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Tessa's in Naperville- B-A-D

Tessa's in Naperville- B-A-D
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  • Tessa's in Naperville- B-A-D

    Post #1 - August 27th, 2007, 10:44 am
    Post #1 - August 27th, 2007, 10:44 am Post #1 - August 27th, 2007, 10:44 am
    Beautiful Space. Horrible food. Big Portions

    The bread, when torn off of the loaf, flattened out like a pancake.

    The shells, stuffed with goat cheese?!, were coated with a dark red sauce that seemed more of an emulsion than anything. They may purchase their olive oil from Jiffy Lube.

    The capellini arrabiata was a spicy, flavorless sauce. If you enjoy eating needles, this would be the dish for you.

    The crab stuffed mushrooms had a crabby essence, as if you picked up a dead crab off of the beach and just ate it straight from the shell. Actually, I'm not sure if they used crabs from the ocean or crabs from someone's pubic region.

    Prosciutto wrapped shrimp- Apparently, Carl Buddig now makes prosciutto. The meat had a really good chew to it, even after five minutes.

    The cheese on the table was a larger, soft grated cheese bearing no resemblance to Romano or Parmesan. It was softer, like a fine Kraft pre-grated Cheddar.

    They do prepare a quality glass of ice water, served cold and with ice. I also had their Miller Lite, which is good since it is not made on the premises.

    If you ever think of going here, please email me, and I will come over and hit you in the head with a baseball bat.

    It's in downtown Naperville, on Jefferson Street, but I don't know the address as I am trying to block out the experience.

    Bread pudding was a giant slab of compressed bread with apples.

    Good cheesecake, though.

    Tessa's
    16 W Jefferson Ave
    Naperville, IL 60540
    630-357-9200
    [Moderator edit on address]
  • Post #2 - August 27th, 2007, 10:48 am
    Post #2 - August 27th, 2007, 10:48 am Post #2 - August 27th, 2007, 10:48 am
    Wow. This isn't the first negative review I've seen (or heard) of this place. It's a shame, because it really is a nice space. With the other choices in town for Italian, I don't think I'd bother.
  • Post #3 - August 27th, 2007, 10:54 am
    Post #3 - August 27th, 2007, 10:54 am Post #3 - August 27th, 2007, 10:54 am
    Unfortunately, I have to agree. Bad food. We tried it twice. It didn't get better. Our server was so bad that my granddaughter (she's 9) asked the manager if she could get him to bring her drink since he was too busy "talking to that girl over there."
  • Post #4 - August 27th, 2007, 11:13 am
    Post #4 - August 27th, 2007, 11:13 am Post #4 - August 27th, 2007, 11:13 am
    Ouch. Thanks for saving me the trouble.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #5 - August 27th, 2007, 11:34 am
    Post #5 - August 27th, 2007, 11:34 am Post #5 - August 27th, 2007, 11:34 am
    thank you for taking one for the "team"
  • Post #6 - August 27th, 2007, 8:00 pm
    Post #6 - August 27th, 2007, 8:00 pm Post #6 - August 27th, 2007, 8:00 pm
    Dammit, they're in the spot where the good deep-dish pizza was?
  • Post #7 - August 27th, 2007, 8:33 pm
    Post #7 - August 27th, 2007, 8:33 pm Post #7 - August 27th, 2007, 8:33 pm
    the old brick house pizza or something. They did MAJOR renovation to the building -- basically gutted it except for the facade, so they've spent some serious coin. And I liked the old pizza, primarily because it was one of the few places with meatball pizza. They still have it, though, so I might have to try it just for that.
  • Post #8 - August 28th, 2007, 7:41 am
    Post #8 - August 28th, 2007, 7:41 am Post #8 - August 28th, 2007, 7:41 am
    tcdup wrote:the old brick house pizza or something. They did MAJOR renovation to the building -- basically gutted it except for the facade, so they've spent some serious coin. And I liked the old pizza, primarily because it was one of the few places with meatball pizza. They still have it, though, so I might have to try it just for that.


    Prior to Jimmy Bergeron purchasing it, it was Leonardo's pizza for many years. You still can buy frozen Leonardo's stuffed pizzas at local Naperville Jewels, but I always preferred their thin crust. Personally, I thought the operation went downhill when Bergeron purchased it and turned it into Brickhouse, which seemed to have a quasi nightclub atmosphere. Apparently he really went all out with rehabbing the space into Tessa's (it was closed for a long time). Too bad the food, from what I've heard, is mediocre.
  • Post #9 - September 7th, 2007, 2:55 pm
    Post #9 - September 7th, 2007, 2:55 pm Post #9 - September 7th, 2007, 2:55 pm
    Four of us went to Tessa's and tried the family style meal. Shrimp and Crab mushrooms for starters. Chop and House Salad's and passed four entree's the waiter recommended. Great evening - good food - Joel our waiter was right on in his recommendations. $25 a head but we brought home lunch for the next day. I'll do it again.
  • Post #10 - September 7th, 2007, 3:00 pm
    Post #10 - September 7th, 2007, 3:00 pm Post #10 - September 7th, 2007, 3:00 pm
    Live and Let Eat wrote:Four of us went to Tessa's and tried the family style meal. Shrimp and Crab mushrooms for starters. Chop and House Salad's and passed four entree's the waiter recommended. Great evening - good food - Joel our waiter was right on in his recommendations. $25 a head but we brought home lunch for the next day. I'll do it again.


