TESSA

4.5
1145 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 1145 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
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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e
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for a birthday lunch, all women. They could not have been more accommodating--I was on a special diet and they even made a special iced tea for me. The salads were yummy.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food we've had in a very long while! Our server Frankie was excellent, dealt with our gluten allergy, paired wine wonderfully, all recs were spot on. Incredible experience!

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L
Minneapolis
12 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visited Tessa the first time in 2016 and it was on the MUST GO list now in 2019. Didn’t disappoint. Always on the stop list! Excellent.

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SU
New York Area
91 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

loved the bread with cheese and mushrooms
kale salad terrific;too large for one
half portion of foamed pasta with herbs incredible
cant wait to return

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EP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance, really good service, wonderful appetizers, main entrees fell short. A risotto and a pasta dish were flat. Fish was bland. Burger just okay.

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EB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous. Best restaurant on the upper west side. Been there many times and it has never disappointed

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RC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

Hello,

I have dined at Tessa over ten times and never have I experienced such poor service. When after waiting for over 30 min to order, and we flagged down someone to place our order, when the waiter came by he said "what do you want?". When we explained we would like to order he said "okay what?" We said "please start with the women first" and he seemed a bit shocked. I have dined at Tessa frequently and more important bringing tables of 4+ people with me everytime. Never have I experienced such rude service as it is my local neighborhood staple and the food is incredible. I now question if I recommend this restaurant based of recent experience,.

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NY
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Extremely limited menu and barely any options for vegetarians. The food wasn’t flavorful either.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Anniversary

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p
New York Area
101 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s always a pleasure to go to TESSA. We especially like their shared plates. We had cauliflower and meatballs along with happy hour at our table. The service is great. We will definitely be back. Our waiter thoughtfully reminded us that happy hour was about to end in case we want any additional drinks. It’s really a pleasure to go there.

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AB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Handcrafted cocktails, attentive waitstaff, a great variety of dishes to please everyone. I have dined here for lunch and dinner, our guests have enjoyed every bite. Tessa is a must go if you're in the neighborhood, a bit noisy, but then again, it is NYC!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We were seated at the back near their group seating area and it was distractingly loud. They need to consider buffering mechanisms to accommodate for the fact they large groups get very loud and the restaurant is noisy already.

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The room was boisterous and lovely upon our arrival. We were sat immediately at a few minutes before our scheduled reservation. Our waiter was lovely and we ordered quickly, a mixture of appetizers and mains for the table. After our drinks arrived and about 25 minutes into waiting for the appetizers it occurred to me that neighboring tables who had arrived after us had gotten food and we as yet had not. Our waiter noticed at just the same time and came over to ask if we had been brought our food yet to which we said no and he said that’s what he thought but kitchen had thought differently! He went to speak to them, returned right away and was very very apologetic and said that our appetizers would be out ASAP and they’d be on the house along with a second drink. He was lovely and that level of service is what I’d expect in the situation and it all was fine from then forward with the meal.
Food arrived, it was delicious (flatbreads and spreads, pork chop, fried cauliflower, scallops special) and is go back again in a heartbeat next time I’m on the upper west side. A definite recommend.

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k
New York Area
68 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So glad we found this place! It's really close to the Beacon Theater if you're there for a show - do not miss Tessa. We arrived early and had a drink at the bar - bartenders were wonderful. Then we sat down in the back of the restaurant - which is gorgeous - and our server was even more wonderful! Food was delicious (large portions!) and vibe was great. Will definitely return!

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d
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Very attentive but not rushed .accommodated food restrictions. Seemed to be many regulars but treated us a regular highly recommended

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OT
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

There were four of us, each with different tastes so there were a lot of different choices. And everything was excellent! I had the Burrata for an appetizer, the Ricotta Gnocchi for a main course. Both really delicious, and generous portions. My sister, who is vegan, was delighted with the Bruised Kale salad and Wheat Spaccatelli. The Albarino was so delicious that the four of us finished off two bottles!

