A novel design element sets this Upper West Side Mediterranean restaurant apart—accordion-style iron security gates hanging everywhere, even spread out over the ceiling. Locals of a certain age arrive for lunch and early dinners and a younger crowd takes over later, gathering at the expansive bar and lounge tables. Tessa is convenient for so many reasons, located near the Beacon Theater, the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park; plus, it’s an easy place to come in for drinks and dinner at the bar without a reservation. The menu, developed by Cedric Tovar, touches on Italian, French and Spanish flavors and changes seasonally. Expect an inventive selection of vegetable compositions, pasta, roasted fish and grilled meats. The main dining room in back can fit 65 guests; a private dining room can be booked for parties of up to 18.