• Tree House Café

    by Richard Oh

    The Tree House Café opened August 5, 2013.  What a great addition to Carmel.  This restaurant offers a wide range of palette pleasing entrees.  It truly is an international affair.  They have dishes from Greece, Italy, Thailand, Mexico, and also American cuisine.  Everything is prepared on a daily basis and made to order.  The pasta is created next door each day so you know it’s fresh.  They offer dining on their beautiful heated deck with red umbrellas.  This is a very nice way to dine.  They are open daily for lunch and dinner.  Please visit them soon; you’ll thank me for it.  On the South West side on San Carlos St. between 7th and 8th, 831-626-1111.

    The owners

    Fadi and Pam Nimri along with Bob Zernicke are proud owners of the Tree House Café.  Fadi is also the managing partner who hosts, cooks, waits tables, and runs food.  His wife Pam also waits tables, cooks, and is an all-around support system.  Bob is mainly in the background and has contributed in the décor, layout, and takes care of the financial well-being of the restaurant.

    Fadi first got his restaurant experience at Ocean Sushi back in the late 90’s.  He then continued in the business at his brothers Faris and Faisal’s restaurant, International Cuisine, located in Pacific Grove.  He worked as a server and also helped in the kitchen.  Fadi wanted to open his own restaurant someday so in 2009 an opportunity came up and he jumped at it.  It was a sushi bar in Downtown Monterey called Sakana.  It was a good start for being on his own but it wasn’t the perfect spot.  So he then opened Athena in Carmel Valley and operated it successfully until it was sold in 2012.  However, his pursuit for the perfect location lead him to Carmel-by-the-sea.  He is dedicated to making a difference in the way you dine.  I’m glad he brought his talents to Carmel.  The restaurant is decorated nicely and offers outside seating on its dog-friendly deck.

    The salad

    There were many items I wanted to feature from the diverse menu.  I chose the arugula salad with grilled prawns.  I did so because of the wine.  This salad is light and delicious.  The dressing is house made with olive oil, cumin, garlic, cilantro, and parsley.  It’s a nice meal anytime of the year especially on a warm day sipping on a cold Pinot Gris.  I love how all the flavors collided in my mouth.

    The wine

    Manzoni 2012 Pinot Gris, Santa Lucia Highlands.  SLH is a perfect region for growing Pinot Gris.  The warm afternoons give way to breeze and cool nights with foggy mornings.  This allows the grapes to have a longer hang-time which intensifies the flavors without compromising the sugar.  The Manzoni Pinot Gris has enchanting aromas of mandarin oranges and apples. It has a nice mouth feel and I like how it flows from start to finish.  It is light, with apples and pear notes, and bright crisp acid.  It’s drinking very nicely right now.  It will pair well with seafood, light chicken dishes and creamy sauces.  You can visit their tasting room on San Carlos and 7th in Carmel.

    Jumbo prawns

    10 jumbo or medium sized prawns
    1 tsp. olive oil
    1 tsp. melted butter
    ½ tsp. finely chopped garlic
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2 Skewer sticks


    Clean and devein the prawns.  Let dry on paper towel.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Place the prawns and ingredients in a large freezer bag and let sit in refrigerator for 40 minutes.  Pre-heat grill on medium heat for five minutes.  Put prawns on skewer and put on the grill.  3 to 4 minutes each side.  Place on salad and drizzle the dressing over the prawns and salad.  Enjoy!

    richard grilled prawns


    posted to Cedar Street Times on September 20, 2013

    Topics: Oh, Have A Taste!


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