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Esca

402 W 43rd St., New York City, NY 10036 (Manhattan)
(212) 564-7272
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Ranked #2,556 of 11,372 restaurants in New York City
Price range: $35 - $80
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Manhattan
Cross street: 9th Avenue
Transit: Subway to 42nd Street - Times Square
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342 reviews from our community

62% Recommend
    111
    102
    56
    39
    34
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Evansville, Indiana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

The hubs and I went to ESCA and opted for the tasting menu with wine pairings, plus a few added oysters. Every course was cooked (or uncooked in the case of the oysters and crudo) perfectly and tasted amazing. The wine pairings were also perfect! The courses were timed well, giving us time enough to eat and drink our wine... More

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Newburgh, Indiana
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

With Bastianich, Batali and Pasternack involved, we expected much more than was delivered. A business lunch at Esca last week was disappointing, to say the least. The location and wait staff were fine, but the food was just north of ordinary for a place with such high profile ownership that they are not shy to publicize. The fish soup certainly... More

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Yorktown Heights, New York
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

The owners and chefs should be ashamed and need to taste the food themselves before serving to the public. We had the worst lunch, embarrassing to have to eat Overcooked monkfish and skate that was so dried out we had to ask for lemons to squeeze over the fish. We ate half our portions and only because we were so... More

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Springfield, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

I had high hopes for Esca. We arrived for a 5:00 p.m. reservation on a rainy Saturday at 4:50 p.m. to find the door still locked, even to the anteroom. There were several other people standing in the cold rain waiting to be let in, in clear view of the staff who were standing and talking. Not a minute before... More

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Raleigh, NC
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

We went to Esca on March 16 because of Mario Batali's involvement and in hopes of having gluten-free options. We had reservations for 6:30 pm and were seated promptly. The wait staff was friendly and gluten knowledgeable. At that time they were already out of several fish choices so our choice for grilled fish were small unless we wanted to... More

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Bloomingdale, NJ
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

We found all of the food to be flavorful and fresh and the service to be excellent. But, this is what we had for $185: One glass of wine each, one salad, shared, Bronzino for two (baked in salt) and a side dish of brocolli. The waiter suggested we order the side dish because he didn't think we would have... More

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Westford
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

Esca was highly recommended, but our experience was very different than that of our friends. The hostess went out of her way to make sure we had a nice table, but our waiter was missing in action for most of the time we were there. I guess that gives you a pretty good idea about our experience. We had to... More

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Newark, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

The restaurant staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful. The complimentary appetizer of Italian bread with a white bean mix was very good. The dinner was just ok. I wasn't overly impressed except that they offered a whole fish if two people ordered the selection. It is a fish restaurant as noted by the name of the restaurant. The cheesecake for... More

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Bethesda, Maryland
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

An excellent spot for perfectly prepared seafood, from raw fish appetizers if all types, to perfectly cooked seafood. Skip the pasta, and don't even consider ordering the coffee. The waiter insisted on serving me a decaf Cafe Americano, basically an espresso with added hot water. It was truly horrible. I could not drink it. If they would just buy a... More

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Mountainside, New Jersey
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

Attentive service without being "in your face". From the coat check women to the chef, all were pleasant. 2 women sat at dinner for 2-1/2 hours and we were never rushed. Yes, we had a res. We shared a linguine and clams appetizer. Clams were very fresh. We also shared the Branzino which is how it is listed on the... More

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