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Oct 17, 2010 04:16 AM

Esca, almost didn't go

There have been such mixed reviews but we decided to try it.
No reservation,just walked in.
The Place was packed, but they were so gracious and offered to serve Dinner at the Bar.
We ordered the Razorback Clams from the Raw Bar.
So fresh and tasty.
Grilled Calamari, and Oysters. Both excellent
Me House made Squid Ink Pasta with Cuttlerfish Scallions and Chili Pepper.
First time I encountered this dish was in Palermo, and we went back to the Restaurant again for the same dish.
Every time I have ordered it since at Home it had a slightly bitter aftertaste.
This dish was perfect.
But the outstanding dish was the
Monkfish Liver with Concord Grapes.
It was memorable.
Tasted like Fois Gras, but ever creamier.
When I come to N.Y. my food porn is per se's Oysters and Pearls.
I can now add Escas Monkfish Liver to the list.
Never got to the Mains..
next time possibly.
Shared a Marscapone Cheesecake for Dessert also very good.
We left very happy.

402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

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  1. Nice. Big fan of the bar. Esca is one of my goto places.

    For what it's worth, more than a few regulars queue up just before the doors open for dinner (sans reservation). Sounds like you cracked the code.

    402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

    1 Reply
    1. re: steve h.

      The Bartender, great Guy knew all of the others at the Bar, even sharing Dessert with one.
      So they were "regulars" for sure.
      I don't know if they take reservations at the Bar because it is so small, but next trip we are going to try.

    2. does anybody know if the mascarpone cheesecake is anything like the one Babbo use to have?

      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

      1. Earlier this week, Razorback Clams and Monkfish Liver were antipasto specials at Il Pesce in Eataly. Il Pesce is run by the Esca chef and I was impressed with both items I tried. One was the monkfish liver -- a generous portion served on a bed of celery root and apple with dabs of apple jam on the plate. It was delicious play of texture from the celery and sweetness from tiny cubes of apple bringing some lightness and drawing out the foie-like flavors of the liver.

        The chef was there doing prep. He was friendly and welcoming. The specials will change according to exactly what they get in that day, but it's another way to get some of the Esca offerings without going for a full blown dinner. (Though my tastes at Il Pesce make me want to dine at Esca one day.) I realize Eataly might become very crowded on weekends, but there was no wait and not particularly crowded at 11 a.m. on a weekday.

        402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010