Dining in Whimsey

Dinner at the Treehouse Tavern

 

It is really nice to visit a restaurant that is so different that you just have to let the world know about it. So, that is what I am going to do! My husband and I did the usual drive down Route 2’s “Restaurant Row”, but Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, and On the Border wasn’t what our stomachs wanted at that particular time. We turned north on Centerville Road and I noticed Ferns and Flowers, where I have enjoyed afternoon tea in the past. I remembered the owner , Michael, had said that The Tree House Tavern would be opening soon and we needed to visit. So, that’s exactly what we did and boy, were we in for a special treat!

  

 

 

 

 

The entrance was decorated with an abundance of flowering plants, ferns and antique ware. Amidst all the flowers and hidden behind an arrangement of a plush-stuffed black bear and forest critters, a very distinctive looking tree and cascading more the ceiling where white lights in translucent tubes like long Chinese lanterns, like rays of the moon casting light on the scene below. I couldn’t help but notice the wall hangings of various artistic and old-fashioned items, such as snowshoes, skis, antiquated signs and a multitude of other very fascinating accessories. I felt as if I were in a fantasyland of never ending possibilities and dreams.

The Tree House Tavern is beyond unique. It’s whimsical, with all the oddities and artistic flare that creates a world of make-believe right before our eyes. It’s hard not to escape to a far away place while dining at the tavern. I imagined that I was in the thicket of a jungle, with swaying branches and exotic fruits dangling from the vines. At any moment, I was expecting a squirrel monkey to jump onto my shoulder trying to grab my food away. It was that magical.

The bar had been crafted from a very old piece of wood from a long-lost Rhode Island sawmill. The groves from the huge circular saw blade can still be seen in the wood, bringing us back again to another place in history. There was enough wood left over to construct some tables for the tavern, all painstakingly sanded and stained to just the right color.

There were a lot of little nooks and crannies in the tavern, each holding its own unique charm. On old gas-fired stove, antiqued to match the walls, displays of kitchen ware, foodie items and interwoven branches of pine that continued with the theme of being in the forest. One corner housed a piano, a couple of over-stuffed chairs, some plants and an impressive amount of eclectic figurines. During our dinner, one of the restarant’s regular patrons typed out a melody from the olden days emanating from the room, inviting those to gather around for a session or two.

For those who like to inhale a good cigar or two, there is a little room outside of the restaurant to accommodate the smokers. Relaxing chairs and an assortment of smoking apparatus makes it feel like a good old-fashioned smoking lounge, if the lounge had had the feel of a garden room. Not only will you be treated to the aromas of a good cigar or pipe, there is also a view of the intense greenery and works of art in the backyard, picturesque enough for weddings and special events.

I’ve talked all about the ambiance, but not the food!

The menu is a marriage of creative dishes, ranging from Acorn Squash Bisque, Beef Goulash, and a variety of other not so typical dishes to a mouth-watering hamburger with all the American fixins’ that can be mustered up.

On our first visit, I had a bowl of carrot-ginger soup and a huge mushroom, stuffed with spinach and rice and cheese and complete deliciousness. Paul saw the prime rib on the menu and couldn’t resist, and couldn’t stop eating until it was all gone, practically ignoring the multi-colored potatoes and vegetables that came with it.

Notice I said “first visit”? We went back again more just a few days ago and ordered from the Octoberfest menu. This time Paul had sauerbraten (roasted pork soaked in a slightly sour sauce, over noodles), and I had a colorful winter squash stuffed with rice.

After the feast, there is an assortment of desserts that are beyond ‘to die for’! For instance, pumpkin cheesecake, warm gingerbread with whipped cream infused with spices, black forest cake and the list just goes on and on. Top that off with a mug Irish Coffee and the night is complete.

And, we must not forget Michael the owner, who just loves to chat with his customers. He is quite whimsical himself, meandering from one table to the other, telling stories of his childhood right down to the pounding of the last nail into the Tree House Tavern. Michael just makes The Tree House Tavern what it is; a whimsical, mystifying journey that will definitely be a memorable even for all.

You can find the Treehouse Bistro online at www.fernsandflowers.com, and in real life at 1094 Centerville Road in Warwick, just north of Bald Hill Road. The Tavern is open nightly Tuesday -Saturday 4:00-9:00 or later Call us 821-1447 or 821-1105

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