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Posted by FreqVisitor on 12/06/2004
First off, the good. Service was very good, in that it was timely and efficient. And, we liked the atmosphere... But, I thought the whole experience to be too fussy. I am used to fine dining (I love Jean George, and per se) but this place was pretentious just to be pretentious. "Sir, we recommend that you order either a hot or cold appetizer, a salad, a pasta to share and...." I know how to order off of a menu! The chef would like you to have this amuse of white bean and smoked eel (I kid you not) bruschetta. The food tasted oily and just so-so fresh. Much better places than this to drop a bundle.
Posted by Walter on 11/02/2004
I was supposed to meet a business contact here for lunch, but he never showed up. The restaurant was gracious about it - in New York this is rare, so I was relieved. I actually ate at a taco joint just up the street and had a delicious canolli at Pozzo Bakery on 9th Ave between 45 and 46th street afterwards.
Posted by Patricia Dailey on 09/22/2004
The food is simply amazing. The menu changes every day, ensuring quite a catch. A day with calamari is sublime. The portions are generous and the wine list is for the conaisseur of Italian wines--and not outrageously priced. It is indeed expensive (for those who really want to indulge: the many course tasting menu with wines included comes to about $120 per person), but for very very fine food, it's what you'd expect! The service is impeccable (although personalities of waiters may vary), and you can actually have a relaxed conversation with friends without having to raise your voice. It has a California atmosphere in NY--tables are not too scrunched up together, understated decor. Not too excited about the "raw" part of the menu, but the truly Italian parts deliver what they promise: authentic Italian food like you rarely find outside of Italy, with the exception of restaurants like Lupa and Babbo....
Posted by anonymous on 01/23/2004
We went Esca expecting to have a nice quiet dinner. That was the first mistake. First of all, we were finally seated over 45 minutes after our reservation and we arrived on time. Then, after we were seated on the veranda, someone began pouring water onto guests from the balcony above. Soon after, my date was burned by a cigarette that was thrown from the balcony as well. The staff was less than helpful in fixing this problem as it continued throughout dinner. If you dine at Esca, ask to be seated indoors and make sure to bring lots of cash.
Posted by Joe Bonafide on 11/09/2003
I went ot Esca's with my wife and another couple. We found the place nice but nothing too fancy. We ordered a bottle of wine and two appetizers. The wine was moderately priced and the appetizers were very over priced. We ordered Crab Ravioli cost $25.00 and homemade pasta cost $22.50. There were six raviolis on the plate. They were not very big either. The pasta plate was enough to share one spoonful for each person. We continued dinner with another bottle of wine and the entree's came out. I ordered Black Bass and the portions were so small that I needed to get something to eat on the way home. All the portions served to us that night were small. All told the bill came out $300.00 and we mentioned to the waiter about the portions, all he said was he was sorry. Not as sorry as we were. Warning, if you go to Esca's, eat something before you get there. Don't forget to bring alot of money with you.
Posted by Elena on 08/31/2003
If you like fish, this is the place to go! This restaurant serves southern Italian cuisine, and their specialty is beautiful fish in every style, including crudi (raw fish, Italian style). There is garden seating available, which I highly recommend; the interior has absolutely no ambiance and is very small. Prices are moderate: average main course $28. There is an extensive wine list, and every kind of fish imaginable is prepared here. This is truly the best fish I have ever eaten--tender, flavorful and cooked in an elegant oil. I recommend you stick with their wonderful fish, and skip the side dishes and dessert, which were not so exceptional. The service was good, but not excellent; however, the waiter was initially huffy with me when my guest was only 5 minutes late, threatening to make me move! Although the atmosphere was lacking, I could definitely recommend a trip to Esca for the fish alone!
Posted by Christina from the STL on 08/25/2003
This was absolutely the best restuarant I have ever been to. The food and the service were excellent. Not to mention our waiter was HOT! My girls and I were in NYC for 4th of July and had a wonderful time at this restaurant. If you love seafood then this is the place for you. It is expensive but worth every penny.