402 W. 43rd St., New York, NY, 10036
at Ninth Ave.
By Britishfoodie on 3/19/2012
overpriced and overrated. The food was well presented but incredibly bland to the point of being tasteless. I had the fish stew which tasted overwhelmingly of tomato puree and not much else. The staff were pleasant but appeared stressed and out of their depth. Maybe I went on a bad night but I won't be returning.
By MrCalabash on 3/12/2012
I am so utterly disappointed in Esca, not due to the food but the manager or whoever it was that addressed my friends and I. This guy was so condescending and the worst thing you can be is that, especially to a paying customer. After reading great and not so great comments I decided to have a dinner meeting with two friends at Esca. Got there early and was so impressed by the early seating. When my first party arrived we decided to order only to be told there is a minimum order (YES, a minimum). Don't plan on eating there if you want to have a light meal. Nevertheless we asked for one of the appetizers to be doubled but was misunderstood by the waitress who then proceeded to call the manager (for what - IDK). The manager came over and started to speak very condescendingly to my friend and I telling us if we can't afford to meet the minimum there are other paces we can go to. Note: at no time did we ever say we didn't want to or couldn't order the minimum. I have never felt so horrible in a restaurant. Mario Batali needs to train his people in communications.
By fastfashionny on 1/1/2012
I was so utterly disappointed by the meal at Esca. From start to finish everything had a RIDICULOUSLY large amount of salt, it was literally chewing plates full of salt. Pasta dish were crunchy and raw, not at all "al dente", that quality is absolutely unacceptable when you spend several hundred dollars per person. Being a Mario Batali fan, I was so saddened by this whole experience, an avid follower of all of his restaurants in New York City, this had to be one of the worst meals I have ever had in my whole life and I couldn't believe how expensive everything was considering the quality! On the upside, the raw bar was excellent, as well as the service, but Mario Batali, should be ashamed to be associated with this calibre of food. I am not one to ever complain, being in the same industry as well, but I was absolutely compelled to share with everyone just how disappointing this meal was. All these negative reviews on Yelp and New York Magazine are really true, save your money, go somewhere else, trust me, you're not missing anything. I can't believe this place is still so busy and critics are giving it high ratings, there has to be some politics involved, or they're clearly not eating a single dish that I had from my tasting menu.
By Carl12 on 12/2/2011
Not going back and if u want to come and eat here I would think twice ..this place is awful ......
By Carl12 on 12/2/2011
I dont recoment this place at all, i had a reservation at 8 for 2 and I got sit 45 min later , + the place looks dirty and messy, bread was cold and wine was hot....it was a wasted of money I'm not going back to this place !!!!!!!!!!
By o2bme on 10/2/2011
This was my first time at one of Batali's restaurants and I was really looking forward to a good experience. There was nothing good about the experience other than getting out of there. The food was TERRIBLE!!! The Cavatelli pasta with MA Bay scallops had 2 tiny scallops and the pasta was not al dente, it was not cooked and the chef dumped salt into the dish. The salad was bland and seemed like some greens were taken out of a bag, the cold seafood sampler fish did not seem fresh and was tasteless. The striped bass was easy but the side of mushrooms and some other vegetable was so salty it could not be eaten. On top of this - the waiter offered us still water and pureed it from a bottle, using about 1/2 the bottle. He later came back and said would you like more water even though our glasses still had some water. He came back with a full carafe type bottle and filled our glasses after we had finished our meals. When the check came - they tried to charge us $6 each for two bottle of water. Never, ever again will I go to Esca and will go out of my way to tell people to steer clear unless you want to pay $140 for food that is barely edible. What a shame and a sham.
By Itl on 2/25/2011
Unfortunately I ordered the wrong dish; the fritto misto. When I opened up the shrimp they smelled like Amonia. I was told that they are wild shrimp and have iodine. When I left the restaurant I felt sick and threw up. I called and spoke to the manager of the restaurant who was unsympathetic and unwilling to look into their food. Other people sat across from us also left the shrimp on the plate. I usually never complain, I don't want other people to get sick. Stay clear. Prefer Babbo or Casa Mono at least I don't get sick or throw up for that kind of money.
By missoverrated on 8/18/2010
My friend took me here for my birthday the other day. I was going to wait for her at the bar, but the bar was SO SMALL! I've never seen a bar that fits only 4 ppl, and it wasn't even a real bar it was more like people eat there if there is no where else to sit. We started off with the Crudo "sashimi" diver scallops, which were really fresh and delicious. Then we shared the linguine with clams- this was way too salty! i dont know if it was the pancetta, or the clam's borough in the sea water, but it was full of salt and the linguine was hard. Don't get me wrong, i love my pasta al dente but that was just half cooked. NEVER get the vongole!! Then we shared the black seabass fillet which was really yum. it was nice that they filet it for you on the side, that was interesting. Overall, service was really good- we even had a Clark Kent look alike as our waiter. The seafood was really fresh, but i don't think i'll go back or recommend it.
By scottpsolomon on 7/18/2010
Esca is a very great restaurant because the chef/owner David Pasternack is really super-talented and almost always in the kitchen. I've probably eaten here over 250 times in the last 7 years or so. The manager, Marina Goerner, is my favorite restaurant manager in NYC, and ALWAYS ask her what to order on any given visit because she has impeccable taste and will tell you if something is in that day that is really over-the-top outstanding. Favorite dishes for me are Yukon and Copper River salmon with figs during salmon season, Portuguese branzino crudo, shrimp crudo with their roe (when in season), grilled soft-shell crabs with sorrel, buratta cheese with spoonbil caviar, and many many more.
By LizNY on 7/18/2010
Dave Pasternack's passion for seafood shines through simple, yet elegant dish preparation at Esca. The crudo tasting is always delicious...would like a few gallons of whatever olive oils they use for my own kitchen. Favorite dishes: red ruby shrimp (when in season), crudo tasting, burrata cheese with caviar. Not as big a fan of the entrees, actually. Contrary to other reviews, service has always been excellent when I've dined at Esca, and if you go for a drink at the bar, you will meet an endearing bartender and usually an eclectic new friend or two.