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Tessa
Tessa

Tessa Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.tessanyc.com
  • Phone: (212) 390-1974
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner:
    Sunday through Wednesday: 5:30pm to 11pm
    Thursday through Sunday: 5:30pm to Midnight

    Lunch: Monday through Friday
    11:30am - 3pm

    Brunch: Saturday and Sunday
    11am - 3pm

    Mezze: Daily
    3pm - 5pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, French, Italian
  • Executive Chef: Cedric Tovar
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 77th St
  • Public Transit: Take the 1 train to 79th Street or the 1,2,3 trains to 72nd Street.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Tessa
A modern tavern with Mediterranean roots, TESSA blends southern French and Italian cuisine from Executive Chef Cedric Tovar in a setting designed by critically acclaimed Paul Masi of Bates Masi Architects.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "A great place all around, excellent interiors, great wines and special drinks, menu and daily specials offered. Had the chilled white asparagus soup and the linguini (vegetarian), my friend had the lamb and the heirloom tomato salad. All excellent. A place you could always be happy going to as a regular."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Ordered a hamburger which may not have been a fair test of their skills. Hamburger was fine as were the fries. Adequate. ordinary. Nothing special. "Energetic" as a noise category is cynically euphemistic. Where do you come off offering that as a choice? How about obnoxiously loud!. Not the restaurant's fault necessarily. My fellow dinners at other tables are ill-mannered and childlike which was the source of the noise. Like silly high school girls except older. Attractive decor."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "We had dinner before a concert at the Beacon. Food was very tasty with portion options for pasta dishes which enabled everyone to have an appetizer and entree. Service was also excellent; attentive but not overbearing."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Was excited to finally go as this place is hopping. Very nice atmosphere, a little loud. Food was a touch too high end. As my husbands appetizer arrived it was good but he said"I never wake up and crave foam". That kind of says it all, might be a bit too foodie for the upper west side, but it was busy. Service was a bit overbearing. Won't be running back to eat buts nice place for a drink."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "This was our 2nd timing dining at Tessa for dinner. The first time, we ate dinner at the bar, which I highly recommend. The service was excellent and prompt. This time was a completely different story. We sat in the back, which is extremely noisy...bad acoustics. Our server took our order and then came back to confirm my entree. Low and behold the entree came out incorrect and instead of taking the rabbit off the table, he left it there for us to stare at. We had to get up and ask the manager to take it away about 10 mins later. The manager did comp one round of drinks but never apologized for his sever's ineptitude, given that we re-confirmed our 1 entree that we were sharing. Food, however, is excellent; we'll dine at bar next time."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Food was superb service excellent good wine list. Very noisy with groups of young women shrieking."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "I have been there 4 times and the food is consistent.. I had everything from fish to a fabu hamburger.. and this great pats with lobster which is unreal!!! I have been in a large group and small group and each time wanting to come back!"
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "I suggested Tessa for a friend's annual birthday lunch gathering after having had a good/fun dinner weeks before. A table of 4, we were the only ones dining on a Monday at 1 PM. Although we relished the quiet, it was a bit odd to be the seated in the back of a completely empty restaurant. The service, although kind, was a bit off--slow and disorganized--odd considering the place was empty but the lack of rhythm may have put the staff off as well. That being said, the food did not fail to once again be very good and beautifully presented--if a bit fussy for one friend. At the end of our private meal, we all agreed Tessa was a place to return; we just debated if we wanted others to know about the wonderful lunch!"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Should have made a noon reservation instead of 11 AM- that's when they start serving alcohol. They had taken off the French Toast just weeks before I went which had been a driving factor for choosing the place but it was still good overall. The decor is gorgeous. Wish they had a patio or something but it was still an enjoyable meal!"
