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Nessa - Port Chester

marcia2 | | Mar 17, 2007 05:43 PM

We just came home from dinner at Nessa, the new Italian place on Main St. in Port Chester, across from the old Lifesaver factory.

It's still working out a few opening kinks, but we liked it a lot and we'll be back.

Service was well meaning and very pleasant, but somehow not quite proceeding with professional precision. We arrived around 6 on a Saturday night, the place was mostly empty, there were lots of servers, etc around, but I often felt like we were waiting a bit too long for certain things, like they didn't quite notice when we had looked at the menus and then put them aside, ready to order. But it's a quibble. Everyone was pleasant and helpful and I think they just need some practice. And kudos to them for being so nice to our 5 year old!

We started with bruschetta. I had prosciutto, ricotta and figs. My husband had white bean, truffle oil and tomato. They also sent out, on the house, one bruschetta with basil pesto for each person at the table. All very good.

For entrees, I had the linguine vongole. It wasn't the usual white wine sauce. There were a whole bunch of sweet little clams, grape tomatoes, a bit of pesto, a sauce I don't quite know how to explain, but it looked somewhat tomatoey (although not a full on tomato sauce) and there must have been a bit of cream. I liked it very much, although I couldn't finish it because it was pretty rich.

My husband liked his monkfish, but, having found a single bruschetta a very light appetizer (he doesn't like parmesan, so didn't have the pesto one they sent out) would have liked a side of pasta or something. Maybe next time he'll have a couple of bruschetta or a bruschetta and a salad.

The pasta and the monkfish were both a bit oversalted.

The occasional chowpup (sometimes he eats all sorts of interesting things and sometimes he eats like your basic fussy, non-chowish 5 year old) had plain pasta with olive oil and salt and was very happy.

I had a nice ricotta cheesecake for dessert with a dried fruit chutney that I didn't love. I don't think there was anything wrong with the chutney, I just don't think it was my thing. The chowpup had a very dark, very rich chocolate mousse with a red wine crema, whipped cream and crushed amaretti. After a few bites he decided he wasn't wild about the toppings, but ate about half the mousse, giving it an enthusiastic thumbs up and reluctantly agreeing to share with my husband.

They now have their liquor license.

When the bill came, they had charged us $16 for my son's dish of plain fusilli (the price for their fusilli entree with sausage, broccoli rabe, etc.) I went up to the bar to speak to the owner, Marc, who had stopped by our table earlier, told him how much we enjoyed our dinner but expressed my dismay at $16 for a plain plate of pasta. I expect to be charged, but not that much! He agreed that it was ridiculous and just took it off the bill.

So, on the whole, very good food, a few bumps in the road that I think will disappear with experience and a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.