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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Esca

4.4
4758 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
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 4758 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined 13 hours ago

They were out of many items on the menu so after two failed attempts I settled for linguini with clams. To be fair our waitress who was very nice expressed that the dish is salty and sometimes to salty for some people. I ordered it anyway I don’t mind a little salt but this dish was inedible. My real problem with it is that there is a chef who actually lets that dish leave the kitchen. Very disappointed it was our second time there the first probably ten years ago but definetly our last

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Amazing staff!

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Superb Southern Italian cuisine with excellent and unusual seafood daily market offerings. Impeccable service and a fun scene.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

We had a great meal at Esca before a Broadway show. It was the perfect setting for our meal - away from the teeming crowds of Time Square, but close enough to enjoy a leisurely walk to the theater after dinner.

Drinks were fun, wine was just right and the fish was fresh and fantastic - not complicated - just straightforward delicious cooking. Don't hesitate. Book a table.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The food at Esca was fabulous, and our waiter was excellent. If you love seafood and are wanting an Italian influence, this is the place to go. The seating is a bit crowded, but surprisingly, the dining room wasn't overly noisy. Definitely worth checking out!

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

Really enjoyed my dining experience. Service was great but the food was just good. I

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4.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Great vibe in the place. Went last Saturday night and it was packed and fun. If you are looking for quiet this is not the place. Tables very close to each other and sometimes cannot hear yourself but if you are too old to hear you probably shouldn't be here anyway. The service last Saturday was just "okay" slow but I could see how crowded they were and looked understaffed. The food was definitely the highlight. Ordered the Branzino and it was out of this world. I would go again.

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4.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Most enjoyable evening. Attentive service and pleasant experience. We had an early reservation so most of our needs were taken care of up to the time our meal arrived. At that time the restaurant became quite busy at which time the service slowed down and the noise level went through the roof. Not unexpectedly and not inappropriately. Great food as always.

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3.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Our group of four arrived on time for our lunch reservation and were seated immediately; there were only two other occupied tables in the dining room and a couple of others outside. We were not given menus and after five minutes we had to ask the hostess for them. Someone arrived to take our drink orders about five minutes later. Ten minutes more...and we had to ask for someone to take our food order. Our first courses arrived in a reasonable amount of time, but the entrees didn't show up until 30 minutes after our first course plates had been cleared. We had to rush eating because we had other appointments to make. The staff were distracted and mostly not interested in providing service. The food was nice, but we won't be back.

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1.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Unimpressive food at very high prices. Pasta was hard and not cooked al dente. Waiter was very nice. Sommelier, however, was not nice and clearly upset when I spent $75 on a bottle of wine rather than the $150 that he was hoping for. Many more better italian options in the neighborhood.

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Perfect pre-theater restaurant. Delicious, great service and lovely outdoor garden seating.

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2.0Dined on April 13, 2018

We had a 9:45 reservation through opentable and confirmed with the restaurant by phone. When we arrived the waitress told us the kitchen would close in 15 mins so she rushed us to order. Refused to take our drink order until after our entrees were ordered. I'd been told to plan to take my time and enjoy Esca. We purposely made our reservation after our trip to the theater so we wouldn't have to rush. If this is the policy of the restaurant, they need to be more clear when patrons make reservations.
We ordered a mozzarella anti-pasta that was flavorless. Our seafood pasta dishes were overly salty and lacked any depth of flavor. Wine options seemed limited.

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1.0Dined on April 11, 2018

We were seated for one hour before taking our order. After the food was brought to our table, the server was non existent. It took another half hour to attempt to get the check. The server over charged us and the manager was rude. If a restaurant is understaffed it is only right to explain the situation to the diners. The food was good but the service ruined our birthday celebration. I have dined here several times and have never experienced such unprofessional service.

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3.0Dined on April 11, 2018

We loved the ambiance of Esca, the location is close to theaters, and they offer an abbreviated pre-theater menu (very helpful for diners arriving before 5:45 who need to finish prior to 7:30 or so).

Contrary to rave reviews and consistent with recent opinions of local foodies, Esca seems to have lost its mojo regarding food preparation. We found the dishes to be inconsistent in quality--great salad (verdura mista), delightful pasta (primi: Bavette), but woeful Zuppa Di Pesce. Esca was not inordinately expensive, but we felt for the price, we expected more wow factor.

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

The food was wonderful. The service is impeccable and the wine was exceptional

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3.0Dined on April 9, 2018

The service was excellent. Very attentive staff & knowledgeable. The food was good but I was not blown away.

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Service and vibe are great. Food is fussy and good but not great

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Excellent experience. Went after a Sunday Broadway matinee. Will be back.

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3.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Bartender makes great drinks perfect dirty martini..service was slow at the table..not very timely or organized .

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2.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Seafood did not taste very fresh.

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

What an amazing time we had at Esca! Beautiful setting and wonderful service. Our waiter couldn’t have been more helpful in guiding us through the menu and our decisions. Crudo tasting was a highlight and server helped us pick perfect beverage pairings. Though everything was wonderful, Dessert was the star of the show. Rhubarb Crostada was the perfect way to end the meal and beyond fantastic. Will come back for everything but will make this a regular stop for just dessert!

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3.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Fluke appetizer was very good. The salmon was tasteless and not hot.

The table was close to the entrance and every time door opened, cold winds blew in.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Dinner before play. Waiter wonderful, lots of special touches. Gnocchi was amazing, lobster spaghetti as well. Plates were clean.

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Very good. Pasta cooked exactly as in Italy "al dente".
Very good wine list.

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2018

While the food was very tasty, the value was ridiculous. We ordered the Dover Sole for two and each had about 5 bites. I ordered a mescalin salad to start - nothing in it but greens and shaved fennel and I think it was $22!

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Very good good and service, but overpriced.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Chef Pasternack is truly a genius! The treasures that come out of his kitchen are like fine art. His staff is welcoming, personable and knowledgeable! I have been attending here for over 10 yrs and It never disappoints!! Truly one of my favorites in NY.

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Esca has been on my wish list for awhile. So when we were able to get a rez before a show on a Friday night, I was very excited. Overall, the experience was positive. Menu was amazing, filled with many authentic Italian dishes and cocktails. Food and cocktail and wine were excellent. Our waiter was both professional and charming. My only disappointment was we were clearly seated in the "overflow" area which was located off of the main room, very tight and almost made us have to whisper in our conversation as not to intrude with the next table. However, it did almost force you to chit chat a bit with your neighbor whether you wanted to or not. Next time, I will request a table in the main dining area.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Great wines, great food, knowledgeable staff.

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4.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Wanted to scratch another Batali place off the list, and my G/F's Birthday was a perfect occasion to do so. Great menu. And you can eat four courses without feeling stuffed {Like we did}
Crudo, Shared App, Pasta Course split and Pink snapper for two. Everything was superb. My only complaint was that the dessert was not that great and really not meant to share.
Bring lots of money.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Excellent as usual! I have been there several times and this time, I tried the tasting menu which to me was a very good deal .... always excellent that is all I can say about the food and the service. Please do not change!

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4.0Dined on March 21, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Delicious meal, great ambience, attentive service! I will definitely go back!

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on March 19, 2018

The only problem is that the table for 2 is ridiculously small, making the whole experience quite uncomfortable.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

We were in NY 5 days and this was by far the best meal, deserts and serive of the trip. Definitely a repeat.

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3.0Dined on March 18, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

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. $$

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

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

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3.0Dined on March 16, 2018

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

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