ESCA, Italian for "bait," the stuff of temptation
and enticement, is a southern Italian trattoria devoted to celebrating
the fruits of the sea.
Created by James Beard award-winning chef Dave Pasternack, Mario Batali
and Joe Bastianich in October 2000, ESCA is revered for its less-is-more
approach, for its elegant simplicity. In his 3-star New York Times canonization
of ESCA as the ultimate Italian seafood destination in New York, Frank
Bruni coined Dave as "an honest-to-God fisherman, in love with the ocean,
and ESCA is his ongoing ode to it."
Dave's distinctive crudo dishes are emblematic of ESCA's food. The
freshest, most pristine fish is carefully chosen, expertly sliced, and
dressed with one of at least a dozen different extra virgin olive oils
from all over the Boot and sprinkled with any one of ten different sea
salts, depending on the flavor of each specific piscatorial divinity.
One bite of tilefish with Sardinian oil, for example, will transport
you both to the sea in the Gulf of Mexico and the land in Olbia. Dining
at ESCA centers on the best ingredients combined with thoughtful consideration.
The varied Italian wine list, composed with value in mind, pairs brilliantly
with both the esoteric and the sublimely intuitive.
ESCA's intimate and elegant dining room is superb for any occasion
and the outdoor patio offers a lovely, quiet experience amidst the hustle
and bustle of New York City's theatre district. Your meal will be, as
Mario says, in the "hands of Zen Master Fisherman Extraordinaire, Chef