Near the French market in the area evolving into the “Lower Decatur” food and drink neighborhood, Trinity cooks up delicious options in the former Maximo’s space. With a sleek modern décor and long, marble bar and open kitchen in the back, the long space vibrates with energy and the good food of Chef Michael Isolani. His kitchen is a playground for the Italian sensibilities of his parents, whose heritage is from Siciliy and Modena, and his own upbringing in the Creole-Cajun mix of NOLA.
The menu matches the innovation of Isolani’s food. A simple one-page, unadorned type-faced menu is broken into five sections: Oysters, Fingers, Fork, Knives and Gratins. For those who adore their bivalve seafood and gratinéed vegetables, let’s rephrase the menu into two food groups and three eating utensils.
Here’s a quick scan the menu: Oysters: Chose between raw, broiled, baked, smoked and “soup.” The baked version harkens to the restaurant’s name. The oysters are baked with the classic New Orleans “holy trinity” of bell peppers, celery and onions, Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest with ciabatta bread. The smoked oysters arrive with deviled eggs, horseradish, and “Cajun caviar,” spiced fish eggs and tiny celery leaves.
A top “finger” food is the gilled octopus and chickpea dip with toast points. In the Forks section, the ricotta gnudi manifest Isolani’s Italian roots. This version of gnocchi made with ricotta cheese is served with a sauce of muscadine wine, forest mushrooms and cheese. In the Knives section, the grilled Wagyu strip loin with grilled onions and bordelaise sauce pairs well with the rosemary-scented potato gratin.
Yes, desserts are fun and delicious, too. The Fat Elvis Banana Split features chocolate-peanut butter ice cream, candied bacon, and bananas. Riffing on the rum drink, the Dark and Stormy is ginger rum cake with cream cheese filling and lime glaze.
Speaking of cocktails, the restaurant lists “Hardtails” with a higher proportion of spirits such as The Pearl: Fortaleza Reposado Tequilla, sherry, pear liqueur, cardamom and ginger. An example of the “Softtails” with less alcohol is the Borscht & Bubbles with vodka, lemon, sugar, a splash of Suze aperitif, beet, and dill. There is also a finely curated wine list with a few highly allocated bottles.
Come hungry, try a specialty from all five sections of the menu and chat with the chefs at the kitchen counter section of the restaurant.
FTC Disclaimer: This article was researched with support from Visit New Orleans. Opinions expressed herein belong to the author.