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For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Esca

4.3
4840 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
Esca is a Southern Italian Seafood Restaurant created by Joseph Bastianich & David Pasternack. Esca showcases the style and sensibility of Italian coastal cooking. Dave went to Italy and saw firsthand what they were talking about. After years of cooking French food, Dave had finally found the food he had always wanted to cook: the best fish available, prepared in a simple and delicious way. In Italy, that means the local catch. In New York, that means the best fish of the Pacific, Mediterranean & our own backyard.

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.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, Seafood
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Hours of operation
Lunch:

Monday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm

Dinner:

Monday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 4:30pm to 10pm
Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:30pm
Sunday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(212) 564-7272
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
David Pasternack
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Cross street
9th Avenue
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Public transit
Subway to 42nd Street - Times Square
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine

Private Dining

ESCA’s intimate and elegant dining room offers a lovely, quiet experience amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City’s Theatre District. All menus are based on fresh, seasonal ingredients (in other words, whatever Chef Dave Pasternack catches that morning).

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Specials

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Sun 9:30PM - 11:15PM
Mon - Sat 10:00PM - 11:15PM

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.6

Year after year, Esca remains in the conversation of the NYC elite. It’s always jam packed, mostly with the business and commuter crowd.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 4840 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Still great. It had been a while since we've eaten there and I was concerned that with all the Batalli stuff going on . . . Nope, it's still great. Wonderful fish of every sort. Had a great waiter. The quality is unsurpassed. The interior maybe a little tired, but for great seafood in NYC there isn't a better spot.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Amazing. Everything!!!!!!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Second year in a row we went for our anniversary tho this time there were six of us. Beautiful night and we ate outside. Spectacular evening, great waiter, wonderful food. Love this place!

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1.0Dined 6 days ago

Food is beyond underwhelming.

Service is exceptional. Thanks Anthony!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The food and service are so great that we have become regulars.

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2.0Dined 6 days ago

Not worth the cost. Flounder was undercooked

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Excellent restaurant....highly recommend....you won't be disappointed....extensive wine list...

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Nice pre-theatre dinner place with a great selection of dishes and excellent wine list.

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2.0Dined on June 13, 2018

We were visiting NYC with friends who had been at Esca before. I had the fish stew (cioppino), which was not described to me as cioppino, but something thicker. Didn't like the flavors or the consistency. We ordered a nice wine, which was left across the room between our glasses being refilled by the sommelier. However, at the end of our meal, well after we had emptied our glasses, I had to ask if the bottle still had wine in it (it did). No apologies from the wait staff. On the whole the service was fair at best; not what you would expect from a restaurant of this caliber.

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2.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Disappointing. No ambiance, indifferent service, small portions for the money. Calamari saved what was otherwise an overhyped restaurant. Dry bread and a bowl full of olives in very tired oil.Very loud noise level and inappropriate background music.

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3.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Music was like musicac or a top forty station and did not add anything to the ambience. Service was rushed even though we told them no theater to get to. Food was good and wine service indifferent. Brazing was very good

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1.0Dined on June 11, 2018

Terrible service. They don’t treat you like customers. One of our guests had a dietary restrictions which they said would be absolutely OK to accommodate. First, they bring the wrong order. Next, the right order doesn’t come through until almost every other guest is done with the meal. The worst - the manager tries to justify the delay. And all along they had no concern for the guest who was sitting there hungry. Overrated and overpriced for the food and service.

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2018

Order the sashimi!

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Went to Esca after Theater Matinee. Service was attentive and accommodating, food and wine were both incredible! It was a bit pricey for frequent patronage but we would if we could. One of the best in NYC!!!

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2.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Food was bland and very over priced - even in Manhattan perspective. Service was fair.

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Delicious food. Surprisingly good!

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

The Best Branzino Baked in Salt!
The Best Linguine with Clams!
Super Wine Selection !
Great Food along with Attentive Staff in warm setting... Esca delivers consistency throughout the years!

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Great Sommelier. Crudo tasting is a must. Great pastas. Standards remain high. Worth it!

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Best pre-theatre dining we have had in many years. Great food and the service was spot on.....not rushed and completed with time to spare for curtain.

