We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Night Out”

Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar
Reserve with OpenTable
Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #24 of 160 Restaurants in Middletown
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed March 10, 2013

In planning a nice dinner out with some friends we hadn't seen in quite a while, we felt that Esca would be the place. One might say that Esca is one of the cornerstones in the downtown Middletown resurgent nightlife.
We had reservations and the table was waiting for us upon our arrival. Esca has three levels of dining and our was up on the second level. All the dining areas areas are open out to each other so there is really a pretty cool environment, this aren't three separate floors.
Wine list is very good, if you know your wines, its very easy to find a pairing to what ever dinner may suit your fancy.
We were all in a seafood mod, so there were 2 Chilean Sea Bass, a Lobster and Crab Fettuccine and a Seared Diver Scallops ordered. The sweet, rich fettuccine and crab paired wonderfully with the montepulciano. Those who had the sea bass chose a chardonnay and said it worked beautifully with their dinners. The gravy on the sea bass was so good we ordered a new round of their delicious bread to finish it off.
Service was great although, there was a slight delay in getting our meals, it wasn't an issue as we had plenty to catch up on with our friends. The staff was almost overly apologetic, stopping by and saying they were sorry at least three times. The restaurant was packed to the gills at 7PM on a Saturday night. We stayed at our seats for at least 3 hours and never felt as if we were being moved along or rushed, even with the high capacity crowd.
As mentioned in other reviews Esca is a little pricey, but not "oh my God, we just spent how much?". Our dinners were all between $25 and $28. If one can keep from drinking alcohol based drinks, one could probably save a bit...LOL Our bar tab was just about half the cost our total bill.
As one can see from my rating, definitely a "Five Star" deal in the burgeoning downtown of Middletown, CT.
We have been to Esca before and will most assuredly be back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (173)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

126 - 130 of 173 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

Esca is by far my favorite restaurant on Main Street in Middletown. The food is absolutely wonderful, the wine choices are plentiful and superb, and the service makes you want to tip wildly. Of course, it is NOT an inexpensive place - we go there for special occasions. But you won't go wrong spending an anniversary or birthday there.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank khadams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Clearly the Main St. area of Middletown could use a huge facelift - but ESCA is a diamond to find underneath the coal. We opted to visit this trendy tapas/wine bar just after opening on a Sunday on a day trip from our B & B in Ivoryton, and it was worth the drive. We were greeted pleasantly, and shown to a comfortable booth. Our preference for dessert wines was not met with a raised eyebrow (as can sometimes happen in a wine bar or snooty restaurant). We find typical wines too dry. Anyway, my ice wine was perfect and in fact was a 6-ounce pour instead of a typical 3-ounce, a nice surprise. My dining partner's port was an excellent example of that vintage. We had difficulty selecting our food as everything on the menu looked great- a tapas/small plates menu done well! I ended up with the tuna tartare (best I have ever eaten - the pistachios were a nice touch) and the fried bocconcini (smoked mozzarella seated on a roasted eggplant & red pepper puree) and hubby had the grilled chicken over salad and a small plate of meatballs. Every bite was delicious. The decor was upscale, and the service refreshingly spot-on. Too bad we live far away as we would become regulars if our residence was close by.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JennaV256
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Excellent food..Great wine selection. A little pricey but worth the expense for a night out. Would not recommend bringing young children

Thank Mollyj8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Must try the seafood sampler. It is a platter that is a meal for two or three! So delicious and fresh. In the fall they also do robusque soups in the Fall.

Hard to find a seat at the bar on weekends....but atmosphere and staff are top notch!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Hartfordgm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar also viewed

 

Been to Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing