Brunch. It’s like a right of passage in New York. If you live here, you have to get on board or get out. No where else in the world is brunch such an institution. So when a New Yorker is in the mood to get their brunch on, it’s important to know where to go. TESSA, a very hip, urban-industrial decorated restaurant on the Upper West Side, is the perfect spot for any brunch veteran. They recently launched their new brunch beverage program and once you see their Hot Chocolate, you’ll be happy that they did.
So in terms of drinks, the Hot Chocolate is definitely a show-stopper, made with thick Valhrona dark and milk chocolate, with whipped cream and a giant housemade marshmallow. Plus, it comes with an almond biscotti on the side, perfect for dunking. If you need more of a kick in your cup, they have coffee by Irving Farm and tea from Harney & Sons, plus a selection of housemade sodas, like creamsicle and cherry. The restaurant also offers a juice bar, giving customers options like Red Jacket NY Style Lemon-Appleade and the Green machine (apple, kale, lemon, celery). And while sticking to your greens is nice, if you want something more traditional for brunch, they have a full menu of boozy options like Bloody Marys, mimosas, and the list goes on. Plus, their full menu of cocktails, wines and beers is also available.
Now, that’s not to say that you have to go there and just have a liquid brunch. Their food is definitely on par with their drink program. The Burrata and Heirloom Salad is a delicious and refreshing way to start, but make sure to save room for their more hearty options, like the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich (English muffin, chicken sausage, mini omelette, oven-dried tomato, gruyere, harissa aioli, mixed greens), way better than your average bacon egg and cheese! Our favorite dish was courtesy of the Build Your Bennie program — allowing you to pick your base, topping and sauce along with 2 poached eggs. Let me tell you, lobster, eggs and hollandaise on top of crushed herb potatoes is something you don’t know you need until you’ve had it. Plus, their bacon is outta this world.
If you can swing it, dessert is a great way to end the meal (I mean, duh). The TESSA Tiramisu, comprised of Marsala mascarpone mousse, figs, brownie and white coffee ice cream is a fun and unique take on the classic, and their homemade ice creams are super flavorful and good to mix and match (salted caramel + honeycrisp apple is a great combo). It might seem like you’re taking on a lot, what with all the drinks and dishes and desserts, but if you want to brunch like a New Yorker, this is how you do it.
Twisted Talk: What’s your favorite brunch food? Where do you go for brunch in the city? Discuss below!