Page Buttons

Home About Me Food Sponsor Blog Love

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nashville Food Friday: The Treehouse

The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
The Treehouse is a new restaurant that opened in the East Nashville five points area in a renovated home. I always get excited when a new place opens in my neighborhood and I've been pestering Steve about checking it out. We went there for date night last week to see what the fuss was about.
The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
The inside is very nicely decorated, but boy is it tiny. There's too much furniture jammed into a little house. I also wasn't the biggest fan of their communal dining experience. At The Treehouse, everyone sits next to strangers. We were at a six-person table with two other couples and because of this we couldn't really have any meaningful conversation, because DUH, other people. I warmed up a bit to the idea during the meal when I started really liking the couples next to us (they were very sweet and talkative). But let's be real- not all people are awesome and sometimes in a situation like this you will have to sit next to someone you don't quite like. I personally don't want to pay a lot of money for a romantic dinner to sit next to someone who is slowly driving me insane.
Drinks at The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
We started out with some cocktails. I had the Uprooted, which was gin and green apple juice. This was a really good fall cocktail and the tart apple flavor worked really well with the light gin. Steve had the Kentucky Hussey which was a whiskey drink. It was strong, tart and he liked it. If you are looking for beer, you may be disappointed because they have a very limited selection with only 3 choices.
Mussels  at The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
The menu worked like a tapas restaurant. You chose a bunch of small courses to share and they arrived one at a time. Every single thing on the menu is made to share- which has its pros and cons.
The first plate to arrive was the mussels with bacon, blue cheese and wine. This was the best dish I had all night. The mussels were delicate and not overcooked. The sauce was a perfect blend of the cheese and wine and we even asked for extra bread to sop it up.

Unfortunately the service was very slow between courses. We sat waiting between the first and second course for what seemed like a long time. When the courses are small portions (such as tapas) they have to come out in a timely manner.
Fry bread  at The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Our next course was the fry bread, for which the topping selection changes daily. On our night it was topped with peanut sauce and grilled romaine lettuce. This was solid, although I wasn't the biggest fan of their peanut sauce. I felt like this course should have arrived before the mussels to have with our cocktails- but that's just me.

At this point the service got even slower. We had to ask the wait staff if they put in the right food and if it was coming. Because of the multiple parties at the same table they couldn't remember who ordered what and when the food arrived the server gave it to the wrong couple, which threw off the whole serving order for everyone else. 
Duck liver at The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Up next was the duck liver with peanut sauce and apples. This was a full duck liver which I usually quite enjoy. Unfortunately, the same peanut sauce I did not like earlier was also served with this dish. The iron flavor of the liver, which was cooked perfectly, did not work with the peanut sauce. This dish just seemed very confusing.
beef hearts at The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Our last course was the anticuchos (beef hearts) with smoked pumpkin and spiced pepitas. I didn't like this dish at all- which is strange because I normally adore beef hearts. I was not a fan of the smoked pumpkin or the spicy seeds; the heart and all that stuff together just wasn't delicious. It tasted oddly heavy with lots of fall spice. I really wish the beef hearts' natural flavor and texture had just shined through.

At this point of the dinner things seemed rushed. Plates were flying and courses were cleared the second we dropped our forks. 
Dessert flan at The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
For dessert we tried the flan with shortbread crumble and candied serrano chilies. The candied peppers came in large chunks that were so hot that when you bit into them you couldn't taste anything else. Steve and I agreed that if they were chopped up into little pieces this would've been much better. The flan itself was unspectacular, but good.
The Treehouse restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Because the Treehouse is new and we went on a busy Friday night, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. I went back on a weeknight for dinner with my friend Ana Beth (who has excellent taste in food). Both of us were very disappointed- here's a quick run down:
  • The service was still off. A waiter tried to give us someone else's food. That person wasn't even at our communal table at all.
  • We ordered the empanadas which were not good in the slightest. They didn't look right and just appeared to be mangled and malformed. They were overstuffed with only beans and then fried, making the whole thing a greasy, soggy mess. Neither of us could finish this dish.
  • We ordered the quail and what we got was just sad. Instead of a whole quail (which is implied by just the word QUAIL), we got a tiny boneless over-cooked breast that was half the size of my palm. The legs are the best part of the quail and they were missing. I asked the wait staff about this and they said it's just how the dish comes. I suggested that they need to indicate "quail breast" on the menu to avoid confusion and disappointment. This was the saddest $10 I've spent on food.
I hate to say this, but the Treehouse really needs to get its act together, both in service and food. I really like the idea, the space, and the location but I just can't recommend them yet. They have an identity crisis with no discernible culinary inspiration, and that just confuses the whole menu. They serve whatever they want without regard to how it fits in with the overall menu and theme. I'll give them more time to figure things out before I make a return appearance. 

The Treehouse on Urbanspoon


  1. I have hearing so much about this place and curious to check it out, but its good to finally hear an honest review that isn't just like "OMG! This place is so cool, you guys!"

    1. I would give it a while before you try it and spend a lot of $$$. They need to fix some service issues and better craft the food. I really hope they do it- because if they do- that place would be great!


Blogging tips