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  1. Distance: 0.08mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.12mi
  3. Distance: 0.12mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi
  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.12mi
  3. Distance: 0.12mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi

About Esca

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.

402 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, Seafood

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

Cross Street:
9th Avenue

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(212) 564-7272

Website:
http://www.esca-nyc.com/

Public Transit:
Subway to 42nd Street - Times Square

Executive Chef:
David Pasternack

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine

Specials

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Details
Sun 9:30PM - 11:15PM

Mon - Sat 10:00PM - 11:15PM

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).

Esca Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.2

ambience

4.1

value

3.6

Noise

Moderate

77% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (56)
Pre/post Theatre (51)
Good for a Date (50)
See All
Special Occasion (48)
Creative Cuisine (43)
Notable Wine List (39)
Good for Anniversaries (29)
Authentic (28)
Romantic (28)
Neighborhood Gem (23)
Good for Birthdays (22)
Quiet Conversation (18)
Tasting Menu (18)
Business Meals (18)
Great for Lunch (13)
Cozy (11)
Local Ingredients (11)
Casual (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (8)
Healthy (8)
Seasonal (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Fun (7)
People Watching (7)
Good for Groups (7)
Hot Spot (5)
Sunday Lunch (5)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Comfort Food (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Spicy (2)
Bar Seating (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Live Music (1)
Organic (1)
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4692 reviews
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vip
 (New York Area)·Dined a day ago

Always excellent across the board. Perfect for pre-theater also!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined 2 days ago

Had the best dinner ! Best food, service etc! Loved it!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 3 days ago

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.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Live Music, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

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!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 4 days ago

Great food, great service! Really enjoyed the entire experience!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 7 days ago

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...

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food5
ambience1
service1
value3

 
·Dined 7 days ago

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.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (New Mexico)·Dined on February 10, 2018

We sat at the bar and had great service!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 9, 2018

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Truly great food. Had Restaurant Week lunch, nothing skimpy about it--great selections.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 7, 2018

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.

CarolT

Tags: Seasonal, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Super fresh seafood, light, flavorful preparation; friendly staff present but not intrusive--we had the restaurant week special--excellent!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 6, 2018

Great get lunch deal and fantastic food for restaurant week. Will definitely go back on a normal day

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Great Food, Great Service, will return again soon.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 3, 2018

An all-around fabulous restaurant experience. Professional service, excellent food, quality through and through. Superb fish and outstanding cuisine.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Paleo Friendly, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Romantic, Tasting Menu, Seasonal, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 2, 2018

The food was phenomenal. My favorite was the dessert. I’ll definitely come back.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 1, 2018

Excellent. Service and food

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on January 31, 2018

perfect spot for a bite before or after theater. staff is always courteous & food longstanding

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 31, 2018

The restaurant week lunch portions were very small. No fruit selection for dessert? Coffee never came until we asked and asked.

Tags: People Watching, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Went for Restaurant Week bargain. Spectacularly fresh and imaginatively prepared fish dishes raw and cooked. I had a grilled Branzino fillet, my daughter had fettuccine with Mussels. Its not Le Bernardin, but the three course lunch special plus a $50 bottle of wine came to $65 a person with 20% tip. A great deal.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 29, 2018

Esca offers superb seafood, brilliantly cooked. Their Restaurant Week menu is a tremendous value, so many tempting dishes. We happily shared among we four and loved everything: the crudo (of course), grilled porgy, branzino, lemon cake with huckleberry (!) sorbet. Excellent wine pairings, terrific espresso, warm attentive service. A memorable meal.

Tags: Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 29, 2018

COnsistenly good service, good food, in an elegant yet unpretentious sorroundings.

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 29, 2018

very disappointed. Food was bland and very tasteless. Service was very good

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food1
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 28, 2018

The ceviche was one of the greatest dishes I have had in a while. The broth they created to allow the seafood to stew was tasty and had just the right amount of seasonings and acidity. The pasta dishes my date and I had were phenomenal. You could tell the pastas we’re freshly made. The gnocchi were light and fluffy and the best rendition of ricotta based gnocchi I have ever tasted. The waitress was very pleasant and asked at the beginning of the meal if there were any time restraints for our meal, which I found to be a nice touch since we had a 7pm show. I would definitely recommend Esca to anyone! Perfect pre-theatre and date spot!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 27, 2018

We got kicked out by the manager as we complained as the service was too slow. He said: take your family out of my f***ing restaurant and later he slammed the bill on te table. You should take a close look at this guy.

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food1
ambience1
service1

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 27, 2018

We chose Esca for its close proximity to the theater district, as we were in NYC to see a show on a Saturday night. We had a 5:30 PM reservation for an 8 PM curtain and it was ample time. Our waiter asked us whether we had theater tickets as soon as we sat down, and made sure we had plenty of time to enjoy our meal and make our show. The wine selection was extensive and the sommelier helped us choose a delicious wine to accompany our meal. The service was impeccable - all the staff were extremely attentive to our table.
The bread was delicious. Our appetizer course was just okay. The tuna carpaccio was just average and the Salad Amari was too dry and not very tasty. But all that was forgotten once the entree arrived. We ordered the branzino for 2, and it was perfectly prepared (including being fileted to perfection after it was presented to us). The sides we ordered (beets, broccoli rabe and roasted potatoes) were also delicious. We finished our meal with 3 scoops of house-made gelatis (salted chocolate, olive oil, and cinnamon flavors) that were out of this world.
The atmosphere is very nice and we had no problem having conversation despite a very full house. My only suggestion is that this very nice restaurant could use a nicer bathroom - the unisex bathrooms, which each could only accommodate 1 guest at a time, required that yu wait in line practically in the kitchen with the servers waiting to pick up food. Hopefully there is some way to expand and work out a more guest-friendly arrangement.
All in all, this was a good choice for a great seafood meal before the theater.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Wine is richly priced. Appetizers are small and pricey. The octopus appetizer with beans has one tentacle and all the rest beans. Pretty to look at but not much substance. The Bronzino crusted in salt was excellent. But a 1 pound or less fish costing over $70 with nothing to garnish the plate or added as a side is lonely on a big white plate. We realized that the restaurant was filled with theater and tourist groups. The value is just not here for us local New Yorkers.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Esca is one of my favorite NYC restaurants. Always amazing food and service and surprises. It costs a fortune, but is worth it for special occasions. There actually are reasonably priced wines on the list and the sommelier didn't sneer at my choice. Did think the pasta with clams and white wine is TOO SALTY! The Crudo is astounding, always! We'll be back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

The crudo was phenomenal and service was impeccable. It was my 2 year anniversary with my girlfriend and we received complimentary desserts on the house after with chocolate piping “Happy Anniversary”. Little things like that go a long way. The only suggestion I have is to have the website menu updated to match the actual menu we received. We were really looking forward to ordering the Alba white truffle pasta but we didn’t find it on the actual menu. The salt baked bronzino looked and tasted great. The only suggestion is to do the deboning in front of the customers as the main sell on anything salt baked is the pleasure of watching someone chisel away at the crust and deboning it on front of your very eyes.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

This was by far one of my worst dining experiences ever. I booked my reservation and confirmed it directly through the restaurant. When I arrived, they could not find my reservation, told me they were fully booked and that I should wait to see if they could help me. I explained I was dining with friends and was concerned we would not be seated. The manager was rude and when I told him I was going to post a poor review, he said he felt threatened and was going to have me escorted from the restaurant. I am an older woman and he is s young man. Of course he was not threatened; he was merely trying to be rid of the issue. I then went to the small, crowded bar to see what could be done, only to see the rest of my party fully seated. I never received an apology and I don’t think the manager is qualified to deal with people. I have never posted a review before, but the management at this restaurant was so poor, I felt obliged to post. Additionally, the food was mediocre to poor at best, the service was not the best and my table was pretty much on top of the adjoining diners. In retrospect, I would have been better off being thrown out of the restaurant because it failed my expectations in every way possible. I will never return to this place. Manhattan has too many well run restaurants with quality food that to subject oneself to this treatment is really unnecessary. Lesson learned.

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Wonderful service and food. Always a treat for a special occasion since it is quite pricey.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Unimpressive and shocked that they were not participating in restaurant week for dinner.

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food3
ambience3
service5
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Great food and service. The noise was VERY VERY LOUD. I'm not a senior yet but this restaurant seems to want to be a club. You can't hear the person next to you talking. I Don't see myself going back

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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Esca is a destination restaurant when we come to NYC. Has been for years.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

If you love seafood, this place should be at the top of your list

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 24, 2018

I treated myself with this meal and was not disappointed. I especially enjoyed my waiter who was perfect- the kind of personal attention, light touch and efficiency that one would love to encounter every nite out. The food was fresh all fish, delicious sauces and yummy olive oil cake.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Everything was great, but my only suggestion would be to turn the music down and/or change the genre. I love the Rolling Stones, but it isn't music to eat by in this kind of place. I would suggest lower level and possibly classical or jazz. Italian opera would be perfect!

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Excellent food. Went with 2 friends and everyone agreed food great but Too much salt in fish and in bread.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 22, 2018

This is really one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. The food is excellent, crafted with skill and care. The crudo is not to be missed, some of the best I have ever had. The pastas are excellent and the wine list will not disappoint. The service is top notch. I have been there several times and it is always the best. Do not hesitate. If you like fish, eat here.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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