Situated in the very funky Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery in New Orleans, Compére Lapin has been a raging success ever since the doors opened in 2015. Chef Nina Compton named it after the folktales about brother rabbit – or brer rabbit as we know him – that she heard growing up in the Caribbean.
She has created a menu that draws on the playfulness of the stories combined with the culinary heritage of New Orleans, all wrapped up with her classical French training.
The interior is warm and inviting with a long, diner-style bar, exposed brick walls that hark back to the building’s warehouse history and are dressed with beautiful art, and a floor of industrial concrete and tiles.
We settle in for lunch and after much indecision, I opt for the Wagyu burger with caramelised onion and Taleggio cheese while my friend chooses the cornmeal crusted catfish sandwich. We order a side of grits with creamed corn and jalapeños – well, we are in New Orleans after all. The wine menu is excellent but we choose something from the cocktail menu dreamed up by Abigail Gullo – who was voted the Best Mixologist in the USA the week before we were there. I inhale Abigail’s ‘Paris between the Wars’ concocted of scotch, lemon, honey, pear cider and bitters, while my friend has the ‘Andromeda’– Pisco with green chilli vodka, lime, grapefruit and rose. To finish, we devour the lime cheesecake with mango granita and cashew krokant. Exceptional.