Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
New York, NY 10036
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
Monday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 4:30pm to 10pm
Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:30pm
Sunday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
Subway to 42nd Street - Times Square
Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine
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
Upon arrival we seated promptly.
We reviewed the menu ordered wine and dinner. We expected the wine shortly we waited more then 20 minutes
The meal arrived within 5 minutes there after
We ordered the Flounder for two which was very good but a small portion
Also ordered grilled vegetables that were uneatable due to being extremely over salted
Server never inquired as to why they were uneaten
Final bill was over $300.00
For a small portion of fish and vegetables
Would not go back
I have eaten several times before at Esca and always thought very highly of it. On this occasion there were 5 of us for dinner. Not one of us had a good meal. Service was very good, but the quality of the food was no better than pub food, and it was all over-salted. My tiny appetizer was meh, I ate only a small portion of my entrée, the side of steamed broccoli was boiled to sogginess like grandma used to do, and I left feeling hungry. The consequence of the poor quality was that the meal was also terribly over-priced. Also, there was a pervasive stale fish smell in the restaurant. I want to say that I will go back because it was just one bad experience, but it was so bad that I cannot bring myself to return.
Tuna carpaccio too salty
The Verdura mista was not good
The Puntarella: I suggest the chef a quick trip to Rome to learn the real receipe (or a quick search on the internet)
The Fritto misto too salty, the breading seemed not fresh
Oysters (even if they tried to increase the price on the bill of 16%) and sea urchins were very good: unfortunately for the chef the only plates which were not prepared by him
The service was poor: we arrived late (our fault) but we had always the impression that the staff was doing everything in order to make us finish our dinner very quickly.
I suggest Mr Bastianich to look after his restaurant with the same severity he judges the Masterchef Italy competitors because it’s much more easy to see the mote in your other’s eye but not the beam in your own....
The service was outstanding, the Bastianich white wine blend crisp and delicious, the imported extra virgin olive oil and olives--the best in NYC. The frito misto platter of fried scallops, calamari, and other seafood would be a great starter for a group. It came from the kitchen so quickly I actually burned my mouth a bit. That's a first.
We went to Esca after theater and had an amazing meal with perfect service. We started off with delicious cocktails and a small bruscetta type appetizer with compliments from the chef. My cocktail was a martini with gin, chartreuse, cherry and citrus. So good, I ordered two! We ordered the crudo tasting menu as an appetizer and it was perfect, we got oysters, shrimp, bay scallops, fluke, hamachi and one other . . . I highly recommend the Polipo (grilled octopus) appetizer! Honestly, we were full after the complimentary appetizer and the crudo, two apps and bread, but we still had dinner entrees coming. The Maccheroni alla Chitarra was delicious and rich, but we had to take most of it home and then couldn't even consider dessert which looked delicious and I now regret. We want to go back and do a light meal of cocktails (yummy with a perfect amount of punch), selection of crudos (I think it's what they're known for most), 1 appetizer and 1 dessert. It's a great location close to the theaters, but not in the main tourist area which is nice to get away from after. The staff takes full care of their customers. Our server was in training apparently and did a wonderful job. She will be a great addition to the professional Esca staff. Will definitely be back.
Service great. Food very good.
Though Bronzino for Two was disappointing- just one filet each on the plate. We were shown the fish before slicing but it was an opaque bubble on a plate so could not see anything.
The raw apps were solid. Grilled octopus was good.
The gelato blew me away.
The inside of restaurant was not cozy feeling- we were very close to rhe door unfortunately. Music too loud.
The dinner was made EXCEPTIONAL by our waitperson Joseph S.!
He was extremely knowledgeable with the menu and the wine list and had a very friendly and approachable demeanor.
Ask to sit in Joseph’s section when you book a reservation.
I was here two weeks prior, and did not have good wait service; although the buspersons are exceptional.
It is amazing what an experienced, knowledgeable, and talented waitperson can do to facilitate a great dining experience! Thank you Joseph S.!
Razor clams in bacon w/green apples were delicious as was the bread. We would have liked mussels and shrimp; limited menu. My husband ordered gnocchi in red sauce, nothing to write home about. Calamari was swimming in brown smoky-flavored oil. My scallops were very good, however. Dessert was creative and delicious.
