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Dave Pasternack showing off his web research of the louvar.

If Dave Pasternack has to Google a fish, you know it's something special (or non-existent). Earlier this week, the Esca chef-partner got a call about a fresh-caught louvar, and after a bit of research, agreed to 70 pounds of it. (When the guy who caught it also wanted to keep 70 pounds for himself, he knew that was a good sign.) Ed was talking to him about something else, namely crabs, when he found out about Dave's latest discovery. "Ya gotta get up here, right away, Ed, because I'm sure this is the first and last time you and I are going to get to eat this fish."

Meet the louvar. Besides having a noticeably pudgy forehead and only eating gelatinous creatures (it follows a very strict jellyfish diet), it could be the funnest fish name to say. Dave cannot help himself from doing the louvar (a type of dance) or coming down with a bad case of louvar (which totally requires medication). It's hard to compare the taste to anything. While it bears some resemblance to swordfish and halibut, it's really just, um, louvarly.

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A white, with slightly opal undertones, slab of raw louvar.

Esca had at least thirty or forty orders last night (the fish's premiere day on the menu, and maybe, any menu anywhere) and expects to sell-out before the weekend. Available for both lunch and dinner ($30 and $35, respectively), it's served alongside pan-roasted Siciilian cauliflower with pine nuts and raisins. Trust me, this might be the only time you try a fish within a few days of Dave's first bite too.

Esca

402 West 43rd Street, New York NY 10036 (b/n 9th and 10th Avenue; map)
212-564-7272

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