CHIReview

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Summer House Santa Monica review image
7.6

Summer House Santa Monica

$$$$

1954 N Halsted St, Chicago
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It truly is summer every day at Summer House, a tall order in a city where snow has been recorded eight out of the last twelve months. The space is bright, dotted with dozens of twinkly glass lights, and covered by a beautiful retractable glass roof that lets in more light than is legally allowed in a restaurant. Sometimes it feels like they’re trying a little too hard—there’s a “countdown till summer” on the wall, and they used to offer an actual beach ball on the menu for $7.95. But luckily that’s been removed, and overall the theme works.

And this summery feel permeates the menu. Kale lemonade? Got it. Ahi tuna and watermelon tartare? Got that too. Side of California grapefruit with your brunch? Yep. Plus, the menu also has a nice smattering of seafood, pastas, pizzas, and proteins. It’s a little bit unfocused (rarely can you order meatballs, salmon sashimi, and crispy fish tacos within the same meal), but overall, the food is good.

Summer House is a good option if you’re looking to soak in some Vitamin D and catch up with friends. Before you head over, keep in mind that this place gets busy, and you’ll probably want to make a reservations. But whatever you do, make sure you get some oversized chewy chocolate chip sea salt cookies from the bakery case. Those puppies alone are worth the trip.

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Food Rundown

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Brussels a la Lincoln Park with pancetta and balsamic. While they get an F for creativity, they get an A for execution.

Summer House Santa Monica review image

Roasted Cauliflower

Plump, roasted cauliflower topped with parmesan and breadcrumbs.

Ahi Tuna Tostadas

Tortilla chips covered with diced watermelon, tuna, avocado, and crema. The portion is small, but the flavors are excellent.

Sandy Noto

Summer House Santa Monica review image

Cookie Counter

Don’t cheat yourself. Take a peak at their cookie counter and see what kind of baked goods are going on. Perhaps these Fruity Pebble Treats will be around.

Summer House Santa Monica review image

Squid Ink Angel Hair

Squid ink pasta with large lumps of Alaskan king crab, spicy chilies, lemon, and basil. Our favorite dish here and a great order.

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