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“Tasty Seafood Cakes and Crepes!”
Review of Tess - CLOSED

Tess
Cuisines: Fusion, Soups
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 31 August 2013

We stopped in here for supper late one night, about an hour before closing... and still the food was fresh and delicious and the service fantastic. We had seafood cakes with salad followed by the dessert trio (crepes and ice cream). You can tell that this is a restaurant managed and staffed by people who take pride in their work. The whole menu looked interesting and delicious, the wine menu was great, food was very good, made from quality ingredients and the service was great too--even though we were those people who wandered in just as they're starting to prepare for closing! If in Halifax again I will definitely return to try out the rest of the menu!

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Thank Melissa_3847
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (67)
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44 - 48 of 67 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2013

Parking can be a challenge but once there it is an oasis of fresh food and relaxation. The melon salad was fresh and presentation was exceptional. We loved the old school baked Brie and will be returning to have it again. The staff is adorable and accommodating . This is a little gem.

1  Thank bobokitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013

This restaurant has been around for 4 years this Sept., 2013. It started as a creperie but changed its menu a bit and its name is just now "Tess". It is named after the owner's mother. There is a story about the mother and the owner (Liz) in an ablum at the bar. I won't ruin it for you. Just ask your server or Liz herself as she is almost always there. The little restaurant is quite elegant inside and out (they have a smallish patio in the front and a larger one in the back. Very good service always. My wife and I have been there a dozen times and have always had great service. And excellent food. The prices are reasonable $12, 14, 18. We have taken local and out of province guests there and they have loved the place as well. Definitely worth a visit!

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Thank Sean P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

On a recent visit home to Halifax, I enjoyed a dinner with two long-time friends on a sunny Tuesday evening. Parking was plentiful on the street right in front of the restaurant when we arrived at 6 PM. The small front patio was empty. A waitress greeted us at the open door and led us to a table just a few feet inside the main dining area, beside a window looking out on its residential neighbourhood. Despite the arrival of the summer weather, the backyard patio is apparently still only open midday. The main dining space comfortably seats maybe 30 people, with a bar area at the back, to the left of the entrance. There were probably ten diners, seated at a trio of tables towards the back of the room, when we arrived. A table sign alerted us to the fact that Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7, a lightly sparkling wine, was available, so the three of us each started with a glass. The slightly pink wine was served well chilled in champagne flutes and was just as delicious as I had remembered from previous trips to Nova Scotia. The menu was supplemented by a few specials that evening that were printed on a plastic-clad sheet that arrived with the menus. For starters, we all opted for a salad, with two of us really enjoying the very generously-sized “small” spinach salad that had absolutely the best warm bacon dressing. The spinach was fresh and crisp, dotted with slices of hard-boiled egg, mushrooms, and red onion, and piled high with lots and lots of shredded white cheese (Swiss?). Our other friend tried the melon and cucumber salad which came served in a martini glass. She thoroughly enjoyed the little cubes of honeydew melon, cucumber and feta cheese mixed with a citrus dressing, deeming it to be fresh and summery. For the main course, one friend ordered the beef and blue cheese dish from the menu but the waitress responded that she had already told us that it wasn’t available that evening. (For the record, she hadn’t… she wasn’t the waitress who had seated us nor brought us our drinks, so we had never actually seen her before that very moment!) She instead opted for the pork tenderloin served with “rustic mashed potatoes” which our other friend had already decided on. They both enjoyed the dish and reported that the pork was well-prepared and moist. The mashed potato turned out to be a mix of sweet potato and standard spuds and was quite well mashed, resulting in a creamy, light orange cloud upon which the pork was served. The portion was just the right size for someone who had already enjoyed an appetizer. I opted for the highly-touted Coquilles St-Jacques. The menu announced that it is now served on a bed of rice, but when I asked if I could have it served on a savoury crepe instead, the restaurant was happy to oblige. The six scallops were each about an inch across and were perfectly cooked. The thick cheesy sauce included shreds of wilted spinach and small chunks of mushroom. A folded crepe served as the base and it took up half the plate. The other half of the plate was a green salad topped with half-a-dozen halved grape tomatoes and a vinaigrette dressing. (Having strayed from the menu version of the dish, served on its bed of rice, I wasn’t aware that the crepe version would come with yet another salad, or I would have told the waitress not to bother with it. But since it was there, I happily ate the dressed tomatoes and just left the greens untouched.) For dessert, I ordered the Nova Scotia Strawberry Shortcake from the list of specials, specifically because it came served on a traditional tea biscuit instead of a sponge cake. It was good, but the tea biscuit had absorbed a lot of the strawberry juice and was soggy by the time it arrived in front of me. I know that some people prefer it that way but not me, so I mostly ate the strawberries and whipped cream and left the sodden pink biscuit. One of my friends is a great lover of plain old crème brulée (i.e., no lavender, no lemon basil, no other trendy additives) so we knew right away that would be her dessert of choice. Her small ramekin was quickly emptied as she enjoyed every bite. Our other friend ordered the Euro dessert crepe, which was filled with banana, Nutella (the chocolate hazelnut spread), and caramel and topped with whipped cream. Who wouldn’t love that combination? But it proved to be too big a portion for her and so we were all "forced" to help her finish the final half while she sipped from her cup of tea. All in all, the food was great and the prices quite reasonable, given the quality of the food and the portion sizes. The restaurant was active but not distracting and we were able to enjoy our drinks and a leisurely three-course meal over the course of about two-and-a-half hours. The only oddity was the service. As noted, one waitress greeted us and served us our drinks. Then another waitress took our orders for the appetizer and main course. The first waitress served our appetizer. After removing our empty dishes, the second waitress brought us dessert menus in photo frames and propped one up in front of each of us. She returned a few minutes later to take our orders and was surprised when we said that we had not yet been served our main courses. She quickly took away the dessert frames and returned with our dinner plates. Just a few minutes later, we saw our original waitress leaving the building in street clothes so it seems the mix-up may have resulted from a shift change. When we did order our dessert, all went well. And, in the spirit of a great neighbourhood place, we were literally in the midst of reminiscing about our student days together, some 25 years before, when a woman that we all knew from high school, but who we had not seen in more than a decade, walked through the door for dinner with her husband! It was a lovely evening out and I will look forward to a return visit, perhaps for a lunch or brunch in the elusive "backyard oasis".

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Thank Anne K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

Youngest son's High School Graduation celebration was made special by a lovely lunch at Tess.

Party of 5 arriving at 1:30 pm after a long morning graduation ceremony - restaurant was busy with other large parties but servers were unflappabale. Very busy lunch left restaurant without without lettuce for salads but the replacement Vichyssoise was very good. Everyone's meals were first rate and despite the being extremely busy the service was top notch - certainly did not feel rushed. Thank you Tess - another successful meal!

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Thank JCaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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