I've been eating at the Tree since 1993. For a number of years, it was THE place to go for steak in Jacksonville. For a number of years one could never go wrong as the food was outstanding, the service impeccable, and the overall experience made you want for more.
Here it is 20 years later and over the years, this restaurant has had its ups and downs with service but for the most part the food, albeit a bit high priced for the overall quality, is always good.
This trip, as with previous trips in the more recent past, left something to be desired. I admit, i showed up on a saturday night, without reservation and with an out of town guest in tow. We were seated quickly, but then waited for 8 -1 0 minutes for someone to bring a menu and take a drink order.
Others have said the service needs work - I agree, however this trip, after the server finally did come to the table, from that moment on the service was pretty darn good! I was ecstatic that I didn't have to apologize to my guest for picking a restaurant that didn't have good service.
I had the filet (almost always do), my guest had the ribeye (14 oz cut) - both were cooked to perfection, had great flavor and neither of us were disappointed with the meat. The salad bar was good, plenty of selections, all fresh and clean.
The only real issue this trip was that the steak fries were soggy, burnt and tasted of very old fry oil. I took one bite and left the rest - and that says a lot because I was really hungry. I did not say anything but the server took notice and asked if they were ok. I explained that the chef should change the oil once in a while. I was offered a substitute but declined as we had already started eating.
All in all, The Tree Steakhouse isn't a bad place, it just isn't great. The service can be up or down, the food can be up or down, it seems it just depends on what day you go. I would recommend it to anyone in the same way I would recommend any average restaurant. I'll go back again - as I always do, with hopes that things will be better next time.
I will agree with some of the previous posters that they are in serious need of a good facelift. It's the same forest/hunter green walls and stuffed animals hanging that have been there since the first visit back in 1993.
There are other places in Jacksonville to eat - I just keep going back to the Tree because I want it to be good.
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