Staten Islanders have made this colorful and elegant little restaurant a local favorite. Nibble on fresh bruschetta while waiting for appetizers like a mesclun salad with goat cheese, caramelized walnuts and dried cranberries. Es-Ca"s menu occasionally strays from the Italian in an attempt at creativity, but don"t follow: Cajun-spiced sea bass, poised atop curried rice and crowned with ginger-mango salsa, was a bit busy. Stick with pasta, like garlicky rigatoni with prosciutto, arugula and smoked mozzarella, or a regional specialty such as the veal chop milanese with eggplant, roasted peppers and bocconcini mozzarella. The chocolate crème brûlée will provide a happy ending.
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