Recipe, Dave Pasternack, David Pasternack, Ed Levine, The Young Man and the Sea, Esca, Fluke with Sea Beans and Radishes, Salt-Baked Fish For Two, Midtown East, Fish, Where to eat Fish in New York, NY, How to cook fish, Manhattan, Chef, Recommendations, Recipes, Advice, Tips



Executive Chef / co-owner of Esca, an Italian restaurant in New York, NY. He also runs the seafood program for Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Eataly.


Nicknamed “the fish whisperer,” chef Pasternack is an avid fisherman that truly knows his fish.


The Young Man and the Sea : Recipes and Crispy Fish Tales from Esca (buy it)


- Browne Trading Company


Dave Pasternack’s recommendations on where to eat in New York, New Orleans, Louisiana, Maine, and Italy.

Fluke with Sea Beans and Radishes

Recipe courtesy of chef Dave Pasternack


Serves 4


Photograph courtesy of Dave Pasternack

- 4 ounces sea beans

- 4 ounces radishes, cut into matchsticks

- Coarse sea salt

- Juice of 1/2 lime

- One 8-ounce fluke fillet

- High-quality extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


1) In a small mixing bowl, combine the sea beans, radishes, a pinch of sea salt, and a squeeze of lime juice.

2) Using a knife with a thin sharp blade, begin cutting the fluke into thin slices on the diagonal.

3) Transfer the slices to four serving plates as they are cut, forming a fan pattern, about 4 slices per plate.

4) Place a small mound of the sea bean salad on top of the fanned fluke in the center of each plate.

5) Drizzle each serving with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.

6) Serve immediately.


Salt-Baked Pesce Per Due (Salt-Baked Whole Fish For Two)

Recipe courtesy of “The Young Man & The Sea by David Pasternack and Ed Levine

“To me there’s nothing sexier than serving your honey an elegantly prepared and presented whole fish for two. Make a show of deftly removing the bones, and  you’ll win her heart forever. The fish shouldn’t be too big—figure 2 pounds for two people. And just pop it into the oven with lemon and some olives. In this preparation, the olives are transformed into another soft and sexy food. I like to use firm olives here, like the Sicilian greens (Cerignolas), but you can really use whatever olives you have on hand. Some earthy braised greens complement the fish.”


Serves 2


- One 2-pound fish (such as branzino, dorado, or black sea bass)

- 3.5 cups fine sea salt

- 3 large egg whites

- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, stems and leaves separated, leaves chopped, for garnish

- 2 sprigs rosemary

- 4 Sicilian olives

- 1 clove garlic

- 2 slices lemon


1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Trace a rough outline of the whole fish on a piece of parchment paper, and cut it out.

3) In a mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the salt and the egg whites with a wooden spoon (the mixture should feel like wet sand).

4) Place the parsley stems, rosemary, olives, garlic, and lemon slices in the cavity of the fish.

5) Spread the remaining 1/2 cup salt over a baking tray.

6) Place the cut-out parchment paper on the salt and place the fish on top.

7) Use your hands to cover the whole fish with the salt-and-egg-white mixture, pressing down onto the fish to pack it tightly.

8) Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, without turning, until the salt crust is hard and Bring the baking tray to the table.

9) Crack the salt crust with the handle of a knife and peel it away.

10) Use a spoon to break the flesh away along the top side (where it will have begun to pull away from the bone).

11) Slide the spoon under the fillet but over the spine, and lift the fillet onto a dinner plate.

12) Turn the fish over and plate the other fillet.

13) Garnish the fish with the chopped parsley.


The Young Man and the Sea : Recipes and Crispy Fish Tales from Esca

Purchase at:

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Midtown West

Italian / Seafood

402 West 43rd Street

New York, NY 10036 (view map)

T: 212.564.7272 (make a reservation)




Mon - Sat: 12pm - 2:30pm


Mon: 5pm - 10:30pm

Tue - Sat: 5pm - 11:30pm

Sun: 4:30pm - 10:30pm



Photograph courtesy of Dave Pasternack