Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.08mi
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Year after year, Esca remains in the conversation of the NYC elite. It’s always jam packed, mostly with the business and commuter crowd.

We partner with The Infatuation to bring you their smart, helpful, trustworthy reviews of restaurants on OpenTable.

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.12mi
  3. Distance: 0.12mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi
  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.12mi
  3. Distance: 0.12mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi

About Esca

Esca is a Southern Italian Seafood Restaurant created by Mario Batali, Joseph Bastianich & David Pasternack. Esca showcases the style & sensibility of Italian coastal cooking. Dave went to Italy & 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 & delicious way. In Italy that means the local catch, but 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 & 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 & then a Mediterranean Branzino cooked in sea salt. Esca is the best of Italian coastal cooking with access to the world’s greatest fish.

402 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, Seafood

Hours of Operation:
Lunch:

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

Dinner:

Monday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Tuesday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm
Wednesday - Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:30pm
Sunday: 4:30pm - 10:30pm

Cross Street:
9th Avenue

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(212) 564-7272

Website:
http://www.esca-nyc.com/

Public Transit:
Subway to 42nd Street - Times Square

Executive Chef:
David Pasternack

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine

Specials

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Details
Sun 9:30PM - 11:15PM

Mon - Sat 10:00PM - 11:15PM

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).

Esca Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.2

ambience

4.1

value

3.6

Noise

Moderate

75% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (72)
Fit for Foodies (62)
Special Occasion (56)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (47)
Good for a Date (45)
Creative Cuisine (40)
Notable Wine List (37)
Good for Birthdays (32)
Romantic (31)
Authentic (30)
Neighborhood Gem (29)
Tasting Menu (25)
Business Meals (24)
Quiet Conversation (20)
Cozy (17)
Local Ingredients (17)
Casual (14)
Healthy (14)
Great for Outdoor Dining (14)
Handcrafted Cocktails (10)
Great for Lunch (10)
Fun (9)
Seasonal (8)
Hot Spot (7)
Paleo Friendly (6)
Worth the Drive (6)
Gluten Free Options (6)
Bar Seating (5)
Good for Groups (5)
People Watching (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Organic (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Waterfront (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Spicy (1)
Tapas (1)
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4568 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

The food was delicious but the incredibly high noise level is deafening...you cannot have a normal conversation at your table...for that reason I would not recommend dining at Esca.

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food4
ambience1
service4
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

Except for the music, which just adds to the noise, ESCA is one of my favorites. Great food, nice ambiance, close to the theater, Nico the Maitre D is great. Not sure why they have music on. Adds nothing to the dinner but noise on top of noise. Love this place

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

Esca was absolutely amazing! It blew away my initial expectations. The service was some of the best I've ever experienced in my life. Very knowledgeable and friendly. The wine list was outstanding, and the food was to die for. I can't wait to go back!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
·Dined 4 days ago

Arrived at 7:15 with a party of three people. Didn’t get served our appetizers until 8:30 and main course until 9:15. Fish dish was extremely oversalted and had an extremely fishy odor and flavor. Didn’t appear to be fresh. Returned that for another main dish. It had the same exact problem.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Very good quality food and broad wine list . We were given a table near the kitchens on our own despite several empty tables in the main area.The blasting Air conditioning made our red wine turn cold despite asking to turn it off twice, it was switched back on on both occasions. Waiters brought us the cheque without us asking for it and while having coffee. Almost total lack of attention from the waiting staff.

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food4
ambience2
service1
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

Excellent seafood in a nice quiet atmosphere. Service was exceptional

Tags: Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

The food here was DISGUSTING. I ordered the zuppe di pesce and it smelled like sewage. It also tasted similarly. I went home and had major stomach pains and felt ill. I wouldn’t go back here if someone paid me to. The people next to us also ordered this dish and were grossed out. My fault for not sending it back but I was too hungry. This is was SO BAD.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined 6 days ago

The food was amazing.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Oklahoma City)·Dined 6 days ago

Everytime we have dined here it has been consistently excellent. The crudo and the pasta dishes are to die for and the service is a perfect balance. Very good wine list.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

Our waitperson Samuel greeted us in an appropriate amount of time and we established a leave time based on needing to attend the theatre.
We then waited 30 mins before an initial drink order was taken, and that was by a replacement waitperson, Aly.
After that, service was sporadic at best.
However it should be noted the buspersons were exceptional.
Even though an established leave time was determined, when Samuel finally returned with dessert menus, (Samuel explained he had a large table that took all his time) we were not able to enjoy dessert because of the time based on inconsistent waitering.
While we enjoyed the food, the poor wait service colored the whole dining experience.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Delicious food, great service, and awesome location. Out of the four of us my mom was the only one that didn’t love her meal. She’d ordered the halibut and said it seemed a little over cooked and was lacking some flavor. The rest of us loved it and she enjoyed the appetizer of oysters and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 7 days ago

