'Cesca

4.2
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3312 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasions
  • Neighbourhood Gem
An original pioneer of the casual upscale dining scene on the Upper West Side since 2003, Cesca is proud to offer you the best culinary experience featuring contemporary farm-to-table Italian-American cuisine that explodes with flavor and freshness. Housemade pastas, poultry, steaks, seafood, wood-burning oven, artisanal cocktails and an Award Winning wine-list, all complementing this upscale cosmopolitan establishment.

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Sun 11:30AM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:30PM 4:30PM - 5:30PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM
Mon - Tue 4:30PM - 5:30PM 8:30PM - 10:00PM
Wed - Fri 4:30PM - 5:30PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Sat 11:30AM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 3:30PM 4:30PM - 5:30PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM

What 3312 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
Food
4.2
Service
4.3
Ambience
3.9
Value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

Walked in for a table - which were plentiful- and had seen availability on Open table but since we were right there did not book. When we asked for a table we were told ‘nothing available’. I asked it’s available on open table should I book that? Long story short we booked it and then they sat us. Meanwhile thought the meal there were plenty of open tables.
On top of that for 4 people the bill was $300. 2 of us shared an entree and each only had 1 drink seemed very overpriced and we dine out a lot. Ultimately would not recommend and we live in the neighborhood!

S
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious food, beautifully prepared...and quieter than most places.

AH
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great neighborhood restaurant

OT
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

Room is pretty. Staff a little intrusive. Food bad, bad. Four people had dinners they felt lifeless, on the cold side and tasteless. The ice cream was crystallized as if it had defrosted and was refrozen. Not a bad Place for a drink. Go somewhere else for dinner. $220 for 4 plates of unappealing pasta, two glasses of wine and inedible ice cream. Before the tip.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 2

I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant because the food is hit or miss depending on what you order. The food at brunch is expensive for the same egg sandwich you could get at a diner. Service at dinner was rude and ruined a special evening. Maybe the service is like the food, depends on who you get.

AM
New York Area
196 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

The first. courses were a disappointment. The so-called Sardinian salad had nothing Sardinian about it; it was just a tomato-cucumber-onion salad with a piece of toasted bread that was definitely not Sardinian. The fritto misto was pretty much calamari with too much batter. Main courses were much better. The pasta amatriciana was good, with plenty of sauce, and the halibut on minced vegetables with a pleasant sauce was excellent.

a
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I went for a good Mew York meal. The food was excellent, the ambiance was nice and the service was just right.

BG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Wait staff was attentive and knowledgeable. The menu offered a good variety of choices and there were 2 tasting menus.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Went on a Friday, “pre-theater”, snuck out of work a bit early for reservations at 5:15. Received a wonderful greeting and seated promptly. Ordered a spicy margarita while determining what to order as far as food (very good, not too sweet with a nice amount of heat with several thin slices of jalapeños). We ordered a bottle of wine and decided on an appetizer of Polipo (delicious, highly recommend. Forgot to take a pic ), I had a main course of halibut while the wife had the linguine alla vongole (both good), and a slice of the Queen of Nuts cake (fantastic, do not pass on it). The service was warm, attentive, efficient, and friendly without being chatty. Water glasses were always filled and plates were quickly removed when finished but not rushed.

NY
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We were a large party with a 9pm reservation for dinner after a book event for a well-known author. Because of enthusiastic audience members who wanted to talk with the author, the event ran over, and half our party--including the guest of honor--did not arrive at the restaurant until 9:45pm. The kitchen at 'Cesca closes at 10pm, but everyone--the kitchen staff, the wait staff, the hosts--everyone made us feel very welcome and not at all rushed. Their hospitality saved what could have been an embarrassing occasion. The food was, as usual, carefully prepared and delicious. I remain very grateful for the kindness and hospitality of everyone at 'Cesca. Grazie mille!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 11 September 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 4

Instead of sticking to my original plan of having 3 appetisers I decided to have the tasting menu which was only 3 courses so not what I would view as a tasting menu. The first and third courses were fine but the main course was basically a huge piece of meat - far too large for one person.

E
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 10 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful as always.

GG
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on 9 September 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

'Cesca has been a longtime favorite Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side. While the food continues to be good, in general, they have scaled back their menu options too much, so not enough variation, and their dishes seem less ambitious, with less generous ingredients than in the past, so they are less interesting. They also removed my favorite item from the menu, the grilled veal chop, which was stellar. I even wrote to them to request that they bring it back, but so far, no. Our waiter was not well informed about the menu and not well trained, although was very well intentioned. The restaurant is eerily empty now, while it used to be quite lively. Not sure why the scale back on everything -- but maybe the menu scale back has discouraged people? I will definitely eat here again, but really wish they would kick it back up a few notches.

k
New York Area
41 reviews
Dined on 9 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

lovely birthday cel;ebrartion .7 of us .great service , fine food

OT
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 2

Horrible service. Food was ok. I could go on about how they didn't offer us wine, how they basically dumped the food on our table...only because we were going to a show following, but we were done an hour beforehand b/c they didn't pay us one iota of attention.

