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Aug 11, 2008 03:47 PM

Tree House???

Can someone please recommend a good Italian place that is locally owned and has a bit of charm? We have out of town family coming Wednsday...and Italian is the only thing they will all eat...Thanks

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  1. Treehouse - NO! Just down South Congress is Enoteca Vespaio, and if you cross the river you will find La Traviata. I like 'em both.

    1 Reply
    1. re: televiking

      Stortini is good too.. they have half price lunches through the end of the month. don't bother with is terrible.

    2. I must reitterate NO to Treehouse. They need Gordon Ramsey, stat. It's a great location, but OMG it is NOT good. Stouffer's frozen Lasagna is better. Seriously!

      1. Depends what you call "charm" ?? Siena, on 2222 @ 360 has "faux charme" ala nouveau villa constuction. Food was pretty good last I was there... some apps, pasta for secondi, some interesting entrees. Never been terribly wowed by their wine list tho.... predictably expensive sales rep selection. Treehouse has "outdoor charm" under the Worlds Oldest And Biggest Oak Tree... but their kitchen capabilities are relatively unsophisticated. The wine list will have something to drink, but nothing too intriguing. Vespaio has "brick oven charm" and a good bar, and a good wine list for glasses or bottles.... but I wish they changed up their menu a bit more and got rid of the flavour-de-campfire mixed grill. The gigantic shank-o-critter could be shared by about four people. There are a couple places on Barton Springs Rd, like Romeo's, that got "Austin funk charme".... haute cuisine they're not, but the food can be satisfying. I can't put Asti in the same sentence with "charm".... but that's where I'd go with my family. Good food, reasonably good wine (need more selections), good prices. I like what they do, generally.

        1. I've only had brunch there and the chowhound musings haven't been particularly happy, but Sagra is in a nice old building south of campus and our brunch there this past weekend was quite pleasant both in atmosphere and taste of the food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Carter B.

            Thank you all for the advice... Against our advice the company selected Tree House because "it sounded cool" and with two preteen girls in tow we figured what the heck..
            You guys were right on target. The place was "cool" but ..
            1. the kids soda was flat
            2. they were out od ceaser salad?
            3. the juliet sauce tasted like jarred Alfredo sauce
            4. antipasta plater??? just sad
            service was sweet and kind but not enough
            The kids loved the food ..probally because it tastes like the canned stuff their mom gives them..
            Thanks for all your help. I will never listen to guests over you guys again :)