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).View Private Dining Details
See availability for bonus point tables
Sun 9:30PM - 11:15PM
Mon - Sat 10:00PM - 11:15PM
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 had lunch at Esca during a snowstorm, and before going to the theater. It was a very good meal with a very good waiter. It was cozy in there, and we really hated to leave to brave the snowstorm. It's a bit pricey, but a really nice experience.
Delicious meal, great ambience, attentive service! I will definitely go back!
We thought the food was outstanding, but it was the service that put this experience over the top for us. The Sommelier answered all of our questions and never rushed us (even when the restaurant filled up.) All of the staff were phenomenal. I would go back here in a heart beat. It is expensive, but worth it.
The only problem is that the table for 2 is ridiculously small, making the whole experience quite uncomfortable.
We were in NY 5 days and this was by far the best meal, deserts and serive of the trip. Definitely a repeat.
Food was very good. However servers and management were not customer friendly, atmosphere was pretentious and tense. The sommelier immediately directed us to the most expensive bottles on the wine list, without asking our price range. We asked to order an appetizer to start while we read the menus to decide what else we wanted, but we were told this was not permitted. All food had to be ordered at the same time. Good food, but we won’t go back.
The food and service was great, exceptional Italian food. I would go again. However, the dollar signs should be higher, so no one is surprised. $$
Best food I have had in NY in recent years
II eat out 5 nights a week
Mgr knows what he is doing
Can go before theatre 6pm/or dinner 7:30 on
Food was very good, staff was great. Problem was Management allowed table of 18. Left no room for staff to move about. Was bumped several times for which staff repeatedly apologized. Not their fault blame Management for making the wrong choice
Great good and service. Restaurant was full of life. Pre-theatre and it worked perfectly with time.
Very disappointing. First the oysters and the raw mahi mahi was excellent. For main we had gnocchi and the fritta seafood. Yuck the fried seafood tasted like it came from the bottom of a waste water slough. Really had a strong taste and were not fresh. So disappointed. Came to NYC on a personal vacation and specifically chose a Mario Batali restaurant. Bad choice - very expensive. Could have had a local restaurant with much better meal for better value.
While I literally picked the restaurant on the basis of location/convenience, it proved to be most enjoyable! A life-long friend who actually lives near by joined us for dinner and raved about the reputation and authenticity of the restaurant. The menu was exceptional and the wine list extensive. Since I am not at all familiar with Italian wines, the sommelier was very helpful in matching my taste preference with a selection and not simply a high priced option. The food was exceptional, as was the service. Our server "Allison" was very attentive (but will be leaving soon as she is 7 months pregnant!!). We will look forward to a return visit when in NYC next.
Food and service were fine. But the music was both inherently awful - banging drums, screechy - and detrimental to a nice dining experience. Everyone was shouting to be heard above it. Why on earth play loud music when people are trying to talk to each other. You are running a restaurant not a disco.
Unfortunately disappointed in the fish course. I was spoiled. They did take it off the bill. But it ruined the whole experience.
Quiet enough for a business lunch with excellent food and service.
While food was very good and service excellent, the loudness and closeness of the tables made the event unpleasant. It was easier to have a conversation with the people at the next table than across our table. In addition to the people noise, there was very out of place rock music in the background. One should not pay those prices for a lousy experience. Not on our list for return meals.
Amazing food. The price is expensive for the portions but high quality, good service, good wine. Red snapper was recommended and was the best for an appetizer. Pricey but worth it.
$85 for a piece of fish, Black sea bass, for 2 persons, and it was enough for 1 person. Also, the sauce was way too intense. Wouldn't go back
Good food, but the service was below par. When food was brought to the table, the waiters did not make room for it on the table. No one checked on us. Attitude was you're lucky we're taking the time to wait on you.
Oysters were some of the best I have ever eaten. Fish stew was tasty. The wines were excellent and the gelato was unique in its flavors. The selections good as always, presented beautifully. The bus boys were very attentive, but our waiter was not. He was cordial but forgot to serve my friend's wine and was not quick to serve the entrees even though we told him we had theatre tickets.
The loud 80’s music was awful. Inattentive wait staff. Very slow service. My scallops tasted as if they we’re dredged in salt, they were ridiculously salty. Wine selections were almost 100% Italian. Just a bad, expensive experience.
PERFECT PRE-THEATER DINING, OR ANY OTHER OCCASION FOR THAT MATTER. FOOD WAS SUPERB AND OUR WAITER , JOE, WAS ATTENTIVE, SWIFT, HELPFUL AND NOT INTRUSIVE. OTHER WAIT STAFF WERE ALSO EXCELLENT.
LESLEY HARRISON, NYC
Gorgeous meal with lots of seldom-seen options on the menu, from apps to dessert. Gorgeous veggie sides, whole fish to share, house-cured olives, and so many clever flavor combos. We loved it and will go back again. Wonderful staff!
The service was amazing. All the waiters and bus boys were very attentive and polite. Food was delicious. A great place to have a nice dinner when my parents came to town for the weekend.
They were super slow, chaotic, ran out of salmon. The halibut they gave us instead was gross--super fishy and didn't taste fresh. We almost missed our show because main courses took forever. They did comp us the two main courses though. Or
Worth it at all.
No weaknesses I could detect. I had frequented Esca’s way back when it first opened and loved it. Unfortunately somewhere along the way the food quality deteriorated and I stopped going. However , at a friend’s urging, I reluctantly agreed to join other friends for a celebratory dinner there. I had Bellinis, oysters, and linguini with clams and hot pepper flakes, all of which was super -delicious . I was reminded of the old days and absulutely plan to return!
We arrived in time for the pre theatre pre fixe which was a great value. My husband had the grilled octopus and the fruit list, I had the salad and grilled salmon filet. The food was perfectly prepared, served in a leisurely manner and with grace. Great wait staff. The desserts that accompanied the prix fixe were fabulous = displayed in a grand manner and delicious. e enjoyed our meal, were out in plenty of time, not rushed at all. A very special fish/seafood place.
Esca is one of our favorite dining spots. Everything about it is a homage to seafood of various types and preparations . The service is impeccable but not ingratiating. And the staff made us feel special on the occasion of our wedding anniversary.
We were on a tight schedule and while we sat for a little longer than we should have before our waitress came to the table, when she did, everything worked out.
Food is always delicious. We had a great meal and made it to the theater on time.
Bad day for Esca disappointed with my fish dish on this visit
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
Loved it. Tight fit w tables but wonderful. Smelt delicious. Seafood soup and Hake Devine. Olive oil cake delectable.
Best seafood restaurant we have been to in America.
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.
Always excellent across the board. Perfect for pre-theater also!
Had the best dinner ! Best food, service etc! Loved it!
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.
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!
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.
Great food, great service! Really enjoyed the entire experience!