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“Great meal in nice, but casual atmosphere”

Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar
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Ranked #23 of 159 Restaurants in Middletown
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I eat all over the world (literally) and this was one of the best meals I've had in a long time ... I literally wanted to lick my plate :) I had a seabass with crispy risotto cake and thin crispy onion strips for garnish ... just yummy! The atmosphere is a good balance of "nice" but not stuffy. Good for a business meal, date, or a family meal I was a guest so didn't pay attention to prices. Based on my meal, I can't wait to go back. I should mention that I was first here for a group dinner in December and the meal was just ok but not memorable one way or the other .... guess this is typical for a large group dinner but I'm glad I didn't judge Esca based on this experience.

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Thank EdsGirlBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 - 125 of 171 reviews

Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

We arrived at 7 and didn't get served until 915! Waitress tried to blame on the large private party upstairs, but she wasn't serving them. So why did it take her over 30 mins to even acknowledge us? Ordering took forever, drinks took forever, first course took forever, dinner took forever and wasn't as ordered. And yet, the bill came quickly and included an 18% tip! No recompense offered at all.

This was not the first time this has happened to us at Esca. But it will be the last.

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Thank CarpeDiem0626
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013 via mobile

I have been there twice. Enjoyed seafood, Hendricks Gin, they can accommodate large groups and also have good wine.

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Thank Slowhand1527
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Thank khadams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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