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Posted by anonymus on 11/15/2013
just very mediocre
Posted by LJ on 08/31/2013
Here are the salient bits. It's expensive--very expensive--which wouldn't be a problem if the place weren't so solidly average. "Welcome to Esca," says a man in an ill-fitting suit. Welcome, that is, to a profoundly unstylish and boring dining room with out-of-place music. Fine. How's the food? Decidedly mediocre. The famed crudo? Meh. And at $30.00 for six tiny pieces it should be more than meh. Grilled octopus? Again, fine, but I've had similar at middle-of-the-road tapas joints at half the cost. Vegetable sides? Did these come from a can? And why is the kale I ordered actually collard greens? "We're famous for the branzino." That's odd, because it's nothing special, and at over $70.00 for two people, it should probably be the tastiest branzino on earth. "Would you like dessert?" Yes, and an espresso for me and a cappuccino for her. I would, though, not like the espresso to come out first, followed by the dessert 5 minutes later, followed by the cappuccino 4 minutes after that. Kind of messes up the course, you know? But oh well. And the sommelier? Who is this person? After completing her kindergarten checklist she recommends a bottle a full $20.00 more than the price ceiling ($90.00) she requested and I supplied. Her suit: also ill-fitting. Bottom line: way too much money for a bland, mediocre, ordinary seafood place passing itself off as extraordinary for theatre-going out-of-towners. I thought Pasternack was some sort of fish whisperer? Methinks he long ago stopped paying attention to the goings-on at Esca.
Posted by Christonyc on 01/06/2012
Service was very good- but I was really unhappy with my entree. Pasta was undercooked. I sent back dinner to have an even worse replacement. I had always wanted to try this restaurant- having lived in Hells Kitchen for many years-I'll never go back
Posted by familyfoodie on 06/26/2011
Had a family meal at Esca this week, and it was very disappointing. I love the Batali/Bastianich restaurants, and think that Babbo is the best place in NYC, but my first Esca experience was lacking. The waiter or the kitchen forgot multiple items of of our meal and took an unusually long time to deliver them when we finally asked about them. The menu is interesting and original, but relatively expensive, and of the 4 things i tasted, only two of them were particularly good. All in all, i was just expecting a better dinner/experience from a team that usually hits on all cylinders.
Posted by Anonymous on 06/22/2011
Our waiter forgot some of our food so my daughter had to wait 15 minutes longer than everyone else. I would not recommend it.
Posted by jamie on 01/20/2011
This place needs to be scrubbed down. The yellow facade is easily soiled so should be reconsidered, but the fact is the sloppy outside sets the tone inside. The bottles behind the bar are visibly dusty, the floor looks like an old dance floor from the seventies and the linens stained. The food is pretty good - not great - and very expensive. The service is high quality but at these prices the place should be impeccable, and it is far from it. No longer a destination restaurant. I didn't see a letter grade, which doesn't surprise me.
Posted by Leslie on 12/20/2010
Visitors from NC. We went to Esca as it was highly recommended by a chef in NC. We enjoyed the atmosphere, because it's nothing like what we have at home. The food was good although the portions were small. Service was excellent, and we were out in time to make our show. We sat at a two-top next to the prep table which isn't ideal, but my mother enjoyed every moment of watching the meals prepared. Would recommend to anyone traveling.