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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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You must make reservations at least 5 minutes in advance of the time at Esca.
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Esca

4.2
4697 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Pre/post Theatre
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 4697 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2  based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 1
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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
4.0  Dined 3 days ago

Bad day for Esca disappointed with my fish dish on this visit

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DonnaK 
2.0  Dined 6 days ago

We went to this restaurant post-theatre. We waited 20 mins to get a cocktail after we ordered and the restaurant was not full. My husband had the Fish Stew and it was awful, it tasted as terrible as its aroma. My son had the lobster and spaghetti, it was pricey ($32) if I'm not mistaken. My daughter and I hate forgettable entrees. We will not be going back

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Leftylynn5645 (New York Area)
5.0  Dined 7 days ago

Loved it. Tight fit w tables but wonderful. Smelt delicious. Seafood soup and Hake Devine. Olive oil cake delectable.

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vipOpenTable Diner (San Antonio)
5.0  Dined 7 days ago

Best seafood restaurant we have been to in America.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
3.0  Dined on February 17, 2018

Risotto stuffed squid was quite tasty but squid was over cooked and tough. Fried seafood platter was very uninteresting: basically a plate of calamari without much taste and no sauce. Fish soups (starter and main) were tasty without being exceptional. Got stung for a $33 glass of Chardonnay. I know, I should have asked...
Overall, just meh for the price.

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vipOpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 16, 2018

Always excellent across the board. Perfect for pre-theater also!

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PaulaD (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

Had the best dinner ! Best food, service etc! Loved it!

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HectorH (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

I went on Valentine's Day, the place was cozy. The staff was awesome, I personally think the best part of the restaurant was how the staff treats you. The only thing I think they could improve a little more is with the food because it tasted good but it didn't have a hook.

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vipFITLADY (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Fabulous evening. Valentine’s Day dining at Esca was sophisticated, relaxed and memorable. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and set the spirit of the day. Never felt rushed and everything was perfect - from the incredible whole wheat and Italian breads to the wonderfully prepared orata. Delicious oysters and the most magnificent chocolate dessert. Think we enjoyed ourselves? The adjectives speak for themselves. Highly recommended!

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DonD (Dallas)
1.0  Dined on February 13, 2018

We travel on business every week, and dine out all the time, however, we were very disappointed in this dining experience. Nearly all of the staff, from the hostess to the sommelier were pretentious and short on attention. Despite a great table, in a quiet room next to the wine storage, we did not feel welcome -- and in fact, felt like we were a bother to the entire staff.
The waiter was okay, but never came back to check on us and his follow through with our comments about the food and service was much too casual. Management never stopped by our table to follow up.
The John Dory fish we had was briefly presented table side by a food runner, then whisked off to be prepared elsewhere. Upon return we immediately noticed it reeked of fish smell. However, because the staff simply dropped it off and ran away, we could not immediately respond. We ate a portion, but became concerned about it being bad. When my colleague complained to the waiter (after calling him over) the waiter acted very surprised, did not say a word, and took his plate away.
The food "runners" dropped off the food and ran off every time, with little or no communication at all. When I indicate "dropped off" I truly mean nearly dropping the plate in front of my colleague and handing me my plate over the table, in lieu of coming around the table and placing my plate in front of me. Quite a surprise for this level of a restaurant.
The sommelier also briefly presented the unopened wine bottle from across the table, then rushed off and opened it elsewhere. Upon return he had indicated that he seasoned the glasses after opening. As a wine enthusiast, while I understand some restaurants have different approaches, I would have expected him to communicate this beforehand. I would have much preferred that the wine was presented and opened with cork table side. Further, after he poured the two glasses, he again, ran off with the wine bottle. I had to ask one of the staff persons to have it returned to the table.

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vipOpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2018

Great food, great service! Really enjoyed the entire experience!

