Put a Little Tree House Under the Tree

Download this release in PDF format

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009

Put a Little Tree House Under the Tree
Holiday Gift Menu Offers Something for Everyone on the List

(Santa Fe, N.M).-Whoever coined the term "cookie-cutter" to mean lacking in individuality had obviously never tried cookies from Santa Fe's Tree House Pastry Shop & Café. This all-organic, artisanal bakery and restaurant, which boasts a hyper-seasonal menu based entirely on what's available from local farms, produces some of the most memorable baked goods that can be found in this Southwestern city known for both creativity and uniqueness.

Although "making an impact" is not what drives owner and pastry chef Maria Bustamante-Bernal, indeed, the café is built on a philosophy of sustainability, the products of her efforts-cakes, cookies, tarts, and other baked goods-are, in the words of Tree House, "indelibly" delicious. One recent commenter, writing about their experience for the café's suggestion box, summed it up this way: "This is the best café that I have ever been to. People should flock here from around the country to have the muffins!"

Tree House is no stranger to compliments. Recognized by Gourmet magazine in 2007 as "One of the Top 100 Farm to Table Restaurants" in America, Tree House has gained accolades from both local and national reviewers. Recently, Stacy Pearl, local chef and author of the food blog Mouth of Wonder recently pronounced Tree House "the best vegetarian restaurant in town," stating, "the baked goods are excellent (you won't even notice they are healthy) and the food is just plain delicious." And in June of this year, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel included Tree House in its list of "Secret Restaurants of Celebrity Foodies."    

Yet, in mid-December, with the holiday season in full bloom, it's the baking that takes center stage. Last week, Tree House released its "2009 Holiday Special Order Menu" both online at the café Web site and to visitors to the small café. This year's menu, replete with traditional holiday treats, included some surprises, as well.

"The handmade truffles are always a big hit," says Bustamante-Bernal, "and we know we've got a lot of chocolate lovers among our regulars, so this year, we decided to add a flourless chocolate torte to the menu. We'll see how it does." Besides the torte and handmade truffles, Tree House's Holiday menu includes such favorites as gingerbread ornament cookies, pecan and apple tarts, and bûche de noël-a traditional Christmas dessert prepared and decorated to look like a log.

"We always have fun with those," says Bustamante-Bernal. "Although they're a lot of work, they're fun to make. We make tiny confection mushrooms to decorate them. It's a really sweet tradition-sort of like making gingerbread houses-but, honestly, the bûche de noël, is better because you can eat it. And that's the best part. . . the taste." 

And taste is what truly sets Tree House apart.

Those looking to give the gift of good taste this year need look no further than Tree House's Holiday Special Order Menu, which is available on its Web site at www.treehousepastry.com. But look quick. Tree House takes orders for its all-organic holiday baked goods only through December 19th for pickup on the 24th. After that, those in search of a Tree House made bûche de noël will need to wait until next year.

Tree House Pastry Shop and Café is saving the world one cupcake at a time. The café is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 until 4:00 and for Sunday brunch from 9:00 until 2:00.

Tree House is located at 1600 Lena Street, Lena Street Lofts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.   For more information or to order some scrumptious holiday goodies call 505-474-5543 or visit the café Web site at www.treehousepastry.com.



Jennifer Marshall