About a week after opening BABs, as Nina Compton’s second New Orleans restaurant is known, she snagged the James Beard award for Best Chef: South for Compère Lapin, her flagship locale. No pressure. And still she persists……and rises to meet her own high bar. This more casual spot is no less inventive, featuring flavor profiles, techniques, and ingredients from NOLA and the Caribbean by way of Europe that spark the palate in ways both newfound and comforting. A crispy fried brick of hearty hog’s head boudin sausage balances the rustic side, while tender, sweet duck breast satisfies for sophistication. Flavor-packed crab fat rice and the anything-but-innocuous roasted cabbage round out a fine meal. That said, the biggest hit is the simple spaghetti pomodoro: It’s perfection. Desserts didn’t wow (we’ll give it time) but the bar program is solid, and a seat there is a fun hang.
New Orleans› Restaurant
Bywater American Bistro
2900 Chartres St.
Our Rating Neighborhood Faubourg Marigny & Bywater Hours Wed-–Sun 5–10pm; Sun brunch 10am–2pm Phone 504/605-3827 Prices Main courses $20–$26 Cuisine Type International/Contemporary Southern Web site Bywater American Bistro
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