TESSA: Downtown Chic On The Upper West Side

Is the question, “Where should we eat?” as popular in your NYC household as it is in mine?  While we have a few tried and trues up our sleeves, we like to venture out and try new places…both classic NYC restaurants that have been around forever for good reason, as well as trendy new spots that feature the season’s hip new food craze.  

A few weeks ago we were strolling along the beautiful tree lined blocks of the Upper West Side when the lunchtime stomach growls started.  The sun was shining and it seemed like the kind of day you try something new, so we decided on Michelin-recommended TESSA, and quickly discovered a new spot that will be moved from our list of “to try” to “tried and true.”  We loved it so much that I wanted to share all the goodness with you!

A modern Mediterranean eatery, TESSA has a rustic + urban industrial vibe that is typically seen more in downtown dining (seriously, so cool!  It’s like the Restoration Hardware of restaurants.  Even if you’re not hungry for a full meal, it’s the perfect spot to sit at the bar for a craft cocktail, little nibbles, and all the good vibes.)  

As much as I appreciate a beautiful aesthetic, the real shining jewel here is the food (as it should be.)  The menu is full of options that are easily shared between everyone at the table, letting you sample an array of dishes. 

From the basket of pastries (be still my beating heart!) to the appetizer mezze trio of house dips to the bruised kale caesar salad with the perfect amount of lemon zest to the avocado toast with a twist to the housemade gelato, it was really impossible to choose a favorite course, they all had such interesting and robust flavors.  I sure do know if I were taste testing for the Michelin guide, TESSA would go from “recommended” to “starred”.  Bravo to the chefs, cooks, and staff of the restaurant—we are already planning our return!

Details: TESSA is located at 349 Amsterdam Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, 212-390-1974.

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