4 Fleur
EntreePrice-27
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Trenasse

CBD: 444 St Charles Ave. 504-680-7000. Map.
Nice casual
AE DC DS MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
What would be your first thought a restaurant in a big hotel, connected with a seafood house in Destin called Stinky’s Fish Camp? That was my reaction, too. Another: a scan of the menu revealed prices higher than I expected to find. Finally, the place seemed to be pushing the Cajun-Creole thing a little too hard. (That name is an obscure reference to life in the marshlands.) With all that mental baggage, I tried the place a few months ago. The evening was astonishing, getting off to a great start with some dozen different ways of serving oysters. I was also incredulous about the presence of four or finfish species. The few missteps involved the service, and they weren’t bad enough to put a sour taste in my mouth. I was looking forward to the next time before I called for the check.

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Although the CBD has been a hotbed for good new restaurants for over a decade, the wedge of the district between Canal and Poydras has been less fecund. Trenasse was just the restaurant to ameliorate that, even with the somewhat similar Luke across the street. The frank localism of the menu has appeal for visitors, and to locals who filter out the bayou references. None of that is fraudulent: these are indeed local ingredients cooked in original local ways.

Oysters with smoked gouda and pancetta at Trenasse.

Oysters with smoked gouda and pancetta at Trenasse.

WHAT’S GOOD
Seafood dominates the outlook, beginning with a terrific oyster program. Sit at what looks like a second bar at the rear of the space and you will eat oysters all night, without a hint of sameness. Not all the more complex versions are perfect–the Bienville needs rethinking–but the commitment is there. A board tells of the fish available. They have included the familiar names and flavors, along with a few fish we almost never see (sheepshead, king clip). No lack of seasonings. Nor do they get lost when leaving the seafood department. A platter of gnocchi bolognese was fantastic.

Sheepshead meuniere at Trenasse.

Sheepshead meuniere at Trenasse.

BACKSTORY
“Trenasse” is the name of a natural waterway through marshes and bayous. We have thousands of trenasses in our part of the world. (Add your own joke here.) Owner Jim Richard has a wildly popular restaurant called Stinky’s Fish Camp, in Santa Rosa Beach in Florida, with some similarities with Trenasse.

Trenasse.

Trenasse.

DINING ROOM
Trenasse is on the ground floor of the Hotel Inter-Continental, on the left side of the lobby as you enter the hotel. It’s thoroughly casual in environment and service styles. No tablecloths. The servers are not especially well versed in the offbeat elements of the menu, but they find out and are courteous about it. A plastic container of pork cracklings and red bean compound butter comes to keep you busy while the appetizers and cocktails are made up.

REVIEWER’S NOTEPAD
More ruminations appear in our Dining Diary. Click on any of the dates below for those reports, each written a few days after a meal at Trenasse.
8/7/2015 ~ 5/14/2015 ~

FULL ONLINE MENU

BEST DISHES
Starters
Raw oysters with ceviche
Broiled oysters with smoked gruyere cheese and panetta)
Baked oysters (Rockefeller, Bienville, or au gratin)
CBD salad (locally-grown greens and vegetables)
Blue crab bisque
Fowl gumbo (duck, chicken, andouille, dark roux)
Unca Duke’s barbecue shrimp
Buffalo frog legs
Creole nachos (cracklings, red beans, pork belly, pepper jack cheese)
Red chili glazed shrimp
Boudin terrine

Entrees
Flounder & lump crab paupiette
Stinky’s stew (shrimp, mussels, oysters, fish, crab legs, crabmeat mini-poor boy)
Speckled trout meunière
Gulf fish of the day (usually severl choices)
Rabbit & shrimp fricassée
Open-fire roasted lamb chops
Beef tenderloin or ribeye

Desserts
Roast pumpkin crème brûlée
Warm key lime crêpe
French market donuts

FOR BEST RESULTS
Get some oysters working as soon as you sit down. They can either start or encompass and dinner plan. Then get complete descriptions of the fish available that day. If you dine early in the evening, make sure that a server has been assigned to your table. (Twice out of five times, she hasn’t.)

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Trenasse’s layout is long and narrow, and it’s sometimes hard to see where the restaurant stops and the hotel lobby begins. This has confusing effects on both customers and servers.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +2
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar +1
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard dining
  • Romantic
  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Oyster bar
  • Unusually large servings
  • Good for children
  • Free valet parking
  • Reservations accepted

 

1 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Dale on September 10, 2015

    If you’ve ever been to Stinky’s on 30A it easy to understand it’s popularity. Good food, fun place – I mean, Richard sells a tee shirt that reads “Stinky’s – with a name like that you know the food’s gotta be good.”

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