We went after a show arriving at 9:45 for a 9:30
Reservation and the hostess couldn't have been nicer. It was late and everyone was a little tired after the holiday push, but were very accommodating.
The sommelier guided us to a very good wine in a the price range I requested and the food was delicious, Nantucket scallop and arktic char crudi
were excellent and w nice portion size.
Had the crabmeat pasta and lobster pasta again terrific.
We had a little desert and an amaro to cap off a great evening.
Thank you Esca staff
Waiter Joe was lovely and Ruth too.
We eat there frequently. Three people all terribly dissatisfied. Mushrooms were not all portobello. Fusilli dish was not fusilli it was a cavatappi which we pointed out to waiter. Sea food in fusilli dish was sparse to say the leader. Lobster dish had trrrible sauce . The pasta was ill prepared. Waiter lied on two occasions as we pointed out the problems. We even showed him pictures on our phone of what fusilli and cavatspi look like.. munk fish was small portion and over cooked. It’s Christmas week and I surmise the regular chef was off. It was dec 22
an incredible menu, if I could I would have eaten everything on it! definitely is worth coming back and exploring the rest of the menu. try the burrata - it's out of this world with the osetra caviar, and scallops with the citrus slices is sure to amaze. I've dined with a friend from Italy who's accustomed to a great Italian food and even for her it was a gourmand experience. a huge plus was that the manager was a Naples native so she could even chat in Italian. the service was very good and discreet as well.
I have loved this restaurant for years but the scallops were over cooked, the Dover sole had a heavy crust, the plates were not even slightly warm. Salads and gelato were delicious as was the special salted cod. David Pasternack was there so he’s either not paying attention or his taste has changed. We will try again, but very disappointing. It feels like what happened in his restaurant in Chelsea and that was a great opportunity that failed.
Was disappointed. My husband and I did the tasting menu and the food just wasn’t as great as we expected our tab was around $300 which we thought was pricy for what it was. In addition it was not packed and the service was a bit strange. They had plenty of staff working but between each course we had to wait 30 mins. We were there forever! Disappointing!
It was absolutely freezing. The service was terrible even though there were less than a dozen tables. It took three requests to get a Diet Coke. I was given the wrong menu and it took ten minutes to get it replaced. I used to be a fan. Now I'm not going back.
I wish I loved it. We were seated next to the tiny bar and it was as noisy as could be. One woman in particular was so loud a waiter was putting his finger in his ears.
My friends dinner was outstanding she said. I had the burrata with caviar. It was ok, kind of bland. My dinner was the linguine with clams. The linguine was great. The waitress warned me its salty and it really is only the first bite that really tastes REALLY salty. Unfort the clams were way overcooked. I never got my second drink until I was almost done with dinner. They did, however comp it. So its worth a try but make sure you dont sit near the bar. They play very weird music too.
Have been to Esca many times over the years and the food is always outstanding. Noticed this time that the noise level has increased and the service started slow. One tip - it’s important to get drinks in hand quickly. If you do guests will be much more forgiving of slow service or other shortcomings. That said, the fare was terrific, especially the crudo tasting dish.
Another wonderful dinner at Esca. The array of beautiful fish and shellfish was fabulous. I thought the restaurant would have a candle and a birthday slice of cake but they did not. Note: prepare your own. Nevertheless the food is fabulous and we loved every bite.
I was very disappointed in ESCA. We'd thought with both Mario Batali and Lydia Bastianich backing it that it should be lovely. We ordered the seafood platter as we love seafood. This was just a mix of fried mishmash that you couldn't tell what you were eating, it all tasted alike and not at all good. I'd thought this was poor diner food. It desperately needed something to perk it up, the green, who knows what it was we weren't told, cup of something tasted nasty. I could accept the disappointing food IF the staff wasn't so creepy. The managers and bus boys hovered over everyone waiting for someone to just put their fork down so they could scoop up their dish. Talk about wanting to 'turn tables', sad. The tables were all bunched up with no decent path to the restrooms and when we finally wound our way around, they were on one side of the kitchen/storage area and we had to single file along a set of chairs stored there. Again, not a nice ambiance, not good food, and creepy service.
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