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
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Sun 9:30PM - 11:15PM
Mon - Sat 10:00PM - 11:15PM
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!
Food is really good but the service is slow and not polite.
Waited for 15 mins the menu, waiters were all the time running, and wait btw plates too long
The assistant waiters / waitress were eating all the time while working...
We tried the prix fix menu before going to a show. The menu was quite limited - the gnocchi was very good, bust the fried seafood was disappointing...could have gotten that level of seafood at a fast food place. We also had the wine parings...wine was good and the server knowledgeable. However, we had to order an extra serving of wine because the servings were so puny. Esca wasn't bad, but not sure it was good enough to go back...lots of other choices.
We sat at the bar and had great service!
Our pre-theater dinner at Esca was very enjoyable. The food was delicious and the service was impeccable--attentive and refined, but not at all stuffy. My only complaint has to do with portion sizes. I certainly didn't leave the restaurant hungry, but I was struck by how generously sized some dishes were (e.g. the the fried seafood plate) and how small others were (the gnocchi, for instance). It almost felt like the Chef resented being asked to make anything on the menu that didn't have fish in it.
Truly great food. Had Restaurant Week lunch, nothing skimpy about it--great selections.
This particular luncheon was a celebration by two friends. ..of being. Wonderful in all regards.
Ali(? ) super waitress--was an extra delight.
Thanks to all.
After several disappointing dining experiences in NYC, I was delighted with the food and service at Esca. Unfortunately, as a single woman dining alone, waiters often make the assumption you will 'just be eating a salad and drinking water.' And their level of service and attentiveness express this. Not at Esca! My waiter, Joseph, was extremely friendly from the get-go. He could not have been more attentive and helpful with the menu (which has amazing appetizer choices!). I ordered 3-appetizers (the octopus is a must), and a bottle of wine (sommelier recommended a price performer and I took the 'left overs' back to the hotel for another night). Everything was delicious, fresh and properly prepared. I would definitely go back.
Super fresh seafood, light, flavorful preparation; friendly staff present but not intrusive--we had the restaurant week special--excellent!
Great get lunch deal and fantastic food for restaurant week. Will definitely go back on a normal day
Great Food, Great Service, will return again soon.
An all-around fabulous restaurant experience. Professional service, excellent food, quality through and through. Superb fish and outstanding cuisine.
The food was phenomenal. My favorite was the dessert. I’ll definitely come back.