Nessa Revamps Its Menu

The contemporary Italian restaurant in Port Chester still has its signatures, but expect plenty of new items.

After successfully running contemporary-Italian restaurant nessa since 2006, owner Marc Tessitore decided late last year that it was time for a rebrand. Was it scary? “God, no,” says Tessitore, “it’s fun—a new thought process on everything.”

Well, perhaps not everything. There’s still the cleverly conceived bruschetta (e.g., chicken liver pâté and agrodolce), truffle egg toast, and the delicious signature zeppole for dessert. But Executive Chef Jose Castro, with the help of Consulting Chef Joseph David Mortelliti (co-owner of Rye’s On The Way Café), has revamped the menu with dishes such as salmon carpaccio, braised octopus with lentils and cabbage; a beet soil salad (the “soil” consisting of approximately 10 dried herbs, three types of mushroom, and ground pumpernickel); and decadent curry mussels with dipping breads. Entrées range from $20 to $28; there’s also a don’t-miss $25-any-app, any-entrée dinner deal offered Tuesday through Friday.  

Tessitore even brought in a feng shui expert to enliven the dark interior of the 86-seat eatery. The walls are now gray and pumpkin; the curtain separating the inviting bar and the dining area is open; and some round tables were added to reduce the amount of sharp angles in the room.

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A name change (Nessa is his wife) is being considered, too. “I have a five-month-old daughter, Blake. It just may happen.”

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