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Posted by Linda B. on 01/31/2007
Dined at Esca January 29 with my best friend. We were only in NY for two days and wanted to dine some place special. Esca was it. Of course, you have to love seafood! We chose the tasting menu because the choices all sounded so delicious! Our waiter, Tim, was excellent. He made it a truly wonderful dining experience. We started with a bellini (a speciality drink of the house) and progressed with some really great white wines throught out the tasting meal..........we choose the cortina (which is about a glass and 1/2)....we were able to split that and move on to another. They started us off with two pieces of brushetta....delicious w/.white beans, olive oil and garlic!! The tasting menu was $75.00 p/p $125.00 with a wine pairing (which we opted to pass). Well worth every penny. They also had delicious Italian bread and homemade faccaia, along with some salty olives in extra virgin oil......what could be better. We finished our meals w/cappacinos and their wonderful dessert. Mine a pear tart with a biscuit and pecan crust, topped with a delicate vanilla/pear ice cream and the other a flourless chocolate cake with expresso ice cream. They also served us a small dish of assorted Italian cookies.......what a wonderful 2 1/2 hours. You will not be sorry if you try this restaurant.
Posted by anonymous on 01/31/2007
I had been wanting to eat at Esca for a while, and the place far exceed my expectations. Superb service, even during a busy lunch rush we were able to sit and enjoy our meal at a leisurely pace. The freshest and most wonderful Italian meal I have had outside of Italy. Knowledgeable, friendly staff, unique combinations of flavors and textures, extensive wine list. Next time it will be a dinner, and I am certain, a pleasure.
Posted by HoboBri on 01/22/2007
My girlfriend and I ate here on Saturday night to celebrate a special occasion. We were debating whether or not to try the place, because everything I had heard pointed towards an incredibly long wait without reservations. To our surprise, we were able to walk right in and sit down. Granted, we were seated in the front of the restaurant by the bar, but this did not bother us in the slightest as we were both extremely hungry. We opted for the $75 p/p tasting menu. All of the food was simply unlike anything we had ever tasted before. Everything was delicious from start to finish (6 courses plus a cheese course). The combination of flavors on each plate were extraordinary. The service was superb, with an attentive, informative and knowledgagble staff. And in terms of atmospehere, I especially liked the fact that the mood was much more relaxed than some of the other high-end NYC restaurants I have been to (helped, no doubt by the eclectic music selection). I would definitely recommend Esca to any fish/ seafood lover looking for something different - a true dining "experience" - for a special occasion. The price is a tad prohibitive, but I will undoubtedly be eating here again.
Posted by Dave on 01/04/2007
My wife and I have had a wonderful experience every time we’ve dined at Esca. The food and service are excellent. Our waiter last night made terrific wine and food recommendations. I especially loved the crudo and the mackerel entrée. Esca is one of the best choices near the theater district. We’ll definitely be back!
Posted by tpicco on 12/21/2006
Esca is not a typical venue for me and my wife, but a vendor to her company wanted to treat us for a holiday dinner and since he was paying we let him choose. Is it pricey? Well. yes... but everything we had was completely delicious. Portions are small because this isn't a "stuff-your-face" kind of place. These are the food offerings of a food artist. Nothing I had tonight tasted like anything else I have ever eaten, but everything was interesting and delicious. That was, for me, the joy and delight of the restaurant: unusual but excellent combinations of flavors. If I wanted a good but typical run-of-the-mill meal at average prices, there are many reasonibly priced places all throughout the neighborhood with good food. It is, after all, the theater district, and Restaurant Row is only three blocks away. Although it is probably not a place I would eat at regularly if I could afford to, I would visit it several times a year for a change of pace and for unexpected delights. And I would like to add, the staff was remarkably attentive, and though we sat around talking for a good 45 minutes after we finished, and the place was pretty busy, at no point did we feel the least bit rushed. The only warning I might offer is, if you do not like fish, do not go here. 99% of the menu is fish in dozens of different styles & tastes.
Posted by Peter on 11/13/2006
I must be a country bumpkin. i went to Esca on the recommendation of a chef/friend. We had the tasting menu at $75/person and it was one of the best meals i have ever had. The service was attentive and friendly without being obsequious. I went on line to send some info about the place to a friend who also appreciates good food and saw nothing but negatives. It is hard for me to relate to others' experiences since when my wife joined me in New Hampshire a couple of days later from California, i tried to persuade her to take another couple of days off so we could go to New York and eat there.
Posted by Robert on 09/18/2006
I tried to give this place a chance after several people in my office suggested I go there when my parents were in town. The service was great and very attentive. However, I felt that the food was way overpriced for what you got. I had the crab and pasta. It was bascially butter noodles with a little bit of crab. Not worth the 17 or so dollars they charged me. As a restaurant designer I have been to numerous places in the city. I think as a Mario spot this place is not worth it. I think Babbo or Otto are much better choices...