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Posted by Barbara on 07/03/2006
My husband and I had wonderful appetizers and we shared extraordinarily light gnocchi with lobster. We also shared a very good Sicilian wine . My problem came with my main course, the Fish Stew. The mussels were tough and chewy, and the fish was also overcooked and almost falling apart. The broth itself was not hot, and the bread for sopping the juices was just not there. To dole out bread a piece at a time when you have a stew for dinner is just not a good thing. In terms of ambience, it was comfortable. While I found it noisy, the noise level served to essentially prohibit conversations from entering your space. In other words, my husband and I could talk comfortably with each other, and while we could hear each other we did not hear the couple sitting next to us. Ideal. I rated the value low because my dinner was not up to the high standard I had been led to expect from a Batali establishment. Our waiter was quite good--he checked frequently but didn't rush us. Will I go back? Probably not. $200 for an unsatisfactory meal just doesn't do it for me.
Posted by upstate visitor on 04/11/2006
Our first visit to Esca couldn't have been better; the decor is quiet and pleasant, a fitting background for the fantastic food. The crudo dishes were uniformly excellent and well presented...all perfectly chilled. The briny flavors of the two pastas we shared was complimented by the vegetables and it just got better with the secundi. Dessert was a trio of gelati highlighted by the pink peppercorn and this was followed by the best cup of expresso I've had outside of Italy. The service was pure poetry in motion, attentive and helpful but not intrusive in the least. A truly wonderful dining experience.
Posted by jps529 on 02/08/2006
I read the reviews after tonight's dinner. I'm surprised. I found the food to be excellent. I'm not sure what people expect. Esca is a fish oriented restaurant. The flavors are varied, but briny. We had mahi mahi, spearfish (crudo), split a pasta with clams (truly an elegant taste), and ended with wolffish and diver scallops. Don't want to sound too pedantic, but this is a complicated place. Be patient, ask questions and explore. You won't be sorry. Also, prices are not bad considering what is going on here. Have fun.
Posted by Brian Pasch on 02/03/2006
I ate at the restaurant last night 2-2-2006 and was underwhelmed. The interior was stark and clean, the service was attentive but not a bit cold and the food was good, not spectaucylar. My pasta dish was average and my apple tart dessert tasted like it was made the day before. The menu is heavily weighted with seafood oriented dishes so this is not a good place for a large crowd that may have none seafood and shellfish eaters.
Posted by disappointed on 02/02/2006
If they have 8 guys to open and pour a bottle of wine, how come they can't figure out that you might want bread at your table? The fish was good but not great; portions unnecessarily small. Uncomfortable seating; the kitchen was slow. The food doesn't match the fuss
Posted by Eddie Berardi on 09/17/2005
Unbelieveable Sturegon from Portland. I believe the quality was excellent. My first experience with American Crudo was delightful. Service was fine, atmosphere fine, cost was expected and no problem.
Posted by David on 08/09/2005
I went to Esca a few weeks ago with my entire family and could not have been more disappointed. From the moment we arrived we were treated rudely. Our waiter was obnoxious to our table and after appetizers I considered leaving, but regretfully decided to stay so we could at least have a delicious meal. Everyone's food was fine/good, but far from exceptional, and so very overpriced. We dropped $85 per person (and had no desserts or coffee).