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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Sun 9:30PM - 11:15PM
Mon - Sat 10:00PM - 11:15PM
What Insiders Are Saying
Year after year, Esca remains in the conversation of the NYC elite. It’s always jam packed, mostly with the business and commuter crowd.
Not the best neighborhood but good and service very good as always. Lunchtime was very quiet but that was good for us as it was a business lunch.
Always reliable for good food & wine . Will go back soon.
The food was very salty. The staff were attentive and the ambiance was pleasant.
The food is as good as Esca's has ever been, which is high praise indeed. The service was wonderful -- even better than its been in recent years (which is saying a lot). Other than the totally unnecessary broadcasting of anonymous music -- a terrible habit among upscale restaurants, since no one really want to listen to it, and it makes conversation difficult -- Esca is superb and flawless.
Terrible service , food was below average, absolutely NO ambiance ( squeezed us in at a tiny table in the corner )
Their focus on the freshest seafood with an Italian flair is a nice change to the same old high-end NYC Italian eateries. The cost is up there, but you do get what you pay for (and it is Manhattan, after all).
Wonderful food and service
The Branzino for two was perhaps the best prepared fish I have ever eaten. Service was excellent. Appetizer and wine were both outstanding. (No space left for dessert.)
Party of four - three of the four were sickened after dinner from the food - fish was oily and undercooked. Salad served was not enjoyable for two guest and wait staff said that was just what is was. Overpriced. Atmosphere wasn't bad. Felt disappointed for our west coast guests.
Really unexpected surprise. Had never been. Food was wonderful. Went for lunch. Totally a great deal.
Food was excellent and service was even better. They know what they are doing and it shows.
Excellent food, attentive service in nice atmosphere not far from theater district but away from the crowds. We really enjoyed all of our dishes--grilled octopus appetizer, two seafood pastas and lovely lemon cake. New York prices but there was some lagniappe--chef provided small appetizer and dessert, wine by glass is quartile, etc.
Just a wonderful pre theatre meal. First impression when we arrived at 545...the music, ranging from the Dead to Simon and Garfunkel to Johnny Cash...just perfect, the soundtrack of our lives. Comfortable corner table. Service attentive if a little strange - a number of people were assisting us at different points. Our server (Kate, I believe) was warm and attended to all our questions. As for the food...pretty perfect. Great breads including a killer focaccia. Nice little amuse bouche- a tasty white bean bruschetta. My wife had the sea urchin crudo app and the pesce azzurri ( four fish selection) for her main. I had the grilled octopus appetizer (giant white beans and Corona lemon) and a very briny, perfectly cooked linguini with pancetta, hot pepper, and a generous clam medley. All wonderful. We shared two desserts, a special crostata with marscapone cream and a first class lemon torte. Leisurely paced, yet designed to get us out the door and theatre bound by 630. We look forward to a return visit in the near future.
ususual mix of flavors and food. They all work! Definitely a place to try something you havent had.
The Crudos and the Linguine with clams were absolutely sensational...the service and the wine were also great....even a small thing like a little scoop of pomegranate sorbet was made heavenly by the addition of just a bit of roasted bread crumbs to the plate....simple and totally sensational...The one disappointment was the calamari stuffed with black rice.....Calamari too big and black rice too heavy for the dish....overall a wonderful meal...I plan to return several time before returning to Hawaii
Fabulous food and friendly front of house staff.
Waiting staff border on over-attentive.
Like Always Food was over the top Fantastic!
As well as everything else
Food was delicious (except we did not like the sea urchin), the service was extremely attentive and friendly and the atmosphere was subdued and comfortable. I have been to Esca several times and will continue to dine here despite the somewhat pricey tab.
The fish was excellent; the service professional. Drinks were overpriced even by Manhattan standards.
The food was phenomenal and the service impeccable. Can't wait to return.
One of the best places in NY and the best place in Hells Kitchen for sure. Excellent service and food every time.
Extensive fish menu from which all 4 of us chose. My zuppa de pesce was bland, limited variety of sea food, did not include pasta and was overpriced. Other dishes were tasteless, not particularly well presented, and small-portioned, and they were the waiter's recommendations. Restaurant is well appointed, all staff were professional and knowledgeable, and location is ideal for pre-theater, but no pre-theater menu. Would not recommend to friends.
Amazing seafood restaurant. The service and the food was incredible. The waiter made sure to ask if we had a time frame (to see a show) and was very accommodating to ensure we had aplenty of time.
