Owners Mustafa Ceylan and Adnan Bektas stand inside their restaurant, Tessara.
The restaurant building on Route 33 in Hamilton Square. Tessara celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

By Jacquelyn Pillsbury

Tessara Restaurant, located on Route 33 in Hamilton, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014.

Owners Adnan Bektas and Mustafa Ceylan immigrated here in the mid-1980s from the same village in Turkey. Bektas moved here first, and a year later encouraged Ceylan to move here, too.

They learned the restaurant business from the ground up. Ceylan worked at the Crystal Diner in Lawrence, then gained more restaurant experience at the Prestige Diner in East Windsor.

“I was a cook, manager. I did it all,” he said.

One of the owners is always on site to answer questions and to tend to the needs of their customers. It is a family operated business. Bektas and Ceylan say they and their managers and staff are grateful for the community’s support over the past decade.

“Our goal has always been to prepare fresh food, provide excellent service at good prices. Many people in the area call us the ‘gem of Hamilton.’ We take pride in that,” Ceylan said.

Tessara Restaurant serves food in the continental, Italian and American styles. The menu features burgers, sandwiches, steaks, sautés, pasta dishes, as well as veal, chicken and vegetarian entrees. A full kids menu is also available for patrons 12 and under. Take out is also available.

The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Their kitchen remains open until 10:30 p.m. each night.

Tessara’s dining area is broken into several smaller sections featuring wooden archways, wood tables and ceramic floors.They have a full bar with tables. A separate room for parties up to 100 people is available by reservation. Lunch packages start at $16.99 per person. Dinner packages are $21.99 and up. Ample parking is available.

Lunch specials start at $7.99. Dinner specials start at $13.99. Early bird specials are offered daily starting at $9.99. Happy hour specials, including drink and appetizer specials are offered daily.

Appetizers include mussels sautéed in a light cream sauce; baked asparagus wrapped in roasted peppers, prosciutto and fresh mozzarella in balsamic vinegar; and bacon wrapped scallops.

The owners say the signature chicken dish at their restaurant is Tessara Sweet Cracker Chicken. It is a breast of chicken lightly breaded with Ritz crackers in a white wine lemon sauce, served with rice and green beans.

Salmon Romanza is a popular fish dish, they said. It is a grilled filet of salmon with a lump of crabmeat, artichoke hearts, and pink peppercorn in a white wine lemon dill sauce served with grilled asparagus.

Also on the menu is Tournedoes Alla Rosini — medallions of filet mignon wrapped with bacon and topped with artichoke hearts in port wine mushroom sauce and served with potatoes and green beans.

Tessara also serves veal, pasta, salads and sandwiches. Their Veal Alicia is sautéed veal scallions with jumbo crabmeat and wild mushrooms in vodka cream tomato sauce over linguini. Penne Sicilian includes sundried tomatoes, wild mushrooms, scallions, olives and olive oil in a white wine garlic sauce.

Rib specials are featured daily. They are known in the area for their steaks. Their steak au poivre magnum is a one pound New York strip sirloin steak with a mixture of crushed greens, pink and black peppercorn in a cream mustard brandy sauce.

Desserts range from their homemade tiramisu and cheesecake to chocolate confusion cake, a dark chocolate cake.

Reservations are accepted. Ceylan notes that many come to Tessara to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries and other memories.

Tessara will celebrate their anniversary throughout the months of October and November. Specials and coupons may be found online at tessararestaurant.com.

Tessara Restaurant is located at 812 Route 33 in Hamilton. Phone: (609) 584-1700. Web: tessararestaurant.com. Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 to midnight, Sunday noon to 10:30 p.m. Reservations accepted.