Friday, April 8, 2016

Staycation in New Orleans : Balise & Compère Lapin

This was the first time I've had a weekday off in New Orleans since I first started working! It was such a nice break because it reminded me of how it used to be when I had so many sunny afternoons to spend as a student. My stayation landed on French Quarter Fest weekend, so more things were happening in the Quarter than usual. The musicians, bands, street performances, poets, Jackson Square artists, vendors, and visitors just seemed to multiply! Stages and markets are set up in various locations all around the French Quarter, and many restaurants are serving festival food specials ranging from barbecue shrimp stuffed po-boys to crawfish in lobster sauce. Though you already know I'm all about festival feasting, this photolog I'm going to share with you some finer dining experiences I had this long weekend. 

One Warehouse District go-to for me is Balise. It's modern Louisiana fare for the gastronomically adventurous. The first time I went, they just recently started serving brunch, and I had the most juicy hot sausage lambwich that was topped with a runny egg in a soft brioche bun. It's not easily forgettable, so I went back and had the fried smoked oysters with a side of fried smoked cauliflower. Definitely one of my favorite brunch spots in New Orleans. 

Now the real highlight this weekend, however, was my lunch at Compère Lapin. It's located in the Old No. 77 Hotel off Lafayette and I honestly can't stop thinking about it. It's a New Orleans Creole Caribbean cuisine that is exquisite, creative, and hearty. Chef Nina Compton showcases her St. Lucian roots, adding a New Orleans + Southern flair with the sophistication of French culinary pedigree. Her chive buttermilk biscuit was served with small logs of bacon butter and salted honey butter, which I ended up combining on my warm flaky biscuit. I also tried a very flavorful curried goat stew with homemade sweet potato gnocchi and topped with cashews and cliantro. It was reminiscent of Hong Kong style curry beef brisket. My tastebuds still get excited just simply thinking about it. I can't wait to go back. 

640 Carondelet Street
New Orleans

Compère Lapin
The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
535 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans

Power breakfast! Barley quinoa avocado bowl spiced with Slap Ya Mama

When your cauliflower game on fleek, Balise

Fried oysters with a shaved broccoli + brussels sprouts salad, Balise

Best hot sausage lambwich on the softest brioche bun, Balise

Mr. Jack Daniels courtesy of local artist Simon

Chive buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter + salted honey butter
- AMEN!, Compere Lapin

Chef Nina's signature curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi, Compere Lapin

Miss Luna admiring Reggie's Art from Jackson Square!
Thank you so much for the beautiful New Orleans jazz + architecture print! 

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