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "My husband and I had been to Tessa twice, but just for a drink at the bar. I was happy to go there last Saturday eve with a friend for dinner and we were very pleased with our experience. Started with a drink at the bar (the bartenders are very friendly and helpful), and then sat down. The staff was so nice and enthusiastic. We share three dishes which were each delicious and done perfectly. We had two special requests and they met them with a smile. The only disappointment was the dessert -- it was too complicated. I also is amazing what the owners did with the space -- it was such a dump before. Congrats to everyone involve with the restaurant. We look forward to returning. Could you pls expand happy hr until 7? :)"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "An excellent place for a wonderful lunch on the UWS."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "An excellent experience. The waitstaff was friendly and attentive. The sommelier was descriptive and accommodating. The food was great. Highlights included the chilled white asparagus soup, the seared diver scallop risotto, the grilled swordfish - and that was just what I ate. I got a taste of the heirloom tomato salad and the sea bass, and both were excellent as well."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Food was very good, unfortunately it was very difficult to hear the person across from me. Moderate size table for four. Needs some sound panels or table cloth to absorb some of the sound. Would recommend IF they fix the problem."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "nicelunch ice addition for a quiet upscale lunch in the neighbor hood."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "(+) Online reviews led me here for weeknight dinner. Exc food and interesting menu. I'm not a foodie but know great food when I taste it. Service outstanding. I will definitely come back."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "The heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with basil and lemongrass was great. The mussels were ordinary. The noise level was oppressive."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "A new restaurant in the nabe, we thought we'd try it. But there's a problem here. First, the wait staff seems to be coached to over sell the menu, describing every dish with so many superlatives, that they simply cannot meet the expectation. But to me, the salient aspect of great Mediterranean cuisine is the best of ingredients, simply prepared. Every dish on this menu is so complex, with so many ingredients, that it comes of fussy and pretentious, and not delicious. The restaurant also seems quite expensive to me."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "It's rare that my husband and I eat on the Upper West side, despite the fact that we live there. Restaurants like Tessa however are changing that! In the relatively short time since they opened - we've eaten there 3 times, and they remain consistently good to great. The staff is very professional, knowledgable and warm. Very hospitable. The food is creative, tasty and well portioned - the wine list very thoughtful & cocktail menu is also fun and creative."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "First time to eat here. Lovely pre-dinner cocktail at the bar. But the service was all over the place. Had three servers - no one seemed in control of our table. Main(?) server could not answer questions about the food, she said it was her second night there. Management should train staff better. A drink I ordered never arrived. Food was good though - a saving grace. I would eat at the bar next time."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "From the outside Tessa doesn't look like much, largely because it is partly obscured by scaffolding. Don't be put off. The bar area is terrific, with space to eat and drink in comfort, but it is the dining area that really impresses. The space is large, but inspired interior design makes it feel intimate. The greeting at the door is warm and professional, the waiters are attentive and knowledgable, and the food is excellent. We were here on a busy week night and the kitchen took the pressure in its stride. Not easy for an established operation, and super impressive for a start up. The menu is refreshingly eclectic; we tried several dishes and found them all to be faultless. We are definitely coming back!!"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "In addition to the delicious and inventive dishes on the menu, this restaurant really knows how to cook fish, and I mean not the standard salmon which is undestructable. They do white fish better than any place I have ever eaten and I travel the world and eat out all the time. Modest but comfy surroundings, this place could be 5star."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Went with a friend after a really long day of helpingwith some moving-related activities. So, off to Tessa we went b/c we could share plates and there was a good variety of items on the menu that appealed to us both. The restaurant was still pretty crowded at 9:45pm, but it wasn't extremely noisy. The service was good - our server in particular had great suggestions and shared his opinions on the food before we ordered. My friend and I ended up splitting the burrata, the signature salad and the burger - all were really delicious. Nice to have the option to split pasta dishes, but this time we passed up that opportunity. Will go back & recommended Tessa to friends."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Food and atmosphere were both 4 and 5 star worthy, respectively. Service on the other hand, left a lot to be desired of. Despite the restaurant being only about 75% full, the wait staff seemed under-staffed, waiting 15+ minutes before even approaching our table. Our initial server never came back and another 10-15 minutes later another server appeared just to take our order - we never got told the specials, etc. Perhaps we hit it on an off night, so give it a try. Hopefully the restaurant works out any service issues because the food and ambiance were a great to the UWS dining scene."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "UWSers looking for a special place to have dinner in the neighborhood are excited about the opening of Tessa and well they should. Although not inexpensive or just a place to catch bite, in my opinion, my dinner was very good and well presented. The word that comes to mind for our waiter is elegant. My only criticism is the size of the tables--too wide. I felt I had to lean in to hear my dinner companions and, in turn, be heard. This leads me to the noise level--high. Although we were seated in the back/private space, the restaurant is "energetic," which can translate to good vibe but sometimes it tips to too loud to have conversation."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "My steak frites was a pretty gristly cut of meat. Left half of it on the plate. Fairway and Citarella are only 2 blocks away. They have very good meat depts. our server was terrific!"