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1.0Dined on June 8, 2018

2 zuchini blossoms for $19!!
Mushy pan fried flounder probably had been frozen for $38!!
Waitress tried to push $23 GLASS of wine!!
Horrible!!

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4.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Best Italian in NY by quite a distance.
Pasta sauces unique.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Out side table was nice.

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4.0Dined on June 6, 2018

Peter is excellent and Nico is great front of house.
Food is pricey, small portions, tasty.

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3.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Pre theater

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3.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Disappointing food for the price. The smallish entree of ravioli was not warm.

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5.0Dined on June 4, 2018

We love Esca. We have been here for our anniversary every year for five years, and we also bring out of town visitors here. And celebrate career milestones. The menu is full of perfect pairings of complementary foods, some of which are surprising. We love the tasting menu on its own and with the wine pairings option, too. Everything is expertly plated and delicious!!!!

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4.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Enjoyed our visit but in particular the staff were amazing...all of them. They made our visit very pleasant!!

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Always exceptional

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3.0Dined on June 2, 2018

A number of years ago, my wife and I had one of our best meals at Esca. We were disappointed that the experience was not repeated last Saturday night. We were seated in a very crowded area, where waiters continually asked us to move our seats so they could serve our table or others, and our chairs were bumped into by staff and patrons. The restaurant is way too crowded.
The crudo was fresh and tasty, and the zucchini blossoms were very good. The soft shells were small and very average. The halibut and the pasta dishes were all good.
Had the environment not been so challenging, we would likely have enjoyed the meal much more.

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4.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Food and service were good, but they really should renovate. The place is cramped, the bar is very cramped and people like to eat there, the bathrooms are insufficient and have very tight access, and because it's so cramped it was very difficult to hear my friend at the table even though she was sitting right across from me at a table for two.

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4.0Dined on May 27, 2018

The food was good but the service was really slow. I went on a Sunday night at 7pm so I don't think that's a super busy time. I loved the gnocchi and burrata that I got, but my friend thought the fish was pretty good.

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3.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Not as great as last time. Not sure what happened but food was meh and for the price I expected awesome, especially after our first dinner here was amazing!

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Excellent fish, an excellent sardine and anchovy appetizer, attentive service, and we easily made curtain time for the show.

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

We dined here before a Saturday night Broadway show and selected the fixed price 3 course meal ($59 pp, but everyone in the party has to choose that option). With just two of us, not a problem. I had insalata misto, market fish of the day (mackerel that night), and gelato for desert (3 small scoops: chocolate hazelnut, lemon poppy, and earl gray -- all delicious). She had cruzo (chef's choice), gnocchi, and gelato. The portion sizes were perfect, the food was delicious, and service was excellent.

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

The food and service were absolutely wonderful! We sat outside on a beautiful summery day. It was very relaxed, not rushed at all. I would definitely go back for the spaghetti with lobster alone. Very authentic Italian seafood. Great spot before a Broadway show.

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2.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Came for pre-theater dinner at 6, showtime 8. Plenty of time, right? Hostess, waiter and server ALL asked what time our show was, and we told them. Drinks and a couple of appetizers arrived quickly, but after waiting a half hour for the only entree I ordered and I love (pasta with briny clams) we told the waiter and he apologized. Finally gave up, hungry and asked for check. Then the pasta showed up, but we refused it and left. Last time we try that.

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4.0Dined on May 25, 2018

The prix-fix dinner was a disappointment as the Fried Seafood was not very good. We simply made a mistake and should have ordered alacarte. We've had the same server on multiple occasions and he is excellent but gave us bad advice. It remains a favorite choice for us pre-theater because of location.

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

The crudo is the best Ive ever had. In fact, its so good, that I don't eat it anywhere else. The pasta dishes are delicious, and the wine is excellent. Service is good all around. Patirck, our waiter was terrific. We'll be back, as we usually are when we are in NYC.

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4.0Dined on May 22, 2018

Even better than it was 10 years ago. I've gone to this restaurant ~half dozen times over the past 10+ years. It is still going strong, and I think the food is actually improving from what was an already high level.

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1.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Read reviews & looked @ menu before selecting 2 celebrate my anniversary. Very disappointed with ambience. Food was not that great. My glass of wine was the best thing I had there. Would not go for a special occasion because of the table set up.

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