    Tell us about some other places you like around here, Live and Let Eat.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #11 - September 10th, 2007, 10:17 am
    Post #11 - September 10th, 2007, 10:17 am Post #11 - September 10th, 2007, 10:17 am
    Try Tin Fish in Oakbrook Terrace or for high end Sequel in Lombard.
  • Post #12 - September 13th, 2007, 1:12 pm
    Post #12 - September 13th, 2007, 1:12 pm Post #12 - September 13th, 2007, 1:12 pm
    Thanks for the warning on this place. Sounds like it's pretty much universal, with one dissent. There are too many Italian places in town already, so if this one is going to go south it should probably do it in a hurry and open the space up for something that's new and different. Sorry if that seems harsh, but it pains me that Naperville can't seem to support a high end restuarant, but you can get a plate of pasta on every street.

    All the best,
    John
    John Danza
  • Post #13 - October 5th, 2007, 11:11 pm
    Post #13 - October 5th, 2007, 11:11 pm Post #13 - October 5th, 2007, 11:11 pm
    Disappointing to hear that something with a nice space isn't worth the visit, but Italian is a dime dozen out this way. I can name at least five or six Italian restaurants worth their salt, but Tessa's isn't one I have gone to.

    I'll make sure to bypass this one in favour of somewhere a bit better. Thanks for the review and sorry it wasn't enjoyable!
  • Post #14 - October 27th, 2007, 6:39 am
    Post #14 - October 27th, 2007, 6:39 am Post #14 - October 27th, 2007, 6:39 am
    I'm hearing Tessa's is in the market for a new executive chef. It will be interesting to see how things change once they find someone.

    Fwiw, a couple people I know have been to Tessa's in the past couple weeks and they had a lovely time and thought the food was good too. They both said they would definitely go back. The place has only been open for about six months and is definitely NOT a chain restaurant. It's locally owned and operated. A work in progress so to speak. I am happy to hear things are improving as time goes on...even with a change in executive chefs on the horizon.
  • Post #15 - October 29th, 2007, 12:46 pm
    Post #15 - October 29th, 2007, 12:46 pm Post #15 - October 29th, 2007, 12:46 pm
    Some of the pastas are ok, and they are fantastic deals. I got a half order of a mushroom penne pasta that was pretty good (a marsala-ish sauce), for about $10, and it ended up being 3 meals for me. (My husband's pesto farfalle was only one meal for him, but still an inexpensive half order.)

    We stopped in for an appetizer a few weeks ago, and they had a tasty grilled artichoke drizzled with reduced balsamic, but the real deal that day was that I noticed a bottle of Flowers Perenniel behind the bar that had been opened, and after inquiring about it, they sold me a glass for $8!! It's a $65 bottle!! Being a fairly obscure wine, I was surprised to even see it on their list, let alone behind their bar. The only other list I've seen it on in a while is Meritage in Bucktown. They have a number of other interesting choices on their list, but it could still use some work. It's one of the better wine lists downtown Naperville, but that's not saying much since most of them are awful.

    I totally agree about the glut of Italian in downtown Naperville, though. Italian and steakhouses - enough already! My favorite Italian places in Naperville are Capri, followed by Mia Angelis, neither of which are downtown.
  • Post #16 - July 28th, 2008, 5:00 pm
    Post #16 - July 28th, 2008, 5:00 pm Post #16 - July 28th, 2008, 5:00 pm
    There is a story in the online edition of the Daily Herald saying that Tessa's is closed.

    Here's a link, but i don't know how long it will be there.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=223891&src=76
  • Post #17 - July 29th, 2008, 8:18 am
    Post #17 - July 29th, 2008, 8:18 am Post #17 - July 29th, 2008, 8:18 am
    ^ Very interesting. I will admit that we never even got around to trying the place...Between the negative reviews and the other choices in town for Italian, we just never bothered. However, I am pretty surprised to learn that restaurant is closing already.

    It's a shame to see any local business close its doors. However, I think that Bergeron clearly is in denial if he blames the restaurant's failure on the smoking ban and gas prices. On any given night (especially on weekends), there literally is a mob of people in downtown Naperville spending money at restaurants, many of which are filled to capacity.
  • Post #18 - July 29th, 2008, 9:10 am
    Post #18 - July 29th, 2008, 9:10 am Post #18 - July 29th, 2008, 9:10 am
    Ron A,

    I completely agree. Jimmy's Grill has not been affected by the smoking ban, economy or parking issues. Parking is actually never a problem for me when I'm in town but maybe I just know that there are several parking garages all easily walkable. The food was just not up to par and very inconsistent from my experiences.
  • Post #19 - July 29th, 2008, 10:27 am
    Post #19 - July 29th, 2008, 10:27 am Post #19 - July 29th, 2008, 10:27 am
    Jean Blanchard wrote:Ron A,

    I completely agree. Jimmy's Grill has not been affected by the smoking ban, economy or parking issues. Parking is actually never a problem for me when I'm in town but maybe I just know that there are several parking garages all easily walkable. The food was just not up to par and very inconsistent from my experiences.


    Parking can be a hassle, but it doesn't seem to be affecting other businesses, at least not from what I've seen. Though I never tried Tessa's, I suspect you are right in that the food probably was just not up to par. Also, I don't think that the fact that they were next door to La Sorella di Francesca's -- a well-established Italian restaurant with pretty good food -- necessarily helped them.
  • Post #20 - July 29th, 2008, 11:46 am
    Post #20 - July 29th, 2008, 11:46 am Post #20 - July 29th, 2008, 11:46 am
    I have to chime in that Tessa's problem was singular - a lack of quality at the price charged. I went there once and that's exactly what hit me.
    John Danza

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