Has lost a little of it's buzz, but the food is solid. They do fish well. Waiters could lose a little of their affection in that everyone is now doing what they started, and it is time to move on. The upset on the wine is embarrassing when they have many good bottles at reasonable prices. A little bit of a turn off in that you are eating in their restaurant and paying, yet the waiters are lecturing you. With that being said the food is still very good. The world has caught up to Esca, but they still do it well
I haven’t been to Esca in a awhile and I wasn’t pressed. The food was generally mediocre and overpriced. Not at the standard that I’ve had previously . I will not be rushing back.
We had a lovely post-theatre dinner, and they were very accommodating given the play ran very late and we barely made it in as the kitchen was closing. Crudo was amazing, especially the sea urchin. Only complaint is that my glass of Bastianich Rosato was ridiculously overpriced.
We both had seafood and the fish was done to perfection. Could not have asked for a better dining experience. Service wonderful. Wine perfect. What else is there to say?
We live is Mississippi and this was our fourth visit to Esca. It may be my favorite restaurant in NYC. I always get the branzino in salt and it is always so good. I love their selection of wine as well.
WORST EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD AT A RESTAURANT. I WILL NEVER BE BACK NOR TAKE CLIENTS AGAIN
Frankly disappointed. It was a special B Day. We were put in a busy hallway last table next to kitchen and bathrooms. Very noisy and cramped. I had indicated a BD celebration both in my OT request and over phone when they called to confirm. They also know we had a play at 8:00pm. When I asked if we could be moved I was told would take 20 min. And that the table in main dining room was being save.md for special guests of the chef. It was my 60th and was made to feel very unspecial. The food which was good but not great took a long time between courses making the last 30-49 min tense and rushed. I will never go back to this pretentious place. Kinda ruined what should have been a wonderful Birthday experience
Birthday dinner sadly disappointing. Two of the four diners ordered a seafood/buckwheat polenta dish that was just unacceptable. Seafood in brown goop (Was that polenta? Was it cooked?). A mess to eat. Would have sent the dish back but rushing off to theatre.
Cocktail also very disappointing--bland and uninteresting.
Very pricey. Two of us left hungry.
I felt it was necessary to share our experience with the establishment and wrote an email the next day.
Got no response back.
Will not return.
Food has become heavy and predictable, mediocre
Dined at Esca for a quick dinner pre-theater on a snowy Wednesday night. There were three of us. We shared two delicious pastas, one being the gnocchi. My friend and I had the dover sole for 2 and I can't remember what my other friend had but he loved it. We had an amazing wine from Sicily that was highly recommended by the sommelier. I am always looking for lighter to medium weight reds that work well with fish and poultry and this one was perfect. The ambience is very warm, cozy yet sophisticated. We almost didn't want to leave as it was the perfect place to be during a snowstorm but alas we had theater to attend.
Great food and service. Overpriced, but it’s New York City
Disappointing. The raw fish cruder was excellent and worth the price. The artichoke, arugula and sheep’s milk cheese was ok. The artichoke were tiny pieces. The sheep’s milk was a bit heavily applied, and the arugula was radicchio.
The main course - crispy sole - was small, but priced to be $42 for one or two people. (When The bill came, I was charged $84! This entree was listed with two others in a box. Two of them had the price listed “PP” - per person. The crispy sole was not. After raising my issue with the waiter, he first argued then got the price for the item reduced to $42. I noted to the waiter that the elderly couple next to us had the same entree and were probably charged double what the expected. The waiter said they were charged the “right” price. Really?!
The final disappointment were the vegetables (golden beets, cabbage and Fennel. Root vegetables cooked excessively, pale, and over salted. Probably cooked early that afternoon. A restaurant like Esce should have fresh, colorful vegetables that are crisply prepared.
Overall it was disappointing. I was so looking forward to dinner there. I was last there three years ago, and it is unlikely I’ll return again that quickly.
Our server was very attentive especially since we told him we had early theater plans. Food was and has always been wonderful.
One of the best meals and experiences I have ever had
Food did not taste good. Spagetti clam to salty- inedible. Calimari appetized uncooked
We had a nice meal. Everything was well prepared. Prices just seemed a little high ($28 glass white wine). A little bit of a rocky start after asking for dressing on the side for a garden salad. The waiter was reluctant as he told us that this would cause tremendous upset the chef. Highlight was freshly shaved horseradish on delicious oysters, grilled fish and sumptuous roasted potatoes.
Excellent Italian fish cuisine. Great traditional ambiance