AG
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We were seeing a show at the Beacon and chose 'Cesca because of its proximity to the theatre (less than a block away). The food was so fresh, creative and delicious that we all raved about what a great find this restaurant was. The service was terrific - very attentive, but not annoying. The specialty cocktails and wines by the glass were varied which was wonderful as our group all ordered different types of wines/drinks - so ordering a bottle can be cumbersome. The setting was crisp and vibrant. I can't wait to go back and not have a show to catch - so that we can have the opportunity to enjoy all that 'Cesca has to offer (inviting ambiance, great food, awesome staff, varied cocktails, etc.) Wonderful dining experience. Highly recommend!

g
New York Area
182 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 2

Disappointing. In the past, Cesca was quite good even on an off-night. We had not visited in a while, however, and were saddened by the changes. Our server was unfriendly, and our omelets were small and strangely dry. It is difficult to describe the unfortunate changes to the room itself, except to say that it must represent an attempt at redecorating. Everything was different about Cesca except the name -- and it might be best to change that as well, so that neighborhood customers do not arrive with Cesca's previous high standards in mind.

LB
New York Area
76 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

First visit and we will definitely be back. The dinner began with our very professional and very patient server. He went out of his way to help us get exactly what we wanted.
The food was creative and well prepared. Beyond ample portions. The vegetables were amazing and could make a meal on their own. We were helped to choose a wine and not pushed to spend more on a bottle. For some reason our waiter brought us a second dessert “on the house” which was a special treat. Highly recommend giving ‘Cesca a try.

KE
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing as usual. The food is farm fresh and inventively prepared.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

Mediocrity! Uninspiring dishes! Slow service

DA
New York Area
36 reviews
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love this restaurant. Great food, portions and staff. We even got to see Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeida Jones dining there.

SB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 21 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent!

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JH
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on 21 August 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

We went before a concert at the Beacon and the experiences was excellent - great location, huge portions of food (go for the Chef's tasting menu), very attentive and professional staff.

E
New York Area
124 reviews
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Everything was wonderful as always. Staff is pretty friendly and good, Our waiter gave us dessert which was amazing. We love this place, it’s our go to to meet our family every couple of months

ML
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food is always wonderful and the service is great. Birthdays are always fun at Cesca. The whole bronzino is always a good choice and the appetizers are delightful.

IM
1 review
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 1Food 2Service 1Ambience 1

I was really disappointed with my dinner earlier this week. The restaurant was incredibly noisy, service was lousy, food portions were small and overpriced, and the whole dinner was a letdown.

BW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 2

Very noisy; slow service; avoid on nights with concerts at the nearby Beacon Theater

B
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Best in the area, especially if looking for a nice dinner before a show at the Beacon. Great menu, fantastic service.

FM
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My wife and I were celebrating our Anniversary. Everything was outstanding.

s
New York Area
56 reviews
Dined on 19 August 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Had to send pork chop back over cooked
Second one delicious. Also Birthday celebration

OT
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Always excellent

V
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The service and food couldn’t have been better we had a wonderful waiter who is extremely attentive we will definitely be back . We asked for a table in the back so we could be a little quiet could because it was a celebration and they were most accommodating and we would recommend this restaurant to all our friends

GL
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 4

Was disappointed that specified table was not honored by our reservation. Was a bit disjointed that I had to ask 3 different waiters for a drink. Although the tried, they simply 'lost a bit from their fastball!!'

s
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

End of Restaurant Week. Maybe everyone was tired. Service terrible except for one waiter who recognized how badly things were going and tried to cheer us up. We don’t want to need cheering up so .... Food came before cocktail. Cocktail was not good. Actually undrinkably sour. Food very disappointing. Beautiful pork chops overbooked. And so on. However: Pasta was al dente and veggies nicely done. Queen of Nuts cake PERFECT! This place offers the neighborhood something for special occasions, something to suggest when friends come uptown for dinner. Definitely need to brush up their act!!

JA
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 2Food 4Service 1Ambience 3

The service was terrible. The waiter paid no attention to us, took orders and forgot to fill them, and the hostess had to bail him out on several occasions. We always counted on ‘Cesca as one restaurant in the neighborhood where the food was good and the noise level reasonable. We’re not in a hurry to go back there now.

LS
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

It was good. But for UWS is was superior.

V
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Overall my experience at Cesca was good. The food was well prepared, of good quality and flavorful. Our waiter was attentive and courteous. My disappointment stemmed from how both my friend and I were treated by the hostess. Although I requested a reservation, via Open Table, in a restaurant the hostess proceeded to sit my friend at a bar. When I arrived she treated me as if I were an inconvenience with which to deal. I observed her for a while with other guests and she was not a welcoming, attentive person a restaurant needs for this customer facing role. Also, as much as I like the clean minimalistic decor it contributes to the high noise level.

ND
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 11 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

absolutely loved this place! We went for restaurant week (RW) and it was fantastic! All of the portions were well sized, all were delicious, and their choices for RW were not limited! I personally opted for this truffled mushroom pasta as my appetizer, and a bone-in pork chop for my main meal. Both were delicious!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing meal—delicious food, accommodating waitstaff...nothing bad to say at all! Ambiance is fantastic and it’s a wonderful place! Will definitely be dining here often.

c
Miami
43 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food quality excellent, sensitively attentive staff. Great attention to detail.

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