I went toÂ Tree earlier in December for a nicer night out with a good friend from out of town. We decided on Tree because it was part of my beloved Diner’s Deck which was about to run out at the end of the month. Although the description sounded more romantic than platonic, we were not opposed to being nestled next to couples and catching up over dim lighting and a bottle of wine.
Upon entering we understood what the Dinerâ€™s Deck card meant when it said â€œcozy.â€ It was teensy tiny, but I thought it was cute and had a lot of atmosphere for such a small place. We sat down and were happily surprised that that they offered a very affordable pre-fixe dinner all night Sunday â€“ Wednesday and until 7 Thursday â€“ Sunday. It was a Wednesday night so we were in luck. For $25, you can select your appetizer, main dish and dessert, making it a far better (and ongoing) deal than the much-hyped Restaurant Week.
When presented with such a deal, we could not refuse, even though we werenâ€™t terribly hungry. We had our Dinerâ€™s Deck card out to review the recommended dishes and the waitress noticed and kindly informed us that unfortunately the card was not valid with the pre-fixe menu. Quite the dilemma, but ultimately we decided to go with the pre-fixe because it was a good deal that you all could benefit from regardless of purchasing the Dinerâ€™s Deck.
I started with the pear, arugula and gorgonzola salad and Daria had the split pea soup with ham (the soup du jour). My salad was delicious and more plentiful than expected. Dariaâ€™s soup was a nice mix between creamy and lumpy and the ham added the most delicious aroma and flavor to the soup, regardless of if you grabbed a chunk of it with your bite.
We both ordered the steak frites for our main course, per the Dinerâ€™s Deck recommendation, and we were both disappointed. The fries were absolutely delicious, but the steak (cooked medium, which the waitress promised would still be tender) was in fact a little tough and flavorless. Good meat doesnâ€™t need anything but salt and pepper on it when itâ€™s cooked, and while this wasnâ€™t exactly an excellent cut of meat, it was certainly not seasoned well or at all for that matter. We were dumping salt (hello high blood pressure) on our steaks to give it some flavor but for some odd reason it didnâ€™t do a thing to either of our steaks. I resorted to elementary school and dipped it into the ketchup to get some kind of taste going on.
Tree redeemed itself with the desserts â€“ I had the crÃ¨me brulee and Daria had the chocolate mousse. Both were delicious and surprisingly largeâ€¦or at least they felt like they were so large because we just had a filling, although not satisfying, meal. Overall Iâ€™d return, but Iâ€™d steer away from the steak and Iâ€™d check outÂ Yelp for some other dish recommendations.
Location: 190 First Avenue
Who to bring: Date, Friends
Price: $$$ for a good pre-fixe deal or for regular menu items (so go with the pre-fixe!)
Overall: Â Apps and desserts were hits; the steak, not so much. 3 Stars