The name is Italian for "bait," and this restaurant, courtesy of partners Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and longtime chef David Pasternack, lures diners in with delectable raw preparations called crudo—such as tilefish with orange and Sardinian oil or pink snapper with a sprinkle of crunchy red clay salt—and hooks them with such entrées as whole, salt-crusted branzino, sea bass for two, or bucatini pasta with spicy baby octopus. The menu changes daily. Bastianich is in charge of the wine cellar, so you can expect an adventurous list of Italian bottles.
Aug 5, 2013
My husband and I travel a lot - everywhere, all over the world. So to say that this is our new favorite restaurant - anywhere - is saying something. It's not going to be cheap, but for a special occasion or a special vacation, spend the money. It is not every day you get food this great. Remember: you can split courses, and the whole fish entree could easily be split. That will take the price down a bit. We had the Spanish mackerel (the 1st course
encouraged is a Mediterranean crudo - 'sashimi'). I don't like raw fish but the flavors were amazing. The squid ink pasta was the best ever - and I am an aficionado. My husband and I ordered the whole bluefish... lots of fish here, bursting with flavor. One vegetable side is plenty. We were too full for dessert! This is a beautiful little restaurant with great outdoor seating in the summer. Perfect location for pre- or post- Off Broadway play dinner. Service is outstanding, knowledgeable, attentive but not fussy.
Mar 6, 2007
There are a lot of really good restaurants in NYC, ESCA is a fantastic place. Everything was excellent. Our waiter was great, attentive, and very helpful. Share an appetizer, entree, fish dish, etc, your experience will be great. The wine list is extensive and Italian, the staff will be happy to help you with this. Enjoy Esca, we did.