Compère Lapin  [kom-pare la-pan] - the anthropomorphic rabbit character who served as the mischievous protagonist in Creole and Caribbean folk tales.

Chef Nina Compton | Photo Credit: Elsa Hahne

Chef Nina Compton | Photo Credit: Elsa Hahne

By Chef Nina Compton & Barman Ricky Gomez

It was chef Nina Compton's experience filming Bravo's Top Chef in New Orleans that made her want to pack up her knives and move from Miami to the Crescent City. Compère Lapin is Compton's first restaurant and features cuisine inspired by her own Caribbean background, as well as her experience working in both French and Italian restaurants. Bartender Ricky Gomez is a native of New Orleans and as the restaurant's bar manager, he is highlighting Gulf Coast ingredients in their cocktails. Here is Nina and Ricky's guide to eating, drinking and shopping in New Orleans.

Your new restaurant, Compère Lapin, is: fun, approachable and soulful. (Nina)

What makes the cocktail program at Compère Lapin unique: we try to make the cocktail menu fun, all while telling a story with each drink. (Ricky)

When you come to Compère Lapin, make sure you order:
- the Curried Goat and Sweet Plantain Gnocchi. (Nina)
- our carbonated coconut water with manzanilla sherry and absinthe. (Ricky)


NOLA Tips from Nina and Ricky

Don’t complain about the heat, worry about how many calories you are eating, or drink Hand Grenades.
— Bartender Ricky Gomez

When you visit New Orleans, don't miss:
strolling down Frenchmen Street taking in live music. (Nina)

If you want to fit in like a local in New Orleans:
- do not act stuffy. (Nina)
- don't complain about the heat, walk fast, worry about how many calories you are eating, or drink Hand Grenades. (Ricky)

But definitely
- go with the flow and enjoy life a little and eat everything and drink everything. (Nina)
- relax, smile and learn how we pronounce New Orleans and some of our well-known streets. i.e. Tchoupitoulas [chop-ah-too-las]. (Ricky)


BREAKFAST

Photograph Courtesy of Booty's

Photograph Courtesy of Booty's

Booty's

I do love a good brunch and the pupusa here is everything. (Nina)

800 Louisa Street, New Orleans, LA 70117
T: 504.266.2887 | 
bootysnola.com

Toast

This is one of my favorites. Gravlax and cream cheese on toast with over-medium eggs. They also have great crèpes for the sweet tooth in the mornings. (Ricky)

5433 Laurel Street, New Orleans, LA 70118
T: 504.267.3260 | www.toastneworleans.com


COFFEE

Photograph courtesy of District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew

Photograph courtesy of District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew

Arrow Cafe | Hivolt | District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew

Morning coffee definitely has a lot to do with your location. In the Quarter you want to hit Arrow Cafe. Uptown, I go to Hivolt or District. (Ricky)

ARROW CAFE, 628 North Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
HIVOLT, 1829 Sophie Wright Place, New Orleans, LA 70130 | 504.324.8818 | hivoltcoffee.com
DISTRICT: DONUTS. SLIDERS. BREW, 2209 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 | T: 504.570.6945 | www.donutsandsliders.com

French Truck

This is a local roaster with an amazing selection of coffee. (Nina)

1200 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.298.1115 | 
www.frenchtruckcoffee.com


LUNCH

Photograph courtesy of Pizza Delicious

Photograph courtesy of Pizza Delicious

Pizza Delicious

This is my favorite spot and any of their pizzas are great. (Nina)

617 Piety Street, New Orleans, LA 70117 | T: 504.676.8482 | pizzadelicious.com

Cochon Butcher 

Order the muffaletta. (Nina)

930 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 | T: 504.588.7675 | www.cochonbutcher.com

Pho Bang | Tan Dinh 

For lunch, I think a lot of people need to venture out of the city. New Orleans has some of the best Vietnamese food in the country. These are two staples that every chef in the city swears by. (Ricky)

PHO BANG, Samson Plaza Shopping Center, 14367 Chef Menteur Highway, New Orleans, LA 70129 | T: 504.254.3929
TAN DINH, 1705 Lafayette Street, Gretna, LA 70053 | T: 504.361.8008

Photograph courtesy  of The Company Burger

Photograph courtesy  of The Company Burger

The Company Burger

The best burger in the country is located in New Orleans. Company Burger is something that I look forward to every week. I try to limit myself to one visit a week. (Ricky)

4600 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 | T: 504.267.0320 | www.thecompanyburger.com


SHOPPING

Photograph courtesy of Keife & Co.

Photograph courtesy of Keife & Co.

Keife & Co.