Probably great food, but we never ate. Made a reservation for two. Told at the door that this was a “waiting game” and to wait at the bar. The bar was unreachable. We danced around waiters for about 30 mins. Was never offered a time guesstimate. When we decided to leave because we were too hungry to wait, we spent 5 mins trying to tell the hostess we weren’t going to stick around, but she was too busy dealing with coats. I imagine the food is great which is why it’s so popular, but I wouldn’t bother or recommend it. I only reviewed the food/value bc Open Table requires it.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

We were excited to have a reservation at ESCA . We were disappointed. We were seated right away. The menu was new to us and we asked for some explaining and we received it. Waiter was not very helpful. We ordered. Salad came and it was very good and fresh. Main dished arrived, very disappointed. We had 1 glass of wine each and gelato for dessert.. I asked for grated cheese and he brought it, added to my pasta dish and left, did not ask my wife is she would like some (she did) but he had left the area. Did not return to ask how our dinner was. Bread was excellent, but we had no olive oil or butter and were not offered a second piece. We had no coffee or after dinner drinks and our bill was $185.00 without the tip.

Tags: People Watching, Cozy
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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 10, 2017

This has been one of my favorite nyc restaurants but this visit was mixed to disappointing. My husband had the squid ink pasta with chilies and loved it. My friend and I shared the roasted razor and other clams Some were very tough and flavors were muddy. I had the spaghetti chiatarra w/ crab and sea urchin. Pasta too thick for this and flavor was lacking. Not enough urchin? Desserts also disappointing. Very sad. This had always been one of our favorite restaurants.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

Chef was so personable and friendly. He sent a few complimentary dishes that we devoured. We loved all the entree’s. Remember the golden rule- don’t eat all the bread before the food comes - which was kind of hard to do with their newly imported truffle infused olive oil from Umbria. Black ink pasta, Uni, monkfish liver, and oysters were amazing not to mention the Somelier’s recommended red blend (not necessarily pared. Enjoy. It was a little warm under the booth we stayed but the attention to detail in service and attention by our server and his support staff was amazing.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 8, 2017

I really enjoy Chef Batali's other restaurants but for whatever reason it was an off night. The scallops were under seasoned, the salmon under cooked to our order and the linguine so salty it was inedible. The service was great as was the wine and cocktail selection. I'm sure it is a great restaurant normally but for the over $200 price tag it was not worth it.

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food2
ambience5
service5
value1

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Really really great. Loud and popular but the service and food made up for it. Loved the side veggies. I made friends with a turnip!! We hand a wonderful meal and were able to make our opening curtain on a rainy night. I’d repeat it for sure.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 7, 2017

the resturant was unimaginably noisy because of the booming music being blared in. we could not hear ourselves think. we will not return,

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food4
ambience1
service4
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Always outstanding. Crudos a must. The personalize treatment and lengths the GM and waiters go to accommodate are worth every penny

Tags: Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

It was a chilly damp evening and we wanted a warm cozy dinner. Esca was a great choice; warm, cozy and full. Unfortunately, that is where the positive experience ended. The food - tasted of oil and wasn't seasoned. The service- our waiter dropped off our food and never returned, nor did any other server -ever! The manager-was completely indifferent to our neglect, he made no effort to correct the situation, his attitude made it worse. The waiter had gone home mid-shift, that happens, the manager was rude and that is inexcusable.

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food2
ambience4
service1
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 (Charleston)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Our food was at best forgettable but it would be more accurate to say it was bad. I had tasteless sea bass that seemed frozen. My wife had gnocchi that was not flavorful and had 4 scallops that were at best a C+. We had three side vegetables - greens that were disgusting, parsnips that were limp and poorly roasted, and mushrooms that were pretty good but nothing special. The sommelier had a big slice of attitude that would likely be effective in bullying an unconfident diner into spending more than they would like to. We did have a terrific waiter with lovely old school manners. Unfortunately, even the cookies that came with the bill were poorly done. A snickers bar purchased at the closet magazine stand would have been better.

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food1
ambience4
service3
value1

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Service was uninspired from arrival to leaving. Table not ready for 8 oclock reservation. We were told to wait in bar which was small and cramped and full. We were in the way of serving staff making their way from kitchem. Finally seated at table at top of kitchen stairs within earshot of squabbling seving staff. We were a table of six for daughter’s birthday. We ordered oysters, apps, and secondis with cocktails, 2 bottles of wine , desserts, and dessert drinks. Food was uneven. Oysters never came, fish was either under or over cooked. Gnocchi was the only dish that was anything to write home about. Waiter attempted to serve the oysters after dinner???? We refused them. Sommelier was up to the task, but the rest of the service was not adequate. Reception and coat check need lessons in customer service. There was no acknowledgement of a birthday celebration when dessert arrived. A candle or a sqiggled happy birthday would have been appreciated. This was definitely a “fail”. Lots of great restaurants in NYC. ESCA not among them.

