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Aug 15, 2006 04:38 PM

Upscale Seafood Restaurant?

My parents are coming to NYC to celebrate their 30th anniversary and want to take a large crowd (maybe 8-10) people out for seafood. They are looking at Esca, Aquagrill, maybe Estiatorio Milos? Any thoughts on these places or other recommendations? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Aside from the out-of-the-way location Esca is one of my favorite seafood places in the city and can easily accommodate a large party given ample lead time. I crave their seafood pasta (neri) and the whole fish is also an excellent choice (branzino). Also memorable is the squid ink pasta, sea urchin and vongole appetizer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowcito

      Out of the way is all in how you define it. I, for one, would not refer to Esca that way.



    2. acquagrill is a fave of mine, but it may be tight for a group that big - i know they have a couple of round tables, but 10 may be pushing it. then again, when i'm there, i'm in such a food coma that i could be wrong.

      don't laugh, but you may want to look into (gasp) something like Blue Water Grill. Not exactly high on the upscale meter, but they are set up for big groups like this.

      1. While I like Blue Water Grill, I definitely do not think it is special enough for this occasion. And my one experience at Esca was too disappointing for me to recommend it. (I've not been to Aquagrill or Milos.)

        You might want to consider Oceana, which has always been one of the best upscale fish restaurants in the city. It's been several years since we were there. At that time, our dinner (when Rick Moonen was still in charge of the kitchen) was stellar in every respect. I've recently read on another food forum glowing reports about the cuisine Chef Cornelius Gallagher is currently creating. It's a very handsome restaurant with a celebratory feel. And, if would you prefer a private space, you could look into using their wine cellar room (photos on their website).

        Best wishes to your parents on their 30th anniversary and Bon Appetit!

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          I think Oceana is a great rec (they have a private wine cellar room too -- ), but let me throw a few alternative ideas out there:

          The seafood tasting menu at 11 Mad Park. Gives people the option to not have seafood. 2 private rooms, smaller one fits 18.

          Aquavit. People have mentioned downhill a bit and the buzz has certainly died down, but still has one of NY's really good high-end experience dining. An 'ethnic' option. Particularly notable during herring season, or now during its Crawfish-fest.

          Lure Fishbar. Apparently much better than before the fire. The sushi chef in particular is notable. This place also strikes a good balance between dressy and informal. Has a private room that fits up to 30.

          Edit: Ooops. RGR already noted the private cellar room.

        2. I am a huge fan of the seafood at Fresh. It does not have quite the clout as Esca, but for *excellent* seafood in a clean, new atmosphere I would consider it.

          1. If you want *really upscale*, Le Bernardin ( ) qualifies as a seafood restaurant.