This is by far the best wine and spirits selection in New Orleans. They have an eclectic selection with a ton of smaller producers. (Ricky)

801 Howard Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113 | T: 504.523.7272 | www.keifeandco.com

St. James Cheese Company

This is a chef's dream. They have a great selection of cured meats, cheese and a glass of wine to go with it. (Nina)

5004 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 | T: 504.899.4737 | www.stjamescheese.com

Magazine Antique Mall

There are still deals to be had, because it is a consignment shop. Everything in the French Quarter will be overpriced. (Ricky)

3017 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 | T: 504.896.9994


COCKTAILS | Modern

Photograph courtesy of Cane & Table

Photograph courtesy of Cane & Table

The New Orleans cocktail community is growing fast, but here are some of my favorites.

Cure

Cure is Uptown, but worth the cab fare, as it is one of the more progressive cocktail programs in the city.

4905 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
T: 504.302.2357 | 
curenola.com

Cane & Table

They take a modern approach to tiki drinks and have amazing food.

1113 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
T: 504.581.1112 | 
www.caneandtablenola.com

Latitude 29

For one of the best classic tiki bars in the country, founded by the top tiki historian Jeff Berry.

321 N Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.609.3811 | latitude29nola.com


Photograph courtesy of Arnaud's French 75

Photograph courtesy of Arnaud's French 75

COCKTAILS | Signatures

Here's the proper drinking tour of New Orleans. Skip the Hand Grenade, Hurricane, and Monsoon. (Ricky)

Arnaud's French 75 Bar

Come here for the experience and to drink their namesake cocktail, the French 75.

813 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
T: 504.523.5433 | 
www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/bars/french-75/

The Carousel Bar

Order a Vieux Carre at the Carousel Bar located inside the Monteleone.

Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.523.3341 | 
hotelmonteleone.com/entertainment/carousel-bar

Sazerac Bar

Located in The Roosevelt hotel, order a Ramos Gin Fizz.

The Roosevelt New Orleans, 130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112
T: 504.648.1200 | 
therooseveltneworleans.com/dining/the-sazerac-bar.html

Kingfish

Order a Mint Julep from bartender Chris McMillian, he is legendary. Chris is a walking wikipedia of New Orleans and cocktail history.

337 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.598.5005 | 
www.kingfishneworleans.com

Napoleon House

Finding hidden courtyards in the French Quarter is always great. Go old school and sit in their courtyard with a Pimm's Cup and a snack. It is a perfect place to recharge the batteries.

500 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.524.9752 | 
www.napoleonhouse.com


DINNER

Barbecued shrimp at Emeril's | Photograph courtesy of Emeril's

Barbecued shrimp at Emeril's | Photograph courtesy of Emeril's

Emeril's

This one of my favorite places. The staff is so friendly and the food is so good. The barbecued shrimp is a must. (Nina)

800 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.528.9393 | 
emerils.com

Drago's

When people visit, I always tell them to have the charbroiled oysters at Drago's. It's the only thing you need to get here. So good! (Ricky)

Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.584.3911 | 
www.dragosrestaurant.com


LATE NIGHT

Photo credit: MsSaraKelly [flickr]

Photo credit: MsSaraKelly [flickr]

Dat Dog

Hits the spot each time. (Nina)

Open until 3am on weekends
601 Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, La. 70116 | T:  504.309.3362 |
 datdognola.com

Gene's Poboys 

Get the hot sausage and cheese. (Nina)

Open 24-hours
1040 Elysian Fields Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117 | T: 504.943.3861 | genespoboys.com

Igor's Lounge | Club Ms Mae's

New Orleans is a 24-hour city that is also know for having some of the best dive bars in the country. Some of the most famous and best are Igor's and Ms. Mae's. (Ricky)

Open 24-Hours
IGOR'S LOUNGE, 2133 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130 | T: 504.522.2145
CLUB MS MAE'S, 4336 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 | T: 504.218.8035


Nina Compton

Compton is the chef and owner of Compère Lapin in New Orleans. A native of St. Lucia, she worked in New York City with chef Daniel Boulud and in Miami with chefs Norman Van Aken at Norman’s and Scott Conant at Scarpetta Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

 

 

Ricky Gomez

Gomez is the beverage director at Compère Lapin in New Orleans. A native of New Orleans, he was tapped to become Diageo’s first-ever World Class U.S. Ambassador. He has worked behind the stick at Commander's Palace and Cure in New Orleans, and Teardrop Lounge and Riffle NW in Portland, OR.

 

 


Compère Lapin

The inspiration for the name Compère Lapin [pronounced kom-pare la-pan and translated to “brother rabbit”] comes from Compton’s childhood in St. Lucia where she read traditional Caribbean folktales featuring a mischievous rabbit named Compère Lapin. Drawing on the story’s themes of exploration and play, the restaurant features the flavors of New Orleans mixed with Compton’s Caribbean roots, her French culinary training and deep experience with Italian cuisine.

The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, 535 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.599.2119 | www.comperelapin.com


Discover our 24-Hour New Orleans Guides

 

Louisiana Feature Stories