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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Esca in New York with Chef David Pasternack

I have been very lucky in my life to have been able to dine at some amazing establishments but this was the absolute most epic by far. I was in New York on business last week. It was my fist trip to the Big Apple. I'm not in love with the city but I'm in love with Esca. I will go back to NYC just for this restaurant. I was lucky enough to have met and spent some quality time with chef David Pasternack aka The Fish Whisperer. I have always considered myself pretty knowledgeable about sea food. Well I don’t know jack, so I found out. This guy is amazing and probably for me the most interesting person I have ever talked to. His passion is contagious for fishing as well as preparing fish. I have always compared my love for fishing as almost a sickness, that being said Chef Pasternack might be sicker than me and I love that. He actually asked little ol' me what I thought of his restaurant and really seemed to give a @#!*% about what I had to say. I'm going to post the pictures of what I ate that night and let them speak for themselves. I would love to be able to express in words how amazing this dinner was but every adjective I come up with doesn't seem to be big enough to make you understand. David's partners in Esca are Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, you may have heard of them. There is a statement from Anthony Bourdain on the back cover of his cook book. The cook book is a must read. In it he talks about where he gets his salmon, from Frank the Eskimo Man. The mystery man in some remote part of Alaska that David has to pay the guy by sending his checks to the local Laundromat 50 miles from Eskimo Man's house, he doesn’t even have a phone. This amazing fish comes from a place called the cooks inlet and is 150 miles from civilization. This evening with Chef P changed the way I look at seafood. I have cooked fish twice this week and both times it was really good. Most of the dishes I had at Esca where raw which is right up my alley. People how know me have heard me say the best way to ruin a good piece of fish is to cook it. I know that's not all true now but I still prefer it raw for the most part. I forgot to mention there was a wine pairing with each course and I think I left out about seven courses because it would have been way too many pictures. - Shannon

Fresh sea urchin

Local Porgy with olive oil from Calabria
Triggerfish ceviche
Sea urchin Crustini (aka biscuits and gravy)
Grilled local monkfish
Sorbet celery and lemon, sasafras and rubarb

Me with Chef David Pasternack in front of Esca NYC

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