TESSA: The Upper West's Finest Mediterranean Hotspot
In an intimate corner at the epicenter of the Upper West Side, is TESSA, the Mediterranean paradise of haute cuisine. A romantic yet modern space designed in red brick, distressed wood and brass accents, the restaurant conveys an air of understated elegance with a touch of underground flair. The trendy atmosphere says Brooklyn, but the gourmet menu says Upper West Side.
As we entered the doors of the dimly lit space, we were greeted with a chilled glass of prosecco – not too dry, not too sweet, but just bubbly enough to get the night started. From TESSA’s ample menu, we chose a classic starter of mixed raw veggies and three house dips. Light and airy yet flavorful and beautifully plated, this seemingly simple appetizer was the perfect way to start our meal.
The tasteful and innovative menu created by Executive Chef Will Harris and his team held endless options of mouth-watering dishes inspired by traditional Italian, French and Spanish cuisine. Of course we wanted a taste of everything, yet for our next choice we opted for the Tessa Linguini, made with Tasmanian pepper, lemon and Parmigiano basil crunch with a light green garlic foam. For us, the green garlic is what made this unique dish the star of the show. With that, we had a glass of chilled rosé which paired perfectly with the two main entrées: Grilled Branzino (fennel emulsion, broccoli rabe, new potato, pimentón) and Scottish Salmon(quinoa tabouli, English peas, beets, salmoriglio sauce). Yes, we were very hungry.
A few glasses of rosé later, we went for the closing dish, the glorious Baked Alaska, made with chocolate and vanilla hazelnut crunch ice cream, brownie, torched meringue and passion fruit. It was the perfect combination of creamy sweetness, fresh fruit and rich chocolate that we were hoping for – and followed by a strong glass of Italian Grappa, it was the ideal ending to a wonderful meal.
With sensational dishes made from only the finest seasonal produce and market goods, you cannot go wrong when dining at TESSA. Boasting new specials every night and offering more than 100 different wines and 10 beers on tap, this Mediterranean hotspot is a must. So next time you’re in the mood for a romantic dinner, classy solo lunch or an elegant Sunday brunch, take a trip uptown and get a taste of Manhattan’s best.