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Tessa is a great addition to the Upper West Side food offerings. The cooking is exciting, well prepared and well served. BUT -- don't try to have a conversation here. It's very popular with those who think that talking should be at top volume always, and it makes it hard to hear the person across the table Other than that, it's wonderful!"
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "We had a great meal here! The somolier was super helpful as was our waiter, Charles. Everyone was very attentive and the food was outstanding. We had the dips trio (not to be missed), the asparagus soup, razor clams and split the swordfish entre. The wines were delicious as was the caramel torte dessert with pine nut ice cream. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "overall Tessa is a good restaurant. i have had brunch there twice, the first time was so good, i took my sister there for her birthday. the second time wasn't as terrific. i asked the waiter to please ensure my omelet was as well cooked as possible and that i wanted my toast dark, i commented that i like things well done. he nodded. the eggs were perfect the toast was like warm bread and the waiter never came by to ask if everything was ok, i had to call him over… they re-did the toast .. otherwise its a lovely place for brunch .. the dinner menu looks good but its too pricey in my opinion"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "We loved our meal here and so enjoyed the atmosphere as well. The cheese selection was yummy as were our entrees. This was two blocks from our hotel - fantastic neighborhood place. "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Food was very good. Service was average. Got fairly noisy as the place filled up"
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "I have eaten here several times and it is always a treat. The food and the service are just marvelous as is the ambience. (My only suggestion is that they do something about the noise level which can at times make it difficult to have a conversation.) TESSA is just a GREAT addition to the UWS and I want everyone to know what a fantastic place it is. The staff is top notch and the food is really interesting and always delicious. I can't wait to go back!!!!"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "My husband and I stumbled upon Tessa one night walking home from the movies and stopped in for a drink. Later in the week we decided to check it out for lunch. WOW! Food was terrific and the space is lovely. We returned that weekend with our parents (also locals) for dinner. We all agreed it is a FANTASTIC new addition to the UWS restaurant scene. Dishes are not only beautifully presented, but flavors are fantastic and creatively presented. Wine list is good, and price wise it is in-line with its neighborhood competitors, but food feels fresher and more inspired. This family of four hope Tessa is here to stay for good!"
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Great new addition to the UWS. Bar is nice, decor is fantastic. Menu is also good, but very salty, sometimes overcooked. Service is spotty. I think this place will end up being an UWS staple because there are so few "cool" places to eat above 72nd St, but they need a few months to work out the kinks and get it all humming perfectly. Appetizers: Dips and cheese plate are just ok, the rosemary focaccia is excellent. Mains: Pastas are good, but very small portions even for the full plate size (tip: get the half portion, it's almost the same size as the full portion). The scallops and rabbit ragu are the best options. Sides: The carrots were disappointing, some were overcooked. Dessert: They bring a small plate of samplers with your check."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "My parents were in town and I took them to Tessa to experience a bit of the upper west side. Service was a little slow but the food was great. We were there for dinner and though it was crowded, the nose level wasn't terrible. I can imagine it being bad on a weeknight. Great ambiance as we'll - would return!"
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Wow, the upper west side is lucky to have this cool new restaurant. Delicious food, great vibe and LOVE the bar!"
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Fantastic service and a very fun, trendy atmosphere that is unique on the UWS. Young crowd and INCREDIBLE food! "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "The food was good but too expensive. The music was horribly loud. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Ambiance and service were excellent. Food was mixed. House dips appetizer was delicious. Octopus a la Plancha was tasty but tough. Cote de Boeuf was a huge portion, tasty and tender, but a lot of fat to cut around. The side of garlic mashed was very good, broccoli rabe was a bit too tough or undercooked. I don't know enough about wine to say if it's a notable list, but there are many reasonably priced options and we had a good prosecco and a delicious red. The trio of sorbet for dessert was excellent - especially the cucumber. We'll definitely be back."
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "This is a well-run, very appealing restaurant with very good food and an attentive staff. It simply does not yet have a characteristic identity. It was all quite delicious, but there is not a compelling reason to want to go back as there are many so many equally nice places. It is a good choice though."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "We had a great experience at Tessa, loved the food, the flavous and the presentation. Greeted warmly and our waiter was very good. All staff were courteous to us. Still talking about the food a week later."
    Dined on 5/25/2014