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I
New York Area
163 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Third time at Tessa in past two months. First was a quiet rainy Friday lunch; then an early evening Easter Dinner in back wine room; last night was a very busy 7 pm Wednesday night dinner. We will return for the excellent food, friendly staff, good wine list and drinks.

We and our guests like the portion sizes and lovely plating. We have tried all parts of the menu and are eager to try more dishes. Like the white bean soup, three vegetarian dips with crisp vegetables and flat bread, cacio y pepe pasta, crabmeat risotto, chicken, budino, etc.

We are diners in our 80s and our guests range from 9 to late 70s. We like a softer noise level so will dine early when Tessa is less crowded. Highly recommend.

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F
New York Area
88 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating a 99th birthday. The staff treated us royally. The food was wonderful, and aside from the noise level, we had a terrific experience.

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JH
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good was very good and the servers and service were superb. Somewhat noisy at 1:pm but quieted down shortly thereaftyrer.

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EJ
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

excellent lunch place for friends and business. Recommend highly.

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D
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Server was friendly, helpful and professional. Portion sizes were large. Good very tasty. Pork chop abut on dry side.

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JG
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Used to be great. Not so much anymore.

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UW
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

TESSA is my absolute favorite go-to restaurant on the Upper Westside. Midtown quality food at neighborhood prices. Everything I've tried has been outstanding (and some are inspired - tune tartare, linguini cacio e pepe, budino, bomboloni), the service is gracious, the wine list is curated delightfully, and you never feel rushed.

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AD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cozy atmosphere, pleasant staff, tasty food. Everything we tried was fresh and really good. We got there at 6, and it was quiet. It got louder fast once more people got in.

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G
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tessa is always reliable and food is delicious and inventive !

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a
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

At least not for brunch. A set of poached eggs was almost raw. But an omelette in a sandwich was like a hockey puck. English muffins were sliced, dry, and not even slightly browned. Tea was strong and good though. And the waiter was lovely. I did have a good lunch here once, but this brunch may have cancelled it out...

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DD
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Food was quite awful. Very expensive for what you were served. Waiters could not have rushed us more. They clearly wanted to turn the table over as quickly as possible. Noise level was painful. I NEVER write a review, let alone a bad one, but this was one awful experience!! Stay away!!!!!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 3

Great apps! The muscles were some of the best I’ve ever had. Mains were okay.

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f
Columbus
9 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere. Awesome drinks. Bartender great....gave us drinks on the house for my birthday!

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LL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Really like the place, only issue is that it is very noisy.

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SR
London
7 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great venue on the Upper West Side. I have visited several times and really appreciate the good food, service and vibe.

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r
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Food was fine, not amazing. Bar area is very very loud, and it is hard to escape given the dining room layout. When our party was there on a Saturday evening, it was clear they wanted us to leave so they could turn over the table.

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a
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was truly excellent, and the service excellent as well. In fact, some of the tastes were memorable. However, the noise level was more than energetic . It was almost unbearable. It would actually keep me from returning, which is a shame, as the location is also superior.

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PR
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was excellent however they charge $4 for every drink (ie soda) and charge $4 for every refill. I think that is ridiculous!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food and atmosphere. Very friendly service. Great addition to the UWS!

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JB
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Interesting menu. Nicely prepared dishes. But the tables are too close together and the noise level is near deafening at peak dining hours.

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L
San Francisco
57 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent, delicious, imaginative. We dined only on small plates, each a delight. But it’s EXTREMELY noisy, so don’t go expecting to enjoy an intimate conversation.

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D
New York Area
123 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic and service was wonderful will definitely go back

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M
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Delicious food but definitely loud. Great mediterranean options.

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t
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

The restaurant was jammed packed at 6 :15 PM on a Saturday evening. The décor was okay, the amenities average. The wine list was extensive, but on the high priced end. We were able to find a reasonably priced Spanish tempranillo that we enjoyed. I ordered 2 appetizers for my meal, the octopus was acceptable, but a bit chewy. The duck pastrami sliders were tasty. My wife's dick breast was very fatty and overdone. The price was in the higher end, and, we won't return.

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