Last week my husband and I ventured out to TESSA in the Upper West Side, a modern Mediterranean restaurant located at 77th Street on Amsterdam Avenue with cuisine that is a cross between southern French and northern Italian food.
When we first arrived we were greeted by the host who knew who we were and had us seated right away, even though we were 20 minutes late. The atmosphere was rustic and industrial but cozy and very intimate. A hard combination that was tough to get, but here it is done perfectly.
My husband and I have been together for almost 7 years and for those of you who have been in longer relationships you know you have to take advantage of those days, evenings, moments you have together, since it can be hard to find time to enjoy each other’s company and have that complete focus on each other for those moments. This evening was perfect and the setting of the restaurant was part of that successful evening.
Now to the important part – the food! We were introduced to Patrick, the manager of the restaurant who was also our sommelier and guide of the evening. After we had been seated by one of the waitresses, Patrick came by and introduced himself.
He took our cocktail orders. I ordered the La Flor De TESSA and Mike ordered the La Mora Azul Martini. When Patrick came back with our cocktails he had taken the liberty of serving a couple of shared platters – the Rosemary Focaccia and their Burrata. A great way to start the amazing meal we were just about to ingest.
For appetizers we ordered the Mussel Provencale and Octopus a la Plancha. To make sure we had as much a variety as possible, we also ordered the Linguini and the Rabbit Cavatelli.
For entrees we ordered the Long Island Duck and the Hanger Steak Frites. Our favorites were by far the Octopus a la Plancha, which was cooked to perfection, the Rabbit Cavatelli and the Long Island Duck. All three dishes were cooked to perfection and the flavors were strong and perfectly combined with their sides.
The dessert would be the main reason to go to Tessa. You will miss out if you do not order the dessert. It was absolutely amazing! We could not make up our minds so Patrick decided we needed to try all of our top three picks. We had in front of us the Baked Alaska, the TESSA Tiramisu and the Chocolate Cremeaux. ALL three desserts were divine and unbelieveable. Do NOT miss out on the desserts!
Patrick was kind enough to pair our plates with different wines and I can only recommend you take the advice of Patrick. All of the pairings were spot on and elevated the plates. If you live on the Upper West side or are visiting it should be a go to spot. It is that good!
349 Amsterdam Avenue
btw W. 76th and 77th Streets
New York, New York 10024
Photos via TESSA and by Socially Superlative