Enable JavaScript to run this app.
Skip to Main Content
OpenTable logo
  1. Home
  2. United States
  3. New York / Tri-State Area
  4. Manhattan
  5. Theater District / Times Square

Esca

4.2
4.2
4855 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
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.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Seafood

  • 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

  • Phone number

    (212) 564-7272

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive chef

    David Pasternack

  • Private party facilities

    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).

  • Private party contact

    AnnaMarie Vukmanovich: (646) 237-1880

  • Neighborhood

    Theater District / Times Square

  • Cross street

    9th Avenue

  • Parking details

    None

  • Public transit

    Subway to 42nd Street - Times Square

  • Additional

    Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wine

What 4,855 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.2
4.2 based on all time ratings
  • 4.2Food
  • 4.2Service
  • 4Ambience
  • 3.7Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. SE

    SerleE

    New York Area

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 4, 2019

    overall1food1service4ambience3
    The clam ceviche tasted as brine minimally spiced. The haddock was most likely old and frozen and tasted bland with slight ammonia taste to it. Several entrées were not available because the restaurant was to close for renovations the next day.
  2. n

    none

    New York Area

    13 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on May 1, 2019

    overall2food2service1ambience2
    The worst service I ever experienced
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Dubai

    7 reviews

    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on April 29, 2019

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Servizio molto buono il personale super gentile e premuroso. Unica pecca io mio fritto misto, dove un pesce aveva un forte odore e sapore di ammoniaca!!! L’ho fatto notare e molto gentilmente mi hanno proposto un piatto alternativo e alla fine della cena non me lo sono trovata nel conto. Ho assaggiato i piatti degli altri tre commensali che erano molto buoni.
  4. s

    suledo

    New York Area

    14 reviews

    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    Excellent fish restaurant with an Italian flair west of Times Square. Has always been a stand out and the Crudo is a must.
  5. T

    Tdoc

    New York Area

    10 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2019

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Appetizers were mediocre at best. Mains were terrific. Wine, while very good, was way overpriced with a markup of 5x retail.
  6. j

    jmf2

    Los Angeles

    149 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    149 reviews

    Dined on April 27, 2019

    overall3food4service4ambience3
    Best for post theatre as pre-theatre is crowded , noisy and rushed
  7. C

    Coppertop

    New York Area

    59 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    59 reviews

    Dined on April 27, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Extended family I clouding an elder. A smidge rushed to take plates away even though we were not on way to show. Noise level pretty good for restaurants these days. Wine list prices greatly inflated.
  8. S

    mickS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 27, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great selection of fish. Roasted fennel a pleasant surprise.
  9. JJ

    JoJo

    New England

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on April 23, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    We were recently visiting New York and had not dined at Esca in over 10 years. Our memory was that it was one of our favorite restaurants in New York. Overall we had an enjoyable evening but the place is showing its years. The outside looked quite run down as we approached and inside it did not have the sparkle we remembered. Our table was nice, the noise was moderate and the service was wonderful. Our food was delicious but not exceptional. The tuna crudo was fabulous with just the perfect amount of salt and oil. The gnocchi were perfect little pillows of perfection. The Branzino for two was simple but moist and delicate. The roasted fennel had a nice flavor but unfortunately it was mushy. We enjoyed the almond cake dessert with mascarpone ice cream as a perfect ending. Even though Esca has lost its luster the food and service was good enough to bring us back in the future.
  10. EB

    EdgardoB

    Chicago

    6 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    We went in a group of 7. We were well greeted. After an adequate initial explanation the waiter described the menu. Then, the very knowledgeable sommelier helped with the outstanding italian wine list and recommended two excellent reds from Sicily and Tuscany which were excellent. It took very long for the waiter to take the orders, the appetisers came timely but the second courses took forever. That´s why I didn´t rated wit 5 stars. In sum excellent food and wine list with average table service (excluding the sommelier).
  11. C

    Carolineandparker

    Richmond

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was our 3rd dining experience at Esca and did not disappoint. Always a wonderful experience, great service all around.
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Miami

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 19, 2019

    overall3food2service3ambience3
    No me impresionó para nada. El pulpo, plato estrella, estaba muy cocido, seco y con sabor a quemado, el acompañamiento era una ensalada con judiones (habas) que también estaban muy cocidas. En otras mesas había platos que se veían mejor que los nuestros. Me lo pensaría bien antes de regresar a este restaurante.
  13. L

