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Kitchen now open at Treo, a first look at the new menu

Tulane Avenue Treo brings affordable small plates to Mid-City

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  After several months of delays, the kitchen at Treo (3835 Tulane Ave., 504-304-4878; www.treonola.com) is open, serving affordable Spanish- inspired small plates with a Louisiana influence, and craft cocktails.

  "We're trying to be a focal point for our area, and kickstart something here," chef James Cullen says. "There's a lot of great food in Mid-City, and we're trying to be a solid addition to that scene while raising the profile of Tulane Avenue."

  Dining options on Tulane Avenue have expanded in recent years with the opening of Pizzicare (3001 Tulane Ave.) and the Vietnamese restaurant Namese (4077 Tulane Ave.) in a converted former gas station.

  Highlights from Treo's menu (nothing costs more than $12) range from an elegant coriander-crusted lamb chop with mint chimichurri and Belgian endive to steamed clams in white wine butter sauce to a homey crawfish enchilada that Cullen describes as "tightened-up crawfish etouffee."

  The kitchen is open 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Cullen plans to expand kitchen hours to midnight soon to match the bar's hours.

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