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

Food is really good but the service is slow and not polite.
Waited for 15 mins the menu, waiters were all the time running, and wait btw plates too long
The assistant waiters / waitress were eating all the time while working...

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PaulL (Philadelphia)
3.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

We tried the prix fix menu before going to a show. The menu was quite limited - the gnocchi was very good, bust the fried seafood was disappointing...could have gotten that level of seafood at a fast food place. We also had the wine parings...wine was good and the server knowledgeable. However, we had to order an extra serving of wine because the servings were so puny. Esca wasn't bad, but not sure it was good enough to go back...lots of other choices.

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vipsfelind (New Mexico)
5.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

We sat at the bar and had great service!

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ColinJ (Indiana)
4.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

Our pre-theater dinner at Esca was very enjoyable. The food was delicious and the service was impeccable--attentive and refined, but not at all stuffy. My only complaint has to do with portion sizes. I certainly didn't leave the restaurant hungry, but I was struck by how generously sized some dishes were (e.g. the the fried seafood plate) and how small others were (the gnocchi, for instance). It almost felt like the Chef resented being asked to make anything on the menu that didn't have fish in it.

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HOGII (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 8, 2018

Truly great food. Had Restaurant Week lunch, nothing skimpy about it--great selections.

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 7, 2018

This particular luncheon was a celebration by two friends. ..of being. Wonderful in all regards.

Ali(? ) super waitress--was an extra delight.

Thanks to all.

CarolT

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 6, 2018

Super fresh seafood, light, flavorful preparation; friendly staff present but not intrusive--we had the restaurant week special--excellent!

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DevinH (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on February 6, 2018

Great get lunch deal and fantastic food for restaurant week. Will definitely go back on a normal day

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WinH (New England)
5.0  Dined on February 5, 2018

Great Food, Great Service, will return again soon.

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KJSJD (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

An all-around fabulous restaurant experience. Professional service, excellent food, quality through and through. Superb fish and outstanding cuisine.

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 2, 2018

The food was phenomenal. My favorite was the dessert. I’ll definitely come back.

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 1, 2018

Excellent. Service and food

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OpenTable Diner (Atlantic City)
4.0  Dined on January 31, 2018

perfect spot for a bite before or after theater. staff is always courteous & food longstanding

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vipOpenTable Diner (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on January 31, 2018

The restaurant week lunch portions were very small. No fruit selection for dessert? Coffee never came until we asked and asked.

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OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on January 30, 2018

Went for Restaurant Week bargain. Spectacularly fresh and imaginatively prepared fish dishes raw and cooked. I had a grilled Branzino fillet, my daughter had fettuccine with Mussels. Its not Le Bernardin, but the three course lunch special plus a $50 bottle of wine came to $65 a person with 20% tip. A great deal.

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vipOpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on January 29, 2018

Esca offers superb seafood, brilliantly cooked. Their Restaurant Week menu is a tremendous value, so many tempting dishes. We happily shared among we four and loved everything: the crudo (of course), grilled porgy, branzino, lemon cake with huckleberry (!) sorbet. Excellent wine pairings, terrific espresso, warm attentive service. A memorable meal.

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vipTomasoM (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on January 29, 2018

COnsistenly good service, good food, in an elegant yet unpretentious sorroundings.

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SuzanneG (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on January 29, 2018

very disappointed. Food was bland and very tasteless. Service was very good

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HASpagnola (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on January 28, 2018

The ceviche was one of the greatest dishes I have had in a while. The broth they created to allow the seafood to stew was tasty and had just the right amount of seasonings and acidity. The pasta dishes my date and I had were phenomenal. You could tell the pastas we’re freshly made. The gnocchi were light and fluffy and the best rendition of ricotta based gnocchi I have ever tasted. The waitress was very pleasant and asked at the beginning of the meal if there were any time restraints for our meal, which I found to be a nice touch since we had a 7pm show. I would definitely recommend Esca to anyone! Perfect pre-theatre and date spot!

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