    Lauren

    New England

    5 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2019

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    The music was extremely loud for the small, intimate venue. Did not match with scene I believe they were trying to set. Very loud 90’s music is fun but not appropriate for the elegant setting. Our waitress left half way through our meal and did not tell us she was leaving. For a higher end restaurant, I would have expected her to introduce us to our new waiter. We had one couple from our table of 6 have a family emergency and they were late. I called to let them know and they sat the 4 of us immediately. We had a cocktail and were waiting for them. We asked if we could order some food while we waited but she said no that would be impossible. I asked for bread bc it was getting late and I was starving and that seemed inconvenient. Once our guests arrived and we ordered things improved a lot. The sommelier was exceptional. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. The service other than that was great. However we were the last ones in there and when the staff decided it was time to close, they turned the lights up to give us the hint to leave. It was 11:45pm. Sort of disappointing for a high end nyc restaurant to get kicked out at that hour. All in all it was a great meal but a bit rough around the edges.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 18, 2019

    overall1food1service2ambience2
    I’ve loved Esca for years, but found on this visit that it has lost its soul and the kitchen is cooking without any care. Hope it was just a bad night.
  15. NG

    NapaGal

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on April 18, 2019

    overall3food2service4ambience3
    We were so excited to see all of the crudo's on the menu since we LOVE crudo but the quality and cuts were very poor. The rest of the meal was clunky. The best thing about the experience was the sommelier. She was delightful and very knowledgeable.
  16. e

    eroomdm7

    Chicago

    16 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on April 17, 2019

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    Pasta with crab was fishy. amuse bouche was the best thing. A bit $$ for what it was.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Only downside was the big tear in upholstery in the booth seat I sat in. Was really surprised how shabby it looked given how first class the restaurant is.
  18. HJ

    HarlemJim

    New York Area

    31 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on April 12, 2019

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    I used to come here regularly and always loved the place. On this visit, the food was perfectly fine, but nothing outstanding. Soft shell crab needed more sauce while the monkfish needed much more seasoning. Maybe it was an off-night for the kitchen?? I hope so. Will try again, but they better deliver.
  19. B

    Babs

    Detroit

    10 reviews

    1.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on April 12, 2019

    overall1food1service1ambience2
    Service was bad Bread was cold long wait without service. Guest came and server never came to check for drink Had to call another another server. Did not get dessert specially ordered Had to wait over 30 minutes after requested check
  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 11, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Very good food, always good. A little worn out physically but we always come back. Crudo and salt Branzino was brilliant and i love urchins.
  21. e

    ehaynes

    New York Area

    12 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on April 11, 2019

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Solid crudo, good pasta, so so fish entree. Excellent Amaro list. Pricey for what it is.
  22. AF

    AspiringFoodie

    Washington DC

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 10, 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Food remains a strong point; the crudo "flight" is a treat and turns heads among those not familiar with Italian "sushi." Seafood pastas remain as strong as ever. Wine list is annoyingly expensive and the sommelier is not one of those who really litens; he hears your price point only. So a C grade for wine selection -- stick with the house or lesser vintages; maybe give the $820 Amarone a pass.
  23. RM

    RickM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 10, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Esca is a small intimate restaurant offering a range of dishes all expertly prepared. Pricing is moderate for this area of New York City. Wines by the bottle are on the higher end but they do have a limited selection of 250 ml (1 1/2 glasses) which are reasonable and enough for me. Our group all opted for a shared pasta as an appetizer and the scallops which were cooked perfectly, sometimes that is hard to achieve. this was our second visit after theater matinee and we will be back.
  24. SR

    StephenR

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 6, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great menu and food. Supper attentive service. Loved the ambience. Will go back again. Stephen, Flanders, NJ
  25. VW

    VictoriaW

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 5, 2019

    overall3food4service1ambience4
    Would recommend the food, but only with warning about the service. Our food, when it arrived, was excellent. The service was very spotty, however, and there were problems with the bill, which we couldn’t resolve because it took so long to get the check and we had to get to theate. On advice of the restaurant, we allowed hour and 45 minutes for dinner. It was not sufficient.
  26. CB

