After suffering through a wet and wild Jazz Fest, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch and stopped in to New Orleans’ Compere Lapin. Our table was intimate and well-appointed; it was next to a window, which let the natural light in and set the tone for an amazing lunch. Because we went early, the restaurant wasn’t filled, and this was perfect for us. The décor was French country and rustic, with lots of wood, splashes of lapis blue color, signature rabbits scattered in surprising spots, and a great brick wall with lots of small mirrors, reflecting the chefs who were busy at work.
Carey was our server, and was great. He was friendly and graciously answered all of our questions, tolerated our picture-taking with a smile, explained the menu well, and was attentive throughout the meal. A server in the back helped us set up a picture of the house-made hot sauce for their oyster bar. We tasted the hot sauce, which was made with habanero, and it had heat and a kick, but it wasn’t overpowering or too hot–just the right compliment for the oysters.
Then came the food. First, there were biscuits. Ahh the biscuits. Chive-speckled buttermilk biscuits were served warm on a wooden plank with two types of butter, honey and bacon. The biscuits were dense and delicious, and when slathered with the bacon butter from heaven, we knew it was only the beginning of a beautiful thing. This day, we were in a verde mood and ordered two green dishes: the English Pea Ravioli with Ramps and Spring Mushrooms and the Spinach Cavatelli with Fontina Fondue. We loved everything about the English Pea Ravioli. It was beautiful to look at with yellow pockets of ravioli, brown morel mushrooms, bright green pea sauce, with ramps and microgreens to finish. It was almost too pretty to eat. However, eat it we did. The peas had the perfect amount bite and tasted fresh off the vine, the ravioli was perfectly cooked and had a delicate cheese mixture inside. Everything worked together beautifully. The Spinach Cavatelli was hearty and had a crusty Fontina cheese layer on top. This would be great to eat on a cold day.
We are looking forward to our next visit to have oysters and dessert, which we didn’t have room for on this visit. Compere Lapin, though only opened last year, is located in the Central Business District and is a must stop and a welcome addition to the restaurants in our city.
Compere Lapin 535 Tchoupitoulas
New Orleans, LA