My friends always come to me for restaurant recommendations. They give me neighborhood/cuisine type/price point instructions and I spit out a list. I'm like a human Yelp, but prettier. Yesterday a girlfriend asked me where to go in the Upper West Side for brunch. After offering The Smith, Jacobs Pickles, and Barney Greengrass I ran out of advice. Luckily I headed straight to Tessa and can now say I have another stellar spot to add to the list.
The dining room is beyond beautiful. The space is modern industrial but still warm. The walls are white washed brick and there are steel dividers between rooms. The whole ceiling is double layered with blackened steel security gates which gives the space a stunning look. The staff could not have been nicer or more accommodating. The manager constantly checked on how we liked everything, the waitress was sweet & informative, and my coffee cup remained totally full. We ordered a ton of food and they were kind enough to really pace it out and let us take our time.
The menu takes inspiration from Italian, French and Spanish dishes. The breads & pastries are homemade which right away elevates everything I'm about to order because I'm a whore for carbs. We ordered french toast which was particularly custard-like in the center. The homemade granola and yogurt were a great option since brunch menus are so often laden with only items that will kill you. I was particularly impressed with the “hangover cure” because the chicken sausage had the perfect texture. Our burger was cooked perfectly and piled high with pancetta and sweet roasted tomato. I thought a few of the dishes could have used more salt, but I’m a salt-aholic. Finally, the dessert was superb chocolatey-hazelnutty joy to experience. I look forward to returning for dinner. Here’s what we had:
Basket Full of Goodies- Blueberry muffin, dark chocolate brioche, pecan sticky bun, croissant & housemade marmalade
Housemade Granola- Ithaca Farm’s yogurt, cherries, apricots, wildflower honey
French Toast- Custard dipped Brioche, caramel apples, maple butter
Avocado Toast-Country bread toast, crushed avocado, preserved meyer lemon & harissa, sunny side up egg
The Hangover Cure- Slow poached eggs, chicken sausage, gigante beans, croutons, pancetta, grilled tomatoes
TESSA Burger- Certified Angus Beef, caramelized onions, crispy pancetta, fontina cheese, housemade rosemary fries
Chocolate Cremeux - salted caramel mousse, hazelnut ice cream, coconut chocolate chantilly
Address: 349 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024