402 W. 43rd St., New York, NY, 10036
at Ninth Ave.
By napper4 on 4/20/2009
This is my 5th time at Esca. All other times were excellent. Wanted to take my daughter and we were disappointed. Appetizers were wonderful. Gnocchi excellent. We were quite disappointed in our entrees. Snapper was bland and uneventful. Zuppa de Pesce had little fish in it ( a few clams, mussels and fish) and neither were worth the price. Since it was a lovely April evening, we chose to dine outdoors. Service was a bit scattered and not up to par. Table was rocky and the tree we sat near had a rodent trap which I faced throughout dinner and wish it had been covered. Not the same experience I had all the other times I had dined there and was disappointed that my daughter did not have the experience I had in the past.
By ni1 on 3/10/2009
While this restaurant has a very nice decor, and it offers a nice selection of dishes, well presented and good for the most part, the service provided by the waiting staff assigned to our table was very poor and not up to the standard I would have expected from this restaurant. For this reason I would not recommend it, and I would not return whether for pleasure or business.
By mtwsew on 11/2/2008
Had dinner at Esca. The food was very good but not worth the price. They give you an amuse bouche which is nice. Bread was slow in coming and not replenished. VERY small portions. A swordfish entree was 2 small pieces (1-1/2" cubes) over a bit of spinach. At $35 I would have expected the portion to be a bit larger. The Alaskan king crab pasta (that we split as an appetizer) had 2 miniscule pieces of crab. For $30 not worth it. There are other restaurants of the same quality that are less expensive and serve larger portions. Expect to leave dinner hungry. They do give you cookies with your check.
By LauraJ1019 on 10/23/2008
we were greeted by a hostess who asked "Do you have a reservation". We were told that before 8 none was needed. Having said that, we were escorted to a middle small square table surrounded by two others on each side of us with conversation going on that I could not even hear my husband. My water glass was filled with water and after looking into it, there was a fly in it. It was immediately taken away and was replaced. Our waiter never smiled and acted as if we were not ordering enough. We chose to just have the Zuppa de Pesce. Pasta is not that expensive so a side dish of it would have been great. The wine I had (two glasses 18) was not bad., the restaurant was so very over-priced and offered nothing in the line of manners, or food
By daniel718 on 10/1/2008
Took my mom to esca for her birthday. Started out with the Crudo Tasting which was amazing. The standouts were the geoduck (loved the marinated chiles) and the prawns (so sweet, and together with the sunflower oil was perfect). Shared the sea urchin and crabmeat spagetti. great flavors, kinda wished the dish was a bit warmer than it was (could have been the a/c). Also shared the branzino which again was cooked perfectly and tasted great. The cauliflower stewed with tomatoes and haricots verts with pine nuts as sides were ok. For 2 people I was really full. Our waiter was attentive and very friendly and patient. The only thing was it was really loud in there, my mom was basically screaming at me the whole night. Had 2 glasses of wine each and the pudding dessert (skip dessert, go to kyotofu or something instead) and it cost $300 including tip. A great meal, altogether. I would definately go back!
By traveller12 on 5/27/2008
The food network was filming in the kitchen this weekend when we arrived at Esca for the first time, for lunch. Our appetizer of grilled and marinated sardines, which we thought might be risky, was at first unexpectedly herbal, then took on a high sharp note of meatiness. Delicious! Being pregnant, I ordered only sparkling water rather than wine ($18 for my two glasses), and three slices of bread for our table appeared to set us back an additional $18. The morels with fava beans were woody and delicious. My fish stew, though utterly fresh, was not quite as flavorful as I'd have liked. The price of lunch for two, including two not-high-end half-carafes of wine for my husband, seemed a little unreasonable. We guestimated our bill at $105 and discovered it was closer to $160, so the prices aren't that clear. I'd eat there again for the inventiveness of the cuisine, but on basics like bread and water, the experience wasn't quite the right exchange of value for money.
By mky84 on 2/19/2008
The ambience is nice, the place is nice and quiet with faint mumbles of everyday chatter. The music in the background was from today's pop culture, such as Gnarls Barkley, etc. I had the yellowtail carpaccio, maccheroni alla chittara, the seared scallops with citrus, and ended with the lemon tart dessert. The carpaccio was fresh and had a great texture. The maccheroni alla chittara was superb and filling. It tasted freshly made, and had a great texture. The scallop dish was good; four scallops were served on a large plate, with slices of grapefruit, blood orange, other citrus. The lemon tart dessert was nothing special. The staff was excellent as the water glass never went half full, and crumbs were scraped at least 4 times in the meal so that the tablecloth was spotless. If I were to be picky, I wish the waitstaff would smile once in awhile. The prices are deceiving because the waitstaff expect you to order crudo, pasta, and secondi, so it ends up a little pricier than expected. I would recommend this restaurant to any seafood lover who is tired of seeing salmon and tilapia on a menu.
By trucks on 2/5/2008
This is a world classg restaurant. We were a party of 4 that ordered the 7 course Tasting Menu. Portions were small but by the time we walked out we were stuffed. Wife could not finish what we were served. Pricy at $250 a couple including tax, tip and wine but worth it for an occassion. Best grilled fish I have ever had. If you go insist on Bert as your waiter. He was fantantic.
By janetdoc on 7/5/2007
Service was fine, but the food itself created a characature of a fine restaurant. Pasta dishes came out cold, and with laughably small portions. How much does pasta cost these days? Pastas had to be returned for a reheat. The sardine appetizer for two came out with 6 lonely sardines on a huge plate, not a caper to be found. Tasty but not a chance at snagging a second bite once it went around the table. The fish in salt crust was presented to the table and then was parked on a side table for 15 minutes before it was served. Servers ran around everywhere yet still service was slow. We did not dare try dessert. Wines were wonderful however.
By margalatta on 6/23/2007
We were kindly greeted by a wonderful hostess and had great expectations with the friendly start we received. Kindness ended when we sat down at our table. Surly service as if we weren't ordering enough, followed by a waiter bumping a full waterglass out of my friends hand which crashed and broke on her plate. No apology was offered and the waiter walked away as we cleaned up the glass ourselves. We were treated as if we weren't worth the time at $95 a person. Bread is sparingly given with no oil, butter or spreads. Good food, smallish portions, everything seems to be a la carte down to the $11 house salad. Kingfish a little salty, but everyone else was happy with their dishes. Desserts were excellent. Sadly disappointed by treatment. Didn't find this to be a 'good value'.