Joanne’s Journey to The Tree House Restaurant and Bistro


Sometimes you just want something different to eat in a different surrounding. Let’s face it, the summertime blues have begun and we want to hold on to it as long as we can. So where can you go and feel like you are not in Rhode Island without traveling far?

We decided to escape a hot summer night and go to the “Tree House Tavern and Bistro” on Centerville Road in Warwick. As we drove up, I noticed this  cozy looking bistro has a decorative tree house right in the front. I kept thinking how my younger nephews would love that. Parking was easy and the entrance is very accessible. 

My friend and I marveled at how decorative the outside of the restaurant was with greenery and floral decor. But the biggest surprise was when we opened the door and stepped into a sunflower🌻wonderland with hot air balloons, floral trees, lighted lanterns and stars which made it look like a magical garden in a rustic setting.


So Decorative

We sat in the front room at a comfortable table set near the window and just kept staring at all the decorations. You really can’t help yourself because it felt like I was in a different place, not Rhode Island. The owners, Aline and her son Michael Gerard came around to the table to say hello.  There is plenty of history in this restaurant. This duo has been in business together for about forty years. Many may remember that before becoming a restaurant, the Tree House was a beautiful floral shop and boutique for many years on one side and a tea room on the other with petit sandwiches and afternoon teas on the other. Always quaint and always different, it was a popular location for women’s teas and functions.

Always Quaint, Always Different

The Tree House Restaurant now is quite different from the  other business but such a unique idea for the restaurant’s locale. There are several rooms there to choose from to dine in that really look comfortable and cozy and as if you were  in your own dining room. Functions are plentiful here because there is a beautiful patio outdoors, behind the restaurant. What a treat to see an open garden with fresh flowers, a fire pit with chairs, and a large covered dining area for catered parties. 

The owners told me that they have plenty of showers, weddings and events at the restaurant too. The restaurant is closed on Monday’s but open for lunch and dinner the rest of the week and brunch on weekends. Reservations are not accepted, so go early to get in. There sometimes is a wait on weekends.

The menu has a wide selection of imported draft beers and cocktails. I always tend to want to order those creamy dessert drinks, but on this night I opted for a gin and tonic with lime. I had no problem choosing a meal from the menu.

Different, But Good

There are appetizers which are really different. I ordered cauliflower bread, which is a warm baked loaf with plenty of  melted cheese and sliced cauliflower. It literally melted in my mouth. (I can’t believe we ate the whole thing).

The  menu includes fun appetizers such as nachos, pizza, chicken wings and sirloin toast just to name a few. There are salads, chowders, burgers, and plenty of sandwiches to choose from for a lighter meal.

We choose the Lobster macaroni and cheese and the Steak Poiver as our main entrees. The Lobster Mac n’ cheese was piping hot with plenty of lobster meat embedded in a delicious cheese sauce with elbow macaroni and bits of asparagus. This was topped lightly with bread crumbs toasted to perfection. Yes, It was very rich and creamy. Everything in the bistro is made there from scratch and does not disappoint. The 16 oz. rib eye steak was topped with a creamy cognac sauce with potatoes and asparagus. Both entrees were delicious and very filling. These portions are very generous, so bring your appetite! 

This Restaurant manages to capture American and French cuisine while offering other choices as well. We were full but could not resist dessert.

Lots of Love

If you are a dessert person, as I am, you will love it here. The waiter brings around two trays of choices of desserts which are all homemade.

I choose the maple walnut ice cream cake with walnuts in a bourbon sauce with chocolate bacon. We shared this dessert and let me tell you, it was very different but oh so good. Next time I think I will try the chocolate Bailey’s parfait or the warm chocolate chip cookie cup with ice cream. The price for the meal was $89.00 without the tip.  Are you hungry yet? 

If so, take a ride to the Tree House Tavern and Bistro where a Midsummer Night’s dream awaits you! Buon apetit!

Joanne Giannini
Joanne Giannini is a former State Representative from Providence. A freelance journalist, consultant and writer, she has previously written commentary for The Providence journal, GolocalProv and WPRO radio. Contact her at