TESSA

4.5
1050 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
A modern Mediterranean restaurant located in the heart of the Upper West Side - down the street from the Beacon Theater and a short walk from Lincoln Center, the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.
We offer an inspired and innovative menu. Taking tradition Italian, French, and Spanish dishes and using only the finest seasonal produce, local products and specialty or artisanal items from local or imported sources, we have created an extensive menu containing selections ranging from shared plates and appetizers to home made pastas and exciting main dishes. Our menus change with the seasons and there are truly "specials" on offer every night.
We apologize, but our dining areas do not accomodate Highchairs, Booster Seats, or Strollers.
What 1050 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great ambiance and service by an attentive serve!

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CM
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great vibe! Great food! Perfect for Pre Beacon. Seating was a little tight.

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KR
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service ambiance and food what more could you ask for ?

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k
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an absolutely lovely Sunday brunch with my mother and sister. Although we dine out frequently, this particular occasion was to celebrate my sisters birthday, we thought we'd go local. Beautiful venue, lovely staff, woonnderfull, kind and funny server (i forgot to get her name!) and fantastic manager Eldric. A round of awesome entrees and a couple of cocktails later, Eldric re appeared with an absolutely delicious (both looking AND tasting) slice of pumpkin cheesecake for my sisters birthday! She's extremely shy, so normally she would have been mortified of the public happy birthday - had it not been for his AMAZING (no, seriously) singing voice. Over all a great time, a great spot , great food and great staff!

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly and Knowledgeable Servers. Food was outstanding. The Duck pastrami sliders are a must have! Wanted to order more. Plan on coming back again.

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p
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Very busy on a Friday night. Very loud. Great service!

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RL
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding across the board - including the service. Love the pastas & fish dishes especially, as well as the fried cauliflower. Only downside is that you're looking at right around $200 for a dinner for two with a glass of wine each, which is closer to "special occasion" dinner than it is to "regular rotation" dinner.

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ME
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tessa's food, wine, staff, and ambiance is great. It's a nice local restaurant but has a slight upscale something that makes it special just as much as it's a great place to grab a drink with a friend.

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F
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Most restaurants give a free birthday dessert but TESSA charged us & didn’t ask what we wanted. Usually if they charge they ask what you want

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UW
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

We were first seated under a cold vent. They agreed to move us fairly quickly which was good. The server then was not very attentive, dashed off after we placed drink orders and didn’t return until about 15 min later when I asked another server to get him. Likewise our appetizer, and then meals, arrived late. My fish was cold. I sent it back. My husband finished his meal before mine even arrived. The floor manager took over for our server once I complained. Even the rushed order however required me asking again when it was coming because a good 15 min again passed. The manager comped our drinks and gave us some dessert (very mediocre - small cookies, berries and mascarpone - doubt this was even on the menu). The fish was delicious. I’m disappointed that the service was mediocre.

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SC
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very stylish space with a reasonable noise level considering how busy it was. The dishes we ordered varied from good to excellent. The dip trio (tomato tapenade, spiked hummus, whipped ricotta) was a standout. Excellent service.

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MS
London
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

excellent food - the acoustic is just too loud for this to be an excellent experience.

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CR
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent service. Varied menu but pasta dishes were a bit too salty. Ambience was friendly and fun but too loud for a conversation at our table for two.

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TS
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

The food was amazing but service was very slow. The cocktail I ordered too over 10 minutes to reach my table.

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VG
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Original menu, good food, not cheap. No tourists which was nice. Tables close together and low ceiling so gets noisy quickly. Not for quite romantic dinner.
Waitress not very personable (Australian accent) and service took long. Her colleagues seemed better at contact with customers and service.
Still, a nice restaurant with tasty normal size portions

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tessa is always wonderful! One of our favorite restaurants in the city.

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D
New England
22 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love it there! Our waitress was terrific! Very attentive and friendly.

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JM
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Greeted warmly, Michael our bartender was spot on. Grilled octopus was outstanding. Cavatelli with rabbit cooked perfect. We sat at the bar and really enjoyed ourselves

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G
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Loved the meatballs!
Also liked that you can entees in a smaller size. Sit towards the back quieter.

