Fifty Best New York Restaurants
  << >> Main
  Cuisine: Italian, Seafood  
  Location: Theatre District  

ESCA           Italian, Seafood

You've got to hand it to master chef, TV personality and entrepreneur Mario Batali, he keeps rolling out hit after hit in the gastronomic galaxy. With partner Joe Bastianich and chef David Pasternack, Batali has established Esca as another signature Italian restaurant/cafe, and has again found an opportunity to earn a gold star.

The menu emphasizes super-fresh homemade pastas like Spaghetti enhanced with fresh chiles, mint, and a one-pound Lobster, and seafood dishes from an herbal enhanced grilled and marinated Sardines appetizer to the Crudo (think Italian sashimi made from such sea creatures as razor clam), Alaskan King Salmon with sugar snap peas, or the Grilled Calamari with salsa verde-- specifically Italian but created with a flair that elevates to the highest of haute cuisine. The whole fish for two, baked in a sea-salt crust that's cracked at the table, makes for a performance suitable to the neighborhood.

With its patio allowing for folks to sit outdoors in warm weather, Esca has the touch of a rustic eatery in some Southern Italian town. The ambiance is quiet with the faint sound of everyday life adding to the authentic feel of the culinary experience. Perfectly matched wine list spotlights regional Italian favorites.

402 West 43rd Street at Ninth Avenue



  Cuisine: Greek, Seafood  
  Location: Midtown  


Greek cuisine offers a distinct and special experience for those with tastes that lean toward salt and sea. Though often overshadowed by the mainstays of Italian or French haute cuisine or such ethnic favorites as Chinese or Japanese, nobody makes more light, succulent seafood dishes than a Greek chef. And when it comes to discovering such cuisine in Manhattan, Milos is the perfect choice.

In a large airy space with tons of light and high curved ceilings, Milos offers the full range of classic Hellenic dishes with appetizers from the Milos Special-- thinly sliced, fried zucchini enhanced with a tangy dip of eggplant and fried saganaki cheese, to the main course of fresh fish, which varies daily.

Depending on the season, the weather, and the luck of the fishermen, Milos offers their fish either charcoal grilled or cooked in sea salt, with olive oil and lemon sauce, priced per pound. Besides whole fish, Milos offers another dish unique to Greek gastronomy: Lavraki and Petropsara soup-- A hearty traditional fish soup from the island of Cerigo. Take a quick voyage of Mediterranean flavors through a platter of spreads --Tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil), Tarama (fish roe, olive oil, lemon), Ktipiti (Holland peppers, feta cheese, olive oil), and Skordalia (almonds, garlic), served with eggplant croquettes and grape vine leaves.

The management prides itself on its special sources for ingredients-- from small family-owned fishing companies based in the Mediterranean, Morocco, Tunisia and Portugal to independent North American fishermen to organic farms that produce everything from their yogurt to honey (from bees fed on wild thyme flowers grown on Kythira, a small island in the Aegean Sea).

The ample wine list includes well-paired selections chosen to satisfy the oenophile.

125 West 55th Street      (212) 245-7400



  << >> Main