Tree House - Chicago
A place named “Tree House” has got to be fun, right? Right! Fun and food is exactly what you’ll find at Tree House, a restaurant that plans to strike the perfect “balance between a nostalgic, family-oriented restaurant, and a bar with exciting nightlife.”
Chef Marco Colin, who has previously worked in the kitchens at Chicago’s internationally acclaimed Alinea and The Publican, is aiming to serve elevated comfort food. His kitchen uses a traditional oven as well as a wood-burning brick oven to prepare Tree Houses various styles of pizza. The cocktail offerings – with beverages designed to pair with Colin’s menu – prove a formidable support to the restaurant space, which as the evening draws on, transitions from an intimate dinner spot to a club vibe with bottle service and live entertainment.
At Tree House, the small plates section of the menu offers portions suitable for starters or just things to nibble while enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine. The calamari fritti is served with lemon aioli, destined to become your favorite condiment for this classic dish, and for heartier appetites, the Tree House meatballs are a comforting, classic blend of pork and veal, with house marinara, served with Publican sourdough bread; the beet and ricotta hummus is prepared with seasonal veg and will appeal to those who prefer plant-based foods.
In keeping with the general Italian theme of the food on Tree House’s menu, there’s rigatoni in house-made vodka sauce, truffle spaghetti, orecchiette with spicy sausage and ravioli with mushroom and fig balsamic.
The Pizza Bar is the centerpiece of the Tree House menu, and it’s divided into wood fired Neapolitan and Detroit styles.
The Neapolitan pizzas include such favorites as the classic Margherita (buffalo mozzarella, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce), the spectacular salumi dolce e piccante (spicy pepperoni, fior de latte, tomatoes, and honey), and a mushroom and truffle blend. Detroit style pizza – with high, crusty, and cheesy crust – offers some innovative variations, such as Pig + Fig (prosciutto, aged parmigiano, and fig balsamic), Buffalo chicken (with what else? blue cheese!) and birria, the Mexican slow-braised beef with onion and cilantro.
The cocktail menu offers the traditional as well as more creative beverages, including Detroit Vs. Everyone (Belvedere, Genepy, lemon and mint), Mano Mezcal (400 Conejos mezcal, mango, chili, and lime) and the Pigeon Pink Paloma (tequila, mezcal, grapefruit, agave syrup, lime, and Topo Chico).