We had an enjoyable evening on our first visit to Tess. The space is welcoming and pleasant, with a cozy and adorable patio that feels like it might be a friend’s backyard. The service was great, and the food was good. As craft beer lovers, we were impressed with the selection available – anything from the more accessible New Glarus Moon Man to a handful of delicious and harder to find barrel aged options.
For an appetizer, we chose the Steamed Mussels. The coconut milk and chipotle broth was fantastic; this was probably our favorite of the evening. The hint of spice was perfect, and the freshly baked bread was just the thing to soak up the extra broth.
As our entrees, I had the Crispy Frenched Chicken Breast while my significant other tried the San Francisco Cioppino. The chicken breast was good, although I was expecting more of a cheddar taste from the sharp cheddar spaetzle, and felt like it was almost a little mustard-y. He enjoyed the spaetzle sauce slightly more than I did. The vegetables that accompanied were done perfectly. The Cioppino was also tasty, and had a really nice serving of the seafood included. The scallops, salmon, and mussels were all cooked well, although we both agreed the shrimp was overdone and a little chewy; probably because it was sitting in the hot marinara sauce. It was a good dish, although the marinara almost took away from the seafood as it was a little overpowering.
The portion sizes for everything were solid, especially the steamed mussels starter. We used a Groupon for our visit, so that helped, however I would say this would be a good treat yourself/date night restaurant as it was somewhat pricey. I think when we return it will probably be for the patio, appetizers, and the excellent beer list, not a full dinner. It was an enjoyable experience and I would recommend checking Tess out, but be prepared to spend $100 for dinner and a couple of drinks for two.
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