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All Reader Reviews of...

Esca

402 W. 43rd St., New York, NY, 10036
at Ninth Ave.
212-564-7272

Avg. Rating

6
Food: 6
Service: 6
Décor: 7
"Mixed Reviews"

Average Reader Rating on a Scale of 10.

47% would go back.

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Simple Exotic Seafood Does Not Get Any Better Than This.

By Bruno90210 on 12/1/2006

  • Overall Rating: 9
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 9
  • Décor: 8
  • Yes, I would go back!

May be my most memorable two meals. The "crudo" flight was awesome. The finest oysters and unusual oceanic treats I have ever eaten. The essence of the sea. Listen closely to what the staff tells you about each item, because they are well educated and trained and have tasted it before you. The branzino baked in salt was executed to perfection...the texture, taste, moisture could not have been better. I have had this dish elsewhere many times, nothing came close. The pasta was perfection. Victor the bartender is extremely personable and knowledgeable. I just wish they had a place to wait for your table to be ready.

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407 out of 806 people found this review helpful.

the best show in the theater district!

By stellaparone on 3/19/2005

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 8
  • Service: 9
  • Décor: 8
  • Yes, I would go back!

if you are going to see anything on broadway, or if you just love seafood, this is THE spot. food is, of course, fantastic. service is unobtrusive and helpful. decor is shades of brown and relaxing. batali strikes gold again with this smooth-running spot.

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371 out of 748 people found this review helpful.

Could have been a disaster

By dressage on 1/16/2005

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 9
  • Yes, I would go back!

Hit a message loop and unable to confirm our reservation, so we lost our table. Jack was great and after a 20 minute wait we were seated. Assorted sushi appetizer was amazing and breen and porgie whole fish tasty and complimentary. Great "1/4 liter" wine. Decent dessert. Too noisy for business. Will be back and soon!

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394 out of 785 people found this review helpful.

Fish! Fish!! Fish!!!

By rfl68 on 7/1/2004

  • Overall Rating: 9
  • Food: 9
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 9
  • Yes, I would go back!

Massive wine collection, top service & excellent dinners. One issue though, I'm a Limoncello fanatic, & make it at home. Esca's Limoncello was is homemade, but theirs tasted & looked like Gallianno. It was too weak & not 'lemmony'. Some advice for Esca, let your infussion age a bit more and use grain instead of vodka. Old Italian trick my uncle from Calbria taught us. Salute!

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407 out of 793 people found this review helpful.

Great Seafood

By tastebuds on 5/3/2004

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Décor: 6
  • Yes, I would go back!

I'm writing this review because of the crackpot who gave it a "1." This person either had no taste or is working for the competition. Esca is a really good restaurant. Our scallop appetize was delicious, as was the salmon and strugeon. Although not in the same class as Le Bernadin, Esca is right up there and surpasses and seafood restaurant in the neighborhood.

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403 out of 851 people found this review helpful.

Great Dish

By WaiLing on 3/29/2004

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Décor: 8
  • Yes, I would go back!

I really enjoyed my first dinner at Esca. The portions were filling but not overly gargantuan as in typical American-Italian restuarants. I had a wonderful skate, although it was a tad saltier than I prefer. My mother had a melt-in-your-mouth tuna gnocchi. And leave room for desserts as they are unique but heavenly. Molto Bene!

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425 out of 828 people found this review helpful.

Best Italian Seafood

By knisar on 10/6/2003

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 8
  • Yes, I would go back!

Of all the places that I have enjoyed Italian seafood I must say that Esca is the best. There food is extremely flavorful and the flavors blend perfectly with the fish or shellfish that it has been paired with. Portions are filling but do not require a doggy bag. I strongly recommend their soups and the Spaghetti with mint, chile, and lobster. For the quality of food it is not too steeply priced.

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335 out of 680 people found this review helpful.

Best Of The Best

By RMK on 5/1/2003

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 9
  • Yes, I would go back!

Not only does David Pasternack's Esca have the BEST seafood in town, it is a top five restaurant in all of New York. The daily special offerings are so fresh and wonderful, you wish they could be on the menu all of the time until your next visit when new surprises delight you.

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332 out of 669 people found this review helpful.

Takes Seafood to Another Level

By AllTrue on 4/3/2003

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

The crudo appetizer (various types of raw seafood) sampler was unbelievable--six separate "courses"--all EXQUISITELY presented and flavored ending with a rare taste of sea urchin. Reservations are essential indoors or out but you can almost always get an early seat at the unique ice-filled raw bar where the greatest bartender dispenses volumes of knowledgable friendly chatter and perfectly matched wines as well as oysters. Be prepared: only two non-seafood items on the menu. Don't pass up the desserts! One sour note: the sommelier suggested our $100 bottle of wine and then opened it and served the first taste to someone he knew seated next to us. Both the food and atmosphere were so good, we soon got over it.

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365 out of 713 people found this review helpful.

Service, food & atmosphere abyssmal

By zeecee on 3/16/2003

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Food: 3
  • Service: 2
  • Décor: 2
  • No, I would not go back!

Three of us started off with delicious drinks (mine a blood orange cosmo), moved on to sharing a miniscule mackeral appetizer that said nothing, salad was okay, main courses were disappointing as the sea bass was tasteless, the fish stew just okay, the fritto misto overly salted (as was most everything) and the sauce bland. Country bread & foccaccio choices were both dry and bland, served without olive oil or butter.</br> Service was unpleasant, both in attitude and actuality. Plates were removed before we were done. It was difficult to understand the waiter and he was cold and offputting.</br> </br> Others who've been recently told us afterwards they'd had or heard of bad experiences at Esca recently. It was filled, seemingly mostly with tourists.</br> Ceilings are low and there's nothing warm or intriguing about the decor or feel of the place. This is not worthy of Batali...or of what it cost us.

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235 out of 485 people found this review helpful.

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