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“Don't believe the hype!”

The Tree Steakhouse and Oak Bar
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Ranked #303 of 1,996 Restaurants in Jacksonville
Price range: $20 - $60
Cuisines: American, Bar, Wine Bar, Steakhouse
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Drinks, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: The Tree is a classic steakhouse restaurant with 100% certified Black Angus Beef from Braveheart Ranch steaks, fresh seafood, in-house prepared sides, and a conditioned wine room with a large a selection of wine; all served in a traditional steakhouse environment.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Don't believe the hype!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2012

So was able to have a date night with my wife last night. Decided to try the Tree Steakhouse as so many people rave about it. Being from the NE, I've been to my fair share of steakhouses and I loves me some good steakhouse steak!

Anyway, had a late dinner (8:00) and was surprised to see the place was fairly empty on a Saturday night. I'm used to places like this being PACKED on weekends. But I also know it's fairly common around here for places not to be packed (unless the place is extremely good).

Anyway, after looking their website up online I wasn't expecting a traditional steakhouse like a Gallagher's or a Ben Benson's (both in NYC). True to their website, they're not like a traditional steakhouse at all. They're more like just a basic restaurant. Yes it's all painted dark and all that to try and emulate a traditional steakhouse but that's not what makes a traditional steakhouse. Honestly, the decor was a disappointment. In bad need of a renovation. There was a wet smell as you walk back towards the bathrooms as well.

The menu is surprisingly sparse--even for a steakhouse. I was also looking for a good french onion soup--a MUST have at a steakhouse, IMO--but there was none there. We opted for the lobster tempura and it was excellent if a bit expensive at $16.

Their specialty (apparently) is the ribeye. You order the size you want and pay by the ounce (last night it was $2.35 per ounce) then they cut it and cook it for you. Obviously, it can get a bit expensive if you'd like a larger cut. My wife got the ribeye and ordered the smallest cut you can--8 ounces. I decided on the prime rib as I didn't feel like a ribeye last night and the price for my favorite cut--NY Strip--was just way too outrageous to me.

My wife's ribeye was cooked perfectly. I did have an opportunity to taste however, and there was a bit of a grease smoke taste to it--that sharp smokey taste you can get if too much grease is burning on the grill and smoking your meat. Wasn't a strong taste but it was there...and it ruined the great flavor of the meat.

My prime rib was also cooked perfectly and tasted very good. I got the larger cut and it was plenty of meat for a guy my size (I'm a big dude). I thought it a bit strange they just poured aus jus over the meat but didn't give more on the side (I asked for more on the side). However, the aus jus was much too salty. Was edible but too salty.

Now, as far as the service was concerned, well, let's just say it left a bit to be desired--and this is where they really fell down. When we first arrived, there was nobody at the hostess area. We waited for a few minutes before someone came to help us and this wasn't the hostess. I thought that odd for a place like this but I wasn't going to let that ruin our night.

Once we were seated in the piano area--they just told us to go in and sit where we wanted--it took a while for a waitress to come to us. No menus when she came. She took our drink orders then went off and did her waitress thing then brought the drinks and menus.

She did check with us at appropriate times, however, we were never offered dessert. We were just handed the check with a polite thank you. No offer of dessert? No offer of after dinner drinks? That was strange.

The bill for the two of us was $82 (with tax). Now, my wife had 1 glass of wine and I only drank soda as I didn't feel like any wine and we were going out after dinner. We only had the lobster bites and nothing else extra. I thought the bill was much more than it should have been for what we got there. Not that they made a mistake, the prices are just too high for what they offer.

Overall, I have to say the food was good but they need to clean up a few things (the smokey smell and too much salt), but they're lacking severely in the service department. If I'm going out to spend that much on a dinner, I expect better service. I think they're incredibly over-priced for what they are. Honestly, you can get just as good of a steak at The Outback Steakhouse and get better service for half the price. When you start charging Ruth's Cris prices, you need to provide Ruth's Cris type service. I have no problem paying more for a better meal and better service. Unfortunately, I didn't get either at the Tree Steakhouse. It wasn't horrible--we enjoyed our meal--unfortunately, the experience was lacking in so many ways. Because of this, I have to say I was disappointed in the Tree Steakhouse and won't be going back.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Rick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    59
    35
    35
    35
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Service not what it used to be.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2012

Food was OK, server was asked if they still bring out the cuts of beef to choose a steak from prior to ordering and we were told yes....and then proceeded to take the order and we were expecting to see the two cuts of steak to pick from and they never appeared. So when we asked her again why she said yes to our question, it was like "Oh, you wanted to see the steak first before it was cooked??"......Duh! BTW....the person who ordered the steak was very dissappointed with the very thin cut of a NY strip that she was served. It showed unfortunately on the tip. She was not happy.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank jaxgirl459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guanajuato
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“go elsewhere”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2012

Special occasion with children and grandchildren. . What a disappointment! Thought we wanted to give "local owned" steakhouse a chance rather than a chain - should have gone to OUTBACK!

The waiter was ok, the hostess sorta tossed the menus on the table and when the grandpa at the table - - (hint, probably the one picking up the tab??) asked for a menu, the ill-trained hostess just said - well there's one over there. (he would have had to get up and retrieve it!)

Thinnest cut of the "known-for-these-steaks" we've ever seen and well, just not very good.

Everyone in our party of 7 ordered stuffed baked potatoes with their meal and the "everything" was positioned in two spots on the tables rather than provided with each client's plate! what???

Never had that kind of "service" at an expensive steakhouse!

HOW inconvenient to pass around condiments for your baked potato rather than just enjoying your meal!
O and there was no cheese - get up from your chair and go to the salad bar for that if you want it. Good grief!

Other than having to ask several times for a glass of water, I've just about covered our poor experience here - except that the prices were toooooo much for such poor service and mediocre food.

No wait, there was a small shouting match between 2 other servers near our table. . just to add to the experience.

We were really really disappointed. No one in our party talked about it, we were all soooooo embarrassed - we really felt as though we'd been shafted for the prices we'd paid and didn't get nearly the quality those prices should have bought - not food, not service, not anything.

These guys need to step it up a few notches on all levels. I would STRONGLY recommend going elsewhere to spend your money. Strongly!

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank GuanajuatoAndrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Good food, dated decor”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2012

Food was good, service was good. The waitress forgot our oyster appetizer order till after the dinner was brought but did the right thing and brought it compliments of the house. Steaks were cooked to order and tast,y but not the best cut of meat for the price. The decor could really use some updating. The old ceiling tiles were filthy and some of the decor was dinghy.Not special enough to return.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank s k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
82 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Tree”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2012

A cut above for the usual steakhouse, nicely done, good for business folks, contacts..not friendly neighborhood stuff.

Helpful?
Thank SwampDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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