Ray Cannata has eaten at over 750 New Orleans restaurants, so he knows a thing or two about hanging out. Margo Moss has turned Ted's Frostop from a greasy spoon into a considerably less greasy but not quite silver spoon. When the sun goes down at new Uptown eatery Chappy's next to Monkey Hill bar, Ray and Margo entertain members of New Orleans restaurant community. Their guests bring along a friend, a +1. Anything can happen.
You might think naming a restaurant after a ditch is maybe sending the wrong message about the standard or even type of food you'd expect to get there. But when the ditch is "Trenasse" - the Cajun French word for a cut-through in the bayou - and the location is the tony Intercontinental Hotel on St Charles Avenue in New Orleans, it all starts to make sense.
Chef Jean Pierre Guidry has a prestigious name in American kitchens, having worked this way through both the CIA and the culinary college of real world restaurants in France and the US, including a long stint alongside Chef Daniel Boulud in New York. When Chef JP heard Lafayette native, Commander's Palace (among others) alumn, and Florida's famed Stinky's Fish Camp owner Chef Jim Richard was opening a New Orleans restaurant that was Cajun inspired, based on the principle "simple things done right," JP was in, shrimp boots 'n all.
Patrick James is as excited and passionate about Trenasse as Jean Pierre, which is probably just as well seeing he's the restaurant's General Manager. Patrick comes from an extensive New Orleans restaurant background that includes Palace Cafe and Red Fish Grill.
When you hear these guys describe something as simple as gumbo or their re-imagined poboy it's like you're hearing about these foods for the first time.
This episode of Midnight Menu +1 was recorded at the NOLA Brewing Tap Room.