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Esca or Aquagrill

p
Paula Aug 15, 2001 05:12 PM

I am hoping some of you might be able to help me. Not a big problem, but coming into the City for dinner Friday night and made reservations for Esca. I got on the Citysearch website as well as a few others and got scared because of the very bad reviews Esca had. I thought it was a great sounding restaurant from Zagat, but anyway I went ahead and made reservations at Aquagrill just in case I chickened out of Esca. Any opinions???

  1. b
    bobA Aug 16, 2001 05:26 PM

    I love both of these places but I'd take advantage of your reservation at esca and be sure to get the grilled baby octopus appetizer!

    1. g
      gab Aug 16, 2001 05:25 PM

      I've been to both two or three times each. I prefer Aquagrill. I don't think Esca lives up to the hype. I only went back a second time because I thought that I came up short on my first visit and wanted to give it a second chance. The second experience was similar to the first. Not much to complain about, but overall not worthy of the rave reviews. I've loved Aquagrill, however, every time.

      1. f
        FattailS Aug 16, 2001 10:10 AM

        must admit i've never been to esca...but you can't go wrong at aquagrill, esp. if you enjoy rawbars -- they've got the best oysters i've had in the city.

        also, they've got a great lobster salad and the soups are always good.

        1. j
          jb Aug 16, 2001 09:23 AM

          Bad reviews for Esca? I'm surprised. I've been there three times and each times was amazed at what the chef does with fish.... not to mention this weird pastry thing filled with cheese that I've had as an appetizer twice. The room has a nice feel and the waiters were friendly but not too obtrusive... my only complaint might have been that the pastas are oversalted -- but don't go for the pasta. (And save room for dessert!)

          1. m
            mels Aug 16, 2001 08:18 AM

            Esca and Aquagrill are like apples and oranges, it's tough to compare two totally different restaurants. I must admit, I am biased. I love Aquagrill. The food is consistently good, as well as the service. I have been there numerous times and have yet to have any problems with my dish or the waitstaff.

            Esca on the other hand, I have only been to once. Although I enjoyed my meal there and had no complaints whatsoever, I as well have heard that Esca has been hit or miss these days.

            I recommend you try Esca at some point, but if you want the consistency, go to Aquagrill.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mels
              m
              Mark M Aug 16, 2001 09:40 AM

              First of all, I've always had very good meals at Esca. They have a great selection of exotic crudis (raw fish), nice fresh pastas and simply grilled whole fish entrees.

              Second of all, it should not be overlooked that a Friday nite ressie at Esca is no easy accomplishment - you are lucky.

              Lastly, IMO the "readers opinions" section of Citysearch should not deter you from trying Esca. "Anonymous" does not carry a lot of weight in my book. I find Citysearch most useful for addresses, hours of operation, cc's, pictures, etc.

              Hope you enjoy.

              1. re: Mark M
                g
                Gemma Aug 16, 2001 12:52 PM

                If you think about it, that is all you are reading on this message board is "readers opinion". It is always nice to hear opinions on different restaurants, but when it comes down to it, you must always try it yourself or you will never know. One man's nightmare meal could be my favourite.

                It doesn't matter if "Anonymous" signs off on an opinion or the President of the US, it is still just an opinion.

                1. re: Gemma
                  m
                  Mark M Aug 16, 2001 02:06 PM

                  I'm going to answer this over on "Not About Food."

              2. re: mels
                p
                Paulina Aug 18, 2001 09:48 AM

                I love the food at Aquagrill, but the last time I stopped in for a quick drink, I got some serious attitude. There is nothing which so quickly destroys my appetite, and my affection for a place, as rudeness.

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