Compère Lapin [kom-pare la-pan] - the anthropomorphic rabbit character who served as the mischievous protagonist in Creole and Caribbean folk tales.
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 restaurant Compère Lapin, is: fun, approachable and soulful. (Nina)
The cocktail program at Compère Lapin is unique because : 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
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)
- 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)
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
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
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
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
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
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 |
611 O'Keefe Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113 | T: 504.309.9422
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
The New Orleans cocktail community is growing fast, but here are some of my favorites.
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
Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29
For one of the best classic tiki bars in the country, founded by the top tiki historian Jeff Berry.
321 North Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.609.3811 | latitude29nola.com
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
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
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
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
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
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
Hits the spot each time. (Nina)
Open until 3am on weekends
601 Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, La. 70116 | T: 504.309.3362 | datdognola.com
Get the hot sausage and cheese. (Nina)
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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