The Scoop NOLA: Treo
When I heard the owners of Finn McCool’s were opening up a cocktail lounge, I assumed it would be great. What I didn’t realize was that they would be creating a cocktail lounge with an art gallery upstairs. Treo is the Irish word for “direction” and the name symbolizes the new direction of Tulane Avenue. While we may not have needed a new cocktail lounge serving small plates in Nola, it brings a hip and exciting aspect to this part of town. Treo opened its doors in late January, and Chef James Cullen took over the kitchen a few weeks later. I’ve been waiting for the right occasion to try it out, and when three friends wanted to get together for dinner and drinks, it was my first thought.
I wasn’t sure what the crowd would be like on a Thursday, but since it was only four of us we were able to sit right away. The space has a lot of character to it. With interesting pieces of art lining the walls and a really cool wooden map of New Orleans on the ceiling. The cocktail menu looked great, but when we saw the wine specials that night were only $5 a glass, we were sold.
We ordered the mussels, crawfish empanadas and fried oysters to start. The mussels were drenched in a New Orleans style bbq shrimp sauce that I wanted to drink. We had to ask for a second round of bread so we could wipe the bowl clean. The crawfish empanadas were a lot like a crawfish pie with a well seasoned filling and lots of crawfish tales. They were a little on the heavier side, so half of one was more than enough. The oysters were fried in true New Orleans style and drizzled with a smoked paprika remoulade and manchego cheese.
After we finished our first three plates, we were debating on all sharing the arugula salad special that was topped with fried goat cheese balls and a lemon-sherry vinaigrette. Our server quickly talked us into ordering two, so we could each have our own goat cheese ball and I’m so glad she did. The peppery-ness of the arugula went so well with the warm goat cheese and the dressing was very light and refreshing. It was probably my favorite thing we ordered all night.
If you’re looking to eat at Treo, I’d say it’s best for small groups or a date night. I didn’t stick around to see what the bar scene turned into, but with their selection of beer, wine and cocktails, I can imagine it stays busy.
Treo is open Tuesday-Thursday from 11:30 am to 11 pm and til midnight on Friday and Saturday. The upstairs gallery space will not just host art but also classes led by chefs and mixologists. Check out their event schedule for updates.