All Reader Reviews of...
402 W. 43rd St., New York, NY, 10036
at Ninth Ave.
Came away hungry
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'.
Simple Exotic Seafood Does Not Get Any Better Than This.
By Bruno90210 on 12/1/2006
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.
the best show in the theater district!
By stellaparone on 3/19/2005
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.
Could have been a disaster
By dressage on 1/16/2005
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!
Fish! Fish!! Fish!!!
By rfl68 on 7/1/2004
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!
By tastebuds on 5/3/2004
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.
By WaiLing on 3/29/2004
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!
Best Italian Seafood
By knisar on 10/6/2003
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.
Best Of The Best
By RMK on 5/1/2003
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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