Summer House Santa Monica – Lincoln Park, Chicago

What a stunning day!  Temps hit 75 degrees and sunshine was abundant.  While summer is nearing, I do not believe it will officially arrive until July 4th.  After all, this IS Chicago 😉   In order to keep me in a summer-y state of mind, I treated myself to lunch at Summer House Santa Monica in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.


Summer House Santa Monica entrance

The patio is now open :

Summer House is located just

3 blocks east of the Armitage ‘L’ stop along the CTA Brown Line and Purple Lines.


Armitage 'L' stop near Summer House Santa Monica


Summer House Santa Monica entry


Summer House is a California-style restaurant reminiscent of the beach houses found in Santa Monica.  It was brought to Chicago by the Lettuce Entertain You enterprise and it is run by Chef/Partners Jeff Mahin and Francis Brennan.

Here is how my lunch went down:

I was delighted to learn that there is a wood-fired grill on site which is used for creating many of the dishes that come out of the kitchen.  I decided to sample two appetizers for my lunch.  I chose these very fresh and spicy ahi tuna tostadas.  They were prepared with watermelon, thai chili, avocado, crema, cilantro, lime an corn tortillas.  The textures and flavors were on point and the spice factor was perfect. (Yay, thai chilis!!)


Summer House Santa Monica ahi tuna tostadas

These ahi tuna tostada bites were fresh and spicy.

Summer House Santa Monica ahi tuna


I was also excited to try the housemade burrata with tomato jam, arugula and crostini.  If burrata is on a menu, especially hand-pulled burrata that is made daily, I am ordering it.  This one was creamy and gooey.  The tomato jam was nice and smoky.  I could have shared it with another person but I was dining solo.  No worries, though.  I planned strategically by not ordering another course.  So, I inhaled the entire thing by myself 🙂  Jealous?  


Summer House Santa Monica burrata

Housemade burrata with smoky tomato jam and crostini.


I washed down my two beautiful dishes with this totally refreshing Cucumber Cooler made with mint, lime and club soda.  Summer in a glass!


Summer House Santa Monica Cucumber Cooler

Cucumber cooler with mint, lime and club soda


I did not have room for dessert.  Well, if I am being honest, I did not deserve any today.  My culinary antics last week were over the top so I must repent 😉  But, I will be back to try some of the awesomely decadent cookies which Summer House is serving up.  Check out the peanut butter & jelly cookies!


Summer House Santa Monica Cookie Selection

I’ll be back for the peanut butter and jelly cookies 😉

These chocolate chip and sea salt cookies look equally delicious.


Summer House Santa Monica chocolate chip cookies

Yum!! A winning combination.

Summer House Santa Monica oatmeal cookies


Summer House has a bright, laid-back, beach-y vibe.  There are white washed walls, lots of plants and a vaulted sky-light ceiling in the main dining room.  The bar area has cool seats that resemble lifeguard chairs.


Summer House Santa Monica dining room

One of the prettiest, vacation-like dining rooms in Chitown!

Summer House Santa Monica space

Summer House Santa Monica dining space

Love the white washed interior!

Summer House Santa Monica bar area

Looks like a beach restaurant to me 🙂

If there is a prettier restaurant in Chicago that evokes the feeling of being on a beach vacation, I have not seen it yet.  Love this place!

Summer House Santa Monica is located at 1954 N. Halsted St.  It is open every day for lunch and dinner.  Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.  Click here for more information.

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown or Purple Lines to Summer House Santa Monica.  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!