402 W. 43rd St., New York, NY, 10036
at Ninth Ave.
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.
By williambambam on 5/31/2010
Had lunch here and was not impressed. Our waiter must have forgotten he works in the "service" industry because when my mother in law found a bug in her water he didn't apologize and overall was condescending and had bad breath. The squid ink pasta was fantastic but the rest of the meal was forgettable if not bad. There are some strange portion issues as well that I have too much of a life to bother going into. In short, unaccommodating service with hit or miss food.
By texasmountaineer on 8/15/2009
Have been here few times and wanted to have special evening with friends when they were in Manhattan. We ordered tasting menus so I could brag about the wonderful food. Our dining experience started at 9pm and did not end till 1230pm. Our waiter left at 11, as his shift ws over and handed it over to another waiter who was not happy. Every tasting took forever...and may I add the food was not good this time. We even had to keep asking for drinks. Everytime I have gone here I have spent over $500. Never again! Bad Service. Bad Attitudes, Bad Food....don't watse your time or money.