Esca is a southern Italian trattoria in Manhattan’s Theater District, co-owned by Mario Batali.  It’s an upscale seafood spot that has been praised by New York Magazine as the BEST upscale seafood restaurant in New York.  Last night, I was fortunate enough to eat at Esca with two of my friends.  We had been walking in the Theatre District of Manhattan when we stumbled across it.  We hadn’t heard of it before, but it looked like a warm and inviting space with a nice outdoor seating area and that drew us in.

We ordered a bottle of wine to share.  There was quite an extensive wine selection and while I don’t personally know too much about different wines, my friends luckily did.  The waiter was also very helpful with providing suggestions based on what our wine preferences were.

Our meal began with an amuse bouche, compliments of the chef, which consisted of a white bean bruschetta and olives.

Our next course was a crudo.  We ordered the tasting selection, which included King fish, Razor head oyster, Salmon, Scallops, and two other fishes of the chef’s choice.  Every single piece was tasted fresh and was very well seasoned!

For our third course, we ordered Moscardino – grilled baby octopus with aged balsamic, mixed greens and roasted cippolini onions.  The octopus was very tender and between the three of us, we cleaned the plate!

Linguine with a medley of briny clams, hot red pepper and pancetta was the next thing that we ate.  We weren’t that hungry, so we only made one order of the linguine and the kitchen was gracious enough to split it into three dishes for us.  I was pleasantly surprised by how many clams each of us had on our plates!

We ended the meal with a plate of cookies that were also compliments of the chef!

Overall, I was very impressed by the quality of the food and service at Esca.  The waiters were so friendly, helpful, and attentive.  Everything I ate was delicious.  I couldn’t have asked for a better meal!

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