In a town filled with Creole and Cajun restaurants, Compere Lapin and its Caribbean/Southern cuisine stands out from the rest. At this Warehouse District hot spot, James Beard award-winner, Chef Nina Compton, showcases classic Caribbean fare inspired by her home country of St. Lucia, with a twist of New Orleans magic. Compere Lapin is housed in the Old No. 77 Hotel on Tchoupitoulas St., which is the perfect spot for this bustling restaurant. The old-world charm of the building, which was once a chandlery, makes you feel like you are dining in the Caribbean during its 1950’s heyday.
During our experience there, we were greeted with piping hot biscuits accompanied by honey butter. My advice – don’t watch your carbs at Compere Lapin – the biscuits alone are worth the indulgence. While the standard menu looked great, we opted for the Cuban set menu- the restaurant is featuring a set menu from a different Caribbean country each week in September. The first course of the night was a Cuban sandwich empanada and quite frankly, it will be difficult to eat a regular Cuban sandwich again… it was that good! The empanada was paired with a perfectly shaken rum, grenadine, and pineapple cocktail. For our second course, we were served congris topped with vaca frita (translation – rice and beans topped with shredded flank steak), with fried plantains and yucca on the side, of course. As someone who married into a Cuban family, I have high expectations of restaurants serving classic Cuban dishes and Compere Lapin knocked it out of the park. The flavors were rich and the dish was perfectly seasoned. The vaca frita was paired with a Canchanchara cocktail, more commonly known as a Hemingway daiquiri. This drink was so authentic, I felt immediately transported to past Caribbean vacations. The finale of the meal was just as spectacular as the first two courses, with a dreamy coconut flan being served in a coconut shell with slices of dried pineapple to top it off.
Overall, the meal was outstanding and we can’t wait to dine at Compere Lapin again soon!