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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Have been to Esca several times in the past, and enjoyed it.
This time ,both my wife and I found our meals very disappointing.
Not certain what has happened , but we will not be going back any time son.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 4, 2017

The fish was excellent. I have been wanting to try Esca for a while and was happy that my plans for the theater were right across the street. It was worth the wait. Great for anyone who likes fish.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Food was extremely disappointing. Calamari extraordinarily bitter. Clams and mussels full of sand and grit. For a supposed seafood restaurant, kitchen seemed quite amateur. Good service. Overall a place that seems content to run on autopilot and get by on business lunches and the Broadway crowd.

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food1
ambience3
service3

 
·Dined on November 2, 2017

I had made this reservation for my mom and myself as a pre-theater dinner and had noted this in my reservation. I was under the assumption that the theater menu would be offered to us, but instead had to ask specifically for it. Not a big deal, but I think that should be provided if theater reservations are being made.

Food - first courses were delicious - octopus (me), salad (mom; second course was very underwhelming for me. I ordered the grilled mahi mahi and it was nothing to write home about, just very boring and kind of bland. My mom did enjoy the gnocchi very much and said it was the best she's had. Dessert was also tasty.

Service - in between the first and second courses a server came to clear glasses/refill drinks. I had asked for the wine menu as I wanted to select something to go with my meal. At no point did any one return to take my wine order, it wasn't until the last two bites that someone bothered to come by and ask if I would like to order anything. At that point in the meal it doesn't make sense to place a wine order. It also took forever in between the main and dessert courses.

Overall, I think our experience could have been better and was disappointing.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Another quick meal before the theater. I love Esca, hadn't been in a couple of years. So Thursday night worked well. Nice staff, pleasant servers and a fabulous pasta with lobster. One of the best meals ever. Nice salad, too.
Only minor quibble is that the music was too loud.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 2, 2017

The food was good, the service was great, however this reataurant should not be listed as $30 and under. Almost all the entrees were more than $30.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Mississippi)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Best Branzino fish I have ever tasted. Wine was also excellent. We went after the theater and did not feel rushed to get out at all.

Tags: Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 29, 2017

The service was incredible! The food was a HUGE disapointment. The apps were fair. Cerviche was good, my salad had a dressing that was so salty it was almost inedible and didn't compliment the fall roasted vegtables at all. My husbands scallop entree was good, not great and my grouper entree was fair (fish was tough and flavorless, I asked for lemon) but the roasted brussel sporouts with pancetta were totally overcooked and dry. We shared a dessert which was fair. We will not return and couldn't in good conscious recommend to a friend. Very disapointing .. a shame as we were really looking forward to a nice anniversary dinner.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date
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food2
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

Food was fantastic; Service was very tentative and knowledgeable! Definitely will be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

This was my second time eating here.
Once again I enjoyed it. The food is good, the servers are polite and professional. It isn’t noisy, so you can have good conversation, and they have a nice selection of wine. It’s not my choice for a casual dinner or lunch, it’s more suitable for an occasion

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (London)·Dined on October 28, 2017

The room is busy and full of people enjoying their food with easy conversations. The tables are just the right size for conversation, even in the bustling atmosphere. The food was excellent, careful, delicious and fulfilling. The staff was great, each and every one. It was a personal and friendly service of well-prepared food & drink in a comfortably bustling room. Generous in every way, and highly recommended. PS: the truffle course was a special seasonal pleasure.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

All but the food was great.

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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Server was very pushy to order expensive wine, white truffles etc

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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 27, 2017

As always, lovely fresh local seafood, perfectly prepared and served. Lovely, unobtrusive service. Good for conversation and busines at lunch on non-matinee days.

Tags: Business Meals, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 27, 2017

The waiter was exceptionally kind and understanding as we had special requirements due to an accident that happened to my dining partner. Although the restaurant was very busy, he kept the pace of our courses slow as we requested. The gnocchi I ordered was good, but the sauce was so heavy it didn't let the delicate flavor of the seafood shine through. I won't hold that against the chef and will most likely return. Esca's location is perfect for Off-Broadway theater-goers. This was our second visit for dinner after theater and I've been there for some excellent cocktails at the tiny bar on several occasions.

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (London)·Dined on October 26, 2017

The quality of food was mixed. The appetizers we had were all delicious. My main course was frito misto and it was way overcooked. The background music was distracting and annoying. Our service was very good.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 25, 2017

Very tasty and worth paying for food and wine, but not cozy, and the staffs pay less attention to the customers due to the fact that they look too busy.

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 25, 2017

What can I say? Delicious, and the salt encrusted bronsina was out of this world. Pastas, made in house are great and the side vegetables are always worth having with your meal. Wine was great. We rather try the courses and skip dessert! Every time we go to NYC, we try to either have dinner or lunch at Esca.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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