicious results...plan a return visit again this month
Everything was absolutely beautiful. My partner and I had multiple course and split everything. Presentation was on point. The monkfish liver was divine. The uni pasta was silky. If this restaurant were situated back home in New Orleans, I would dine here again (or apply for a chef position). Wonderful service members.