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Posted by Lorrie Stuart on 01/09/2008
My lunch guest, a former New Yorker who returns often to the city, was very excited to be going to Esca, which recently received great reviews in New York Magazine's "Eating Out" issue. I still can't figure out where all the raves come from. Our squid appetizer, stuffed with fregola and with a very nice sauce (sun-dried tomatoes, a little hint of chili) was very nice, but one smallish squid seemed a little chintzy at the price. The real problem was the fritto misto: not particularly light, not particularly flavorful, and there was no sign of the advertised crispy skate moroever, and the green aioli sauce that accompanied the dish had no discernible taste at all. The service, however, was excellent: our waiter was welcoming and enthusiastic throughout the meal. The atmosphere is pleasant, although not spectacular.
Posted by Ricky on 01/03/2008
We had an overall lovely experience at Esca while my mother was in town visiting. Thankfully, all of us are seafood lovers and quite adventurous with raw seafood. I'd suggest it if you love seafood, but don't go if you don't. appreciate it. The ricotta gnocchi was GREAT too!
Posted by Anonymous on 12/31/2007
We had an exquisite meal at Esca last night. The pasta with chili, scallion, and cuttlefish is to die for. The fish was also wonderful -- perfectly fresh and prepared expertly and simply. I would say that the non-crudo appetizers were a weak point -- they lacked the flavor of the other items we had, so I would stick with crudo and pasta to start. And don't miss the desserts, which were first-rate. I had read negative reviews on this site and was a little concerned about going here, but I absolutely disagree with most of the criticism leveled at Esca -- it is a wonderful place.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/24/2007
My wife and I ate here after the theater the other night and had a wonderful meal. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the branzino but the entrees we had were excellent. After the crudo tasting, an entree, and a couple of contornos we forced ourselves to have a couple of desserts. I'm glad we did. They were great. I don't understand how people can complain about the portion sizes or the service. We left stuffed and the waitstaff was incredibly friendly and attentive. There were a lot of young people dining there. Maybe some of Esca's customers have never eaten in anything nicer than an Applebees and are just uncomfortable. Who knows?
Posted by foodie girl on 11/18/2007
just got home and had to share a wonderful experience. for a new york restaurant staff is very friendly and great service. the food is wonderful. i even overheard tables next to mine how great the meal was. the wait staff could not be nicer or on the ball. never a crumb on the table. loved my swordfish it was the best i have ever had. i would definately go back. it is a little pricey though.
Posted by Anonymous on 10/12/2007
Was a little hesitant about going here after reading the reviews but I must have been in a different restaurant. The service was wonderful - helpful, pleasant, timely. The food was excellent and certainly not small portions. We couldn't finish our shared pasta - it was so rich and delicious - but after the very ample appetizers...... Little room for the main course, the branzino for two - very good - and a good contrast to the very rich dishes that came before. No room for dessert, but the little cookies that appeared on the table were great. And the coffee was terrific too. We will be back.
Posted by can live without mario on 09/08/2007
although every Mario establishment has very good food. he trains his people to make you feel that they are doing you a favor to eat there. there are enough great places to in NYC that his condescending attitude shouldnt be tolerated.