Check out these four gorgeous NOLA restaurant destinations.
The inspiration for the name Compère Lapin (“brother rabbit”) comes from Chef/Owner Nina Compton’s childhood in St. Lucia, where she read traditional Caribbean folktales featuring the mischievous namesake rabbit.
Drawing on the stories' themes of exploration and play, the restaurant — which opened in June 2015 in the Old No. 77 Hotel — features a whimsical design coupled with historic charm. Influenced by the building’s history as a warehouse serving the Port of New Orleans, James Beard Award finalist Parts and Labor Design retained the original warehouse architecture while adding elements of classic French decor and a modern, bohemian flair.
The 86-seat, indoor-outdoor eatery has a relaxed atmosphere that combines materials and textures ranging from warm caramel leathers and honey oaks to tan tweeds, cool bohemian blues and English greens.
Original floor-to-ceiling wood-and-glass French doors along Tchoupitoulas Street open to an outdoor seating area, illuminating the space with natural light. An impressive 80-foot cocktail/raw bar provides open views into the kitchen, where guests can take in the action. Walnut and brass blown-glass light fixtures complete the look.
“The rabbit is everywhere; it’s stenciled with bitters on one of our cocktails, and we have our logo on the original wood planks that are over 100 years old,” says Compton, who was recently named a finalist for the 2017 James Beard Awards, Best Chef: South. “It is one of the most popular backdrops on Instagram. We have many rabbit figurines that were given to us from guests, and each has its own name.” Photos courtesy of Compère Lapin