The daughter of the former Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Nina Compton seems, at first glance, to be an unlikely restaurateur. But then you taste her food, and the faintest whisper of doubt disappears. Compton has said that she considers New Orleans an extension of the Caribbean. It also has lots of French influence while being exuberant and colorful, and for her, it's also home. So when she opened Compère Lapin to explore that connection through food, she hoped the locals would get what she was going for.
Boy, did they ever. From the very beginning, Compton's food resonated with the Crescent City, earning her a loyal following - and a surprisingly large collection of rabbit figurines. Want to learn more about her long-eared friends? Check out this video from The Hollywood Reporter.
Compere Lapin might be neat inside, but Chef Nina's passion is also evident in every bite. A former winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef South, the charismatic cook has also appeared on Top Chef and trained with industry heavyweights like Daniel Boulud. So, considering that impressive pedigree, what should you order at Compere Lapin? Well, make sure not to miss the cold-smoked tuna tartare, described by the folks at Eater.com as "a keeper." Also noteworthy are the curry goat (a Caribbean classic that she serves with homemade sweet potato gnocchi), the standout buttermilk biscuits (come for brunch to get them with a Creole take on country gravy), and excellent cocktails like the Penultimate Oath, which features a Mexican spirit called sotol.
It's pretty hard to go wrong here, and that is distinctly the point.
Cover Photo Credit: Mojo Jojo, Unsplash