New Orleans Native Brings The City Flavor To Hawesville

 New Orleans Native Brings The City Flavor To Hawesville

If Hawesville residents have a taste for New Orleans flavor, Tre’ Vione’s is looking to satisfy the desire.

The restaurant, which holds its grand opening July 6, held a soft opening June 6, allowing residents to get their fill of red beans and rice and other New Orleans-cuisines Wednesday through Saturday. On Sundays, the restaurant opens for breakfast. The remaining days are reserved for employee training and talks about how to improve the service.

The owner, George Banks, said he initially wanted to open Thursday through Sunday but found that he was turning away a lot of people on Wednesdays and changed the days. Banks said he was surprised by some of the dishes that were selling such as jambalaya and gumbo, but a lot of people have been ordering it. In fact, he said, the restaurant has sold out of them twice.

Many restaurants will hold soft openings for a few days to ensure the kinks have been worked out before they hold the grand opening. However, Banks’ soft opening is going on for a month to train servers and cooks to make and serve dishes most have yet to taste for themselves.

Banks’ soft opening was met with some angry guests upset by the long wait time. Some guests had their meals comped during this time – although Banks and the staff explained the idea behind the soft opening.

Banks said everything that is made in the restaurant is made in-house – no dishes come from a box. He said hamburger patties are not frozen; they’re made fresh by hand.

Banks, who is a native of New Orleans, opened his first Tre’Vione’s in the city. He said many menu items are from friends and family with some of the recipes dating back to two centuries. Banks said his mother, Gwen, provided him with the family jambalaya and gumbo recipes while a friend of the family provided him with secrets to her etouffee.

According to Banks, his aunt provided him with an amazing praline candies recipe. He said giving someone a recipe is sort of like trusting them with one’s life.

Tre’Vione’s will also have a “living menu” – a menu that will change with the seasons. For example, speckled trout will become available when it’s in season. Right now, crawfish is on the menu, but that will soon change to crabs, Banks said.

Banks said customers can try the New Orleans Po’Boy, which is a jumbo sandwich with lots of crawfish tail, shrimp or catfish. They can also sink their teeth into any one of the gourmet burgers such as the Deep Water Shrimp Burger, New Orleans Burger or the Blue Moon Bacon Burger.

On the appetizer menu, customers can try fried gator tail, Louisiana wings or catfish bites. Gator tail will also be available as an entrée.

While New Orleans is well-known for its spices, Banks decided to ease up for local customers. However, if guests want real New Orleans taste, they can request an increase in the spices.

The restaurant is located near the county’s historic courthouse and adjacent to the Hancock County administration building. Banks took an iconic building, which was once home to Irby’s, near the area and renovated it. The building and the surrounding bistro Banks created out of an unused storage room can hold 155 guests at one time.

Banks is also hiring musicians to come on Fridays and Saturdays 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to entertain the dinner crowd.

According to Banks, the changes he made to the building and all the finer things he is doing is all to make sure that Hawesville residents enjoy the restaurant.