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JJ
New York Area
139 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Table of 4, none of us were impressed with the food. It was bland. We ordered different dishes and some were tastier than others. The space is nice. I'd return for drinks but not food.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Attentive service and food always good. Salad is huge so make sure you ask first.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere and wait staff were great, but all of the food we had was at least twice as salty as it needed to be; so much so that the saltiness of our food alone prevented us from finishing everything and made us feel a bit sick afterwards.

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SB
New York Area
123 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great UWS staple with excellent food, good wine selection, professional service and decent pricing. Good vibe

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Tessa never disappoints. One of my favorite uws restaurants

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OT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Very nice restaurant, however we were seated at the back of the restaurant at a table that was basically in the doorway to the kitchen/back end area. Didn’t really feel there should even be a 2 person table located there. Should have requested another table especially since the table directly behind, and not in the doorway, was empty the whole time we were there. My meal was very good (Shrimp Scampi), however, my daughters meal (Steak Frites) the fries were VERY salty... so much so she really couldn’t eat them. On a positive note, our server was very friendly. Very popular restaurant with a great overall vibe.

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m
New York Area
203 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I eat here from time to time because it's in the neighborhood. To be snarky, I would say that the food manages to consistently hit a middle level, never terrible and never spectacular. I always like the kale salad, though it is always undersauced; since I know that, I ask for more sauce when I put the order in. I had the duck pastrami sliders for the first time. The flavors were excellent. Two of the three sliders had very flavorful meat. Really delicious. What was unforgivable was that one slider was stuffed with nothing but skin and fat. I should have sent it back but I was dining with a friend and didn't want to spoil our happy time. I'd also eaten enough by that time. So I decided to forget it. But if I order the sliders again I'll say, "I'd like each slider to be meaty, please; no skin and fat." Service was very good throughout. It's noisy.

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M
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food, a little miscommunication on the service, but still very good!

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AF
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food! Welcoming atmosphere! Great service!

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CC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food selection and service was great. Did not enjoy sitting in the separate area in the back of the restaurant. Felt very disconnected from the rest of the restaurant. Would request not to be seated there next time.

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JK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Great atmosphere and bar, excellent staff. Brunch however was very mediocre and not worth the price. Haven't tried the rest of the menu though, it feels like they are just trying to make revenue on weekend brunches but that is not their priority or specialty

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KM
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Creative Mediterranean dishes, ranging from Spain through Provence, Italy through Greece. Great wine list and cocktails. A really nice interior design. Staff were outstanding. The noise level was a bit tiresome, but that seems to be the fashion in NYC these days. We would happily return.

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LR
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time dining at Tessa. The staff are friendly, the food is delicious and the wine selection is very good. I met a friend to celebrate my birthday and we had a lovely evening. Our waitress was excellent and attentive but not overbearing. The noise level was a little on the loud side but, the place was packed. I ordered a Pinot Noir, a small pasta plate and a side of shaved Brussels sprouts and was very happy with the portions and the flavors! My friend ended up making reservations for Christmas Eve!

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WN
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Of course, TESSA never disappoints! I had a group of six friends join me for a celebratory meal and the food, service and overall experience keep us all coming back time and time again. Thanks to Larry, Will and the entire TESSA team for a consistently stellar dining experience

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T
New York Area
35 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great burgers, but i've never had a bad meal here. Wine list pretty good. Staff was very nice and helpful.

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NG
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

An excellent choice for Sunday Brunch. We were seated promptly upon arrival. Excellent food and great service.

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B
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Stopped in here for lunch on a Saturday as a tourist in the area. We absolutely loved it. The food was very good and tasted fresh. The server who took care of us at the high top tables was so nice and attentive. With all the options in the area for dining we would still come back here if we were in the city. The bacon burger is very good as was the chicken sausage on English muffin. Coffee was also good. Prices were not bad.

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y
Yorkshire
8 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Probably the best meal we had in New York. Nice bar area if you arrived early. Friendly service. Ordered several sharing plates and appetisers and there was more than enough food. Lovely atmosphere. Highly recommended.

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B
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food and great service.

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OT
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

You have got to get the Buratta appetizer. To die for. Went back the next night just to get it again. Great food.

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S
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great vegetarian options. The squash soup was plant based and had an aromatic fragrance and taste. Burata cheese cold appetizer with pickled raisins and honey was creamy mixing sweet and savory flavors expertly. Service was attentive. Physical space of this restaurant is beautiful. A great location to have an intimate meal with friends.

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