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Stay away from Ivy and the Oak Tree

  • d
  • Doug Jan 22, 2004 11:14 AM
  • 9

While I enjoy posting favorable reviews of restaurants that I've enjoyed, I have until now refrained from slamming a restaraunt that I did not like for fear of unjustly hurting a venue due to an isolated incident but.....

The manner is which Ivy and Oak Tree, a former favorite of ours, treated my mom, wife and daughter is simply unacceptable.

My mom had ordered a salad with grilled chicken. The chicken was inedible. It was grisly and very, very tough--like shoe leather. When my mom informed the waitress, she got the manager who informed her that "all of our food is good here" and walked away. My mom, who rarely if ever sends back a dish, was shocked. No offer to bring another dish, or to remove the salad from their bill. Frustrated, she went to the front to speak with another manager who was even less helpful and who became quite agitated and rude.

They paid for their meal, tipped their waitress (who seemed embarassed at the way they were treated, and who could not be blamed) and left, meals uneaten.

So there's the story. If you dine at Ivy and Oaktree, you do so at your own peril. As that area is replete with wonderful breakfast and lunch options, I advise all of you to dine somewhere else and let the Ivy die on the vine.

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  1. Are you talking about Oak Tree in the Bloomingdale's building? We live nearby, so I appreciate the warning if so.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JohnJeter

      Yeah, I think now it is called just Oak Tree....when I started eating there years ago it was called Ivy and the Oak Tree....so be warned. Sorry for the confusion.

      1. re: Doug

        I'm sorry to hear of an unpleasant situation at Oak Tree. I haven't gone often, but I've really enjoyed what I have ordered. Their patty melt is really tasty and on excellent quality rye bread with real fries. The lox and bagel plate came with good quality salmon and bagels, not the usual flourescent diner type salmon and "Lender's" type bagel.

        Evil Ronnie

        1. re: Evil Ronnie

          Evil, A lot has changed. It must be a percentage rent deal and they just dont care.

        2. re: Doug

          The Oak Tree used to be a wonderful place. Shortly after it moved into the Bloomie's Building I was there with several friends. It was a disaster -- very slow service, food poor when it finally arrived. My salmon was like shredded cardboard -- overcooked and/or sitting under heat lamps for a long time. Everyone else was unhappy, too.

          A friend who works in the area and loved the old place tried it several times in hopes it would improve. After a while he gave up and now refuses to eat there.

          About six times a year I join a group for dinner in the area -- we walk past the Oak Tree without a second glance and head on to Tucchi Benuch.

      2. That's sad to hear, The Oak Tree used to be a favorite when my Mom and I would go shopping and have lunch. They used to have the best carrot cake. I haven't been there in 4 or 5 years though. . .it's a shame when good restaurants go downhill like that.

        1. Never at there, and thanks to Chicago Chowhounds, never will.

          1. I've been eating at Oak Tree for years, including several recent trips. I agree that the place has slipped, and that the service is uneven, but I still think that the food is good and the atmosphere is great for a brunch with kids or a nicer (than quick take out) mid-week lunch. I don't think that it deserves the "never go there" beating its taking in these posts.

            I actually think that Oak Tree is the best brunch option on N. Michigan for people with families, and I've recommended it to friends who come into town with kids, but no car.

            1. Well, there is Tempo which is not too far away and Mrs. Park's in the Doubletree which is not fabulous but better than the Oak Tree. There is Mighty Nice in the Water Tower. None of those is too far away. The Oak Tree is pretty awful. It is very convienient but I wonder if they have different owners.