COURTESY CLESI'S RESTAURANT & CATERING/FACEBOOK
Clesi's Restaurant & Catering is now open at Treo on Tulane Avenue. In April, the team will open up another restaurant on Bienville Street in Mid-City.
knows a thing or two about boiling crawfish. After popping up outside bars and at tailgating parties for several years, Clesi opened his Mid-City flagship adjacent to the Banks Street Bar in 2015. He left that location last summer, to start working on two new concepts, including a spot at Tulane Avenue cocktail bar Treo, which he opened this past week.
The bar's kitchen was previously home to Michael Gulotta’s Italian concept Tana, which the chef closed recently to focus on his other restaurants. Clesi’s concept takes over the kitchen and will also feature a grilling and boiling hub in the backyard patio.
After the August 5 floods heavily damaged the Bank Street space out of which Clesi’s team was working, he began looking for a new place, calling on friends and nearby bars in the Mid-City area.
“Treo was on top of my list because they have that beautiful courtyard,” Clesi said. The concept at Treo will be very similar to Clesi's previous operation, and will feature a spread of fried seafood options, the signature jambalaya cheese fries, fried pickles, burgers, catfish and shrimp baskets, and of course, crawfish and crab boils. New menu items like shrimp and grits, and gumbo will also appear, Clesi said.
Also in the works is a new, standalone location of Clesi’s Restaurant & Catering, which is slated to open in April, at 4323 Bienville Street. It’s a team effort from Clesi, his brother and sister, which Clesi say will be a large outdoor space with room for parties and receptions, outfitted with a bar, televisions, picnic tables, and an covered dining area. Clesi says the space will have a “backyard party feel,” with a family friendly atmosphere and a team boiling and grilling outside.
Though the new restaurant will most likely not open before April, Clesi says he hopes to be up and boiling at the Bienville Street spot in time for the Endymion parade. He also hopes to launch a crawfish delivery operation, which would be one of the first for the city.
Throughout the Carnival season, Clesi says he will likely be popping up with boils at several bars on the Uptown parade route as well.
Clesi’s team is now boiling and serving food at Treo six days a week, Tuesdays through Sundays from 4 p.m. till the bar closes.
For more information, visit the restaurant’s website here.