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Esca & Spiegelworld: A Review

This past weekend, my friend Katie and I decided to catch up over an excellent meal at Esca and an off-Broadway show called Spiegelworld.  Both were amazing and fascinating and I had such a great time.

Here's what went down at Esca:

Esca is a fantastic southern Italian trattoria specializing in seafood.  There is a beautiful patio space out back, and since it was a nice evening, that's where Katie and I chose to dine.  Interestingly enough, this restaurant is also a collaboration between Dave Pasternack, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich.  So already I had high hopes for my dinner.

I want to take this fountain home with me.

I like the menu's "clean" design. I definitely dropped the ball on photographing the actual menu :(

We received complementary olives and white bean bruscetta.  Too bad I don't like olives or white beans.  Katie said they were quite tasty.

Tuna meatballs for an appetizer.

This was actually a mixture of tuna and two additional types of fish (which I can't recall right now...) This appetizer was amazing.  The fish actually had the texture of meat (how do they do that?!) but the meatball was still juicy and tender.  If I didn't know what was ordered, I would have thought it was meat.

 Time for the main courses.  I had a whole roasted pompano fish with pesto on the side.  Delicious!

 Katie ordered the grilled sgombro with marinated eggplant and tomatoes.  Another fabulous dish.

And of course we had fingerling potatoes.  Gotta make sure you get enough carbs each day!

Did I mention how nice the entire waitstaff was?  I have a new restaurant love.

After dinner, we headed over to watch Spiegelworld, an acrobatic, burlesque-ish circus show that set up shop near Times Square.  They literally set up a tent on 45th st. and proceeded to put on a phenomenal show.  There were some sketchy and definitely un-classy moments, but overall this was definitely worth seeing.  These guys and gals are amazing performers and left everyone awestruck.

The front of the tent

Aerial contortionist in a bubble, suspended above the stage.  She's doing a straddle split in a bubble.  What?

There were bubbles in the audience too! That was one of my favorite moments of the night.  Where can I get a bubble machine of my very own?

Acrobatic trio. They could kick my butt.

One leg

One hand!

 Another amazing balancing act.  I couldn't stop taking pictures!

 The boy was being tossed around on the other guy's feet.

Huh? How does this even happen safely?

OK, the following act was one of the most stunning I've seen in a while:

It starts out with a lot of sticks and a feather.  It gets more exciting than that.  This performer starts by balancing the feather on the edge of the first stick, then he starts building a sort of ladder by adding another stick to the previous one.

 Then he stations the balanced sticks on a final self-standing stick.

...So many sticks...

My favorite shot is of him walking around and reaching for the white feather.

When he removed the feather, the entire structure falls!

FALLS!

As in, everything was balanced by that one feather.  WHAT?!?!?!?!!

We are in crazytown! (By the way, I asked him afterward how long it took him to learn that. The response: 17 years!)

Final shot of the performers.  Such a great show.  Catch them before they are gone!  They are heading to Australia in a few weeks so snatch up your tickets now now now!