    ChristineB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 5, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is one of favorite places to eat. The ambiance is perfect, vibrant but not noisy, the food is exceptional, the service impeccable while remaining warm.
  27. TC

    TonyC

    New York Area

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on April 4, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    While expensive, their consistency with service and quality of food is second to none.
  28. CP

    CalParent

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 4, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Ran into Joe Namath. Can't do better than that. Charming ambiance with just the right amount of buzz.
  29. JD

    JayD

    New York Area

    167 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    167 reviews

    Dined on April 3, 2019

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Fish is wonderful as always. Good wine choices. Nice staff. We continue to recommend they diversify desserts and add dark chocolate choice
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on April 3, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Went there 20 years ago. Still remember the crudo. And it's just as good today. Actually worth a trip crosstown and a walk through miserable times square. Superb.
  31. g

    goodfood

    New York Area

    59 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    59 reviews

    Dined on April 3, 2019

    overall2food2service4ambience3
    Very disappointing. Have been there a number of times before and always enjoyed our meals. Brought some friends this time and was surprised at how mediocre the food was. The clams in the linguini were too big and way overcooked and quite tough. The fritto mixto was also overdone and rather over-breaded. I must say that the wine they recommended was quite good.
  32. PW

    PattiW

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 3, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent pre theater but unlike most pre theater Esca can be a destination on its own merits. Could easily make a meal of the many crudo offered. Service was professional and friendly.
  33. P

    Phoodphatty

    West Palm Beach

    67 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    67 reviews

    Dined on April 2, 2019

    overall3food4service4ambience3
    This is a Seafood restaurant. Make sure that everyone loves that in all its forms. Crudo was very good but Fritti a bit tired. Turbot was as good as it gets and pastas were liked but a bit small in size. Wine list was over saturated with overpriced wine. Tignanello retail $125 wine list $500. No need for that. Overall an ok meal but not stellar.
  34. d

    dcdiner

    Washington DC

    9 reviews

    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2019

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    Crudo was excellent but 3 of 4 entrees were boring and on if the three, the tuna, was over cooked. The servers were stretched thin and we nearly missed our show.
  35. D

    Downhill

    New York Area

    9 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2019

    overall2food2service3ambience4
    It was nice, but just not that great. The food that was supposed to be hot was lukewarm. Our meals were slightly overcooked. The service was a bit inattentive. It was nice but shockingly expensive for just "nice."
  36. c

    carolinep

    New York Area

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Surveys are very tiring. Rely on your senses. They will guide you.
  37. DA

    DarrickA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 28, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Overall great experience from ambiance to wine Dinner and dessert We will be back
  38. m

    mums

    New York Area

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on March 25, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was a lovely evening. The food was great and the service wonderful. I would totally recommend Esca.
  39. E

    Erniecan1

    New York Area

    21 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on March 24, 2019

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Disappointing meal. I ordered the Fritto Misto (fried seafood) which consisted almost entirely of fried calamari and a few shrimp, returned it and had the zuppa di pesce which was just ok, served without even a piece of bread to soak up the sauce. My fiance had the shrimp pasta with mint, which while different than basil was not as good, and not a great sauce. The pesce azzurri was good as an appetizer but couldn't make up for the rest of the meal. Not our first time here, but probably our last.
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    5 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on March 24, 2019

    overall2food3service3ambience5
    Arrived for dinner at 6 pm when restaurant opened and they completely out of two of the five signature dishes. Allergic to shellfish and therefore ordered pasta without lobster and was charged same price for pasta with tomato source. Fish was served cold. This restaurant which was very good years ago no longer has any standards at all and is coasting on taking advantage of tourists.

FAQs

Esca is rated 4.2 stars by 4855 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    9th Avenue

  • Neighborhood

    Theater District / Times Square

  • 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

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Seafood

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    None

  • Public transit

    Subway to 42nd Street - Times Square

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    David Pasternack

  • Additional

    Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wine

  • Phone number

    (212) 564-7272

  • Private party facilities

    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).

  • Private party contact

    AnnaMarie Vukmanovich: (646) 237-1880

Copyright © 2022 OpenTable, Inc. 1 Montgomery St Ste 700, San Francisco CA 94104 - All rights reserved.
OpenTable is part of Booking Holdings, the world leader in online travel and related services.
Booking LogoPriceline LogoKAYAK LogoAgoda LogoRentalcars LogoOpenTable Logo