Went on Saturday night and had a nice meal. It wasn't what I expected exactly. The food seemed overpriced for what it is (and the appetizer portions were laughable, esp. my father's sarde plate)
We had grilled octopus over frisee and white bean salad. It was very tender, melt-in-your-mouth. Sardines were just OK, but what we really liked was the baccala/potato/chanterelle napoleon. It was stellar and probably one of our favorites of the night. Main course was homemade spaghetti in a tomato/blue crab claw sauce: didn't like this dish. Way too sweet, no complexity whatsoever and the pasta a bit clumpy and chewy (not in a good way)
My mom's linguini in a spicy sauce w/ 1lb lobster was too die for, however. The sauce light and spicy and very tender, succelent lobster. Also, tried whole branzino (very mediocre and after they filleted it, there was barely any meat left) and fried red snapper (very boring).
Service was friendly, but there were too many people howering over our table at all times (waiter, busboys, others?) Sometimes we felt it was a bit much, but better that than no service at all :-)
We paid about $80/person with one bottle of wine and one bottle prosecco.
I thought it was too expensive for what it was. Babbo is a better bargain for the money (and the food is better, too)
So, I probably would not go back to Esca. Some things they do really well, but there are too many "misses" for my taste.
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