Summer House Santa Monica

On our way to an evening event across the street at J9 Wine Bar, the Chicago Foodie Sisters met up and decided to have a bite before we started to indulge in wine tasting. We weren't looking for a huge meal, but more than a snack. We scanned the area eateries and settled upon Summer House Santa Monica in Chicago's Lincoln Park. Even though the temps were in the 30s outside and we were bundled up in heavy coats and gloves and hats, once we stepped inside, it definitely felt like we were dining on the sunny Southern California coast.

The sun flowed in over head. The decor was light and airy. Plants hung from the beams. And the menu was light and summery. We were suddenly dining al fresco in the middle of a Chicago winter.

We opted for Costa Mesa salad and some tacos that we shared. It was a light and flavorful salad of greens with queso fresco, charred corn, pico de Gallo, avocado, quinoa, crispy tortilla, chipotle cream and lime vinaigrette. They had 3 tacos on the menu and we tried all three - the grilled tequila-lime chicken, the crispy baja fish and carne asada. All were delicious, but the carne asada really stood out. Before we left our event that night Becky even placed another order to take home.

If you're tired of the dreary Chicago winter and want to duck out of the rain or snow to someplace more peaceful for a drink or bite, this is the perfect place. There's also a bakery counter when you enter and where you pick up carry out orders. We couldn't resist and tried a rice crispy treat that was simply a sweet bite of marshmallowy heaven.

Summer House Santa Monica
1954 N. Halsted