Chef Nina Compton opens a second restaurant, with a new concept

NEW ORLEANS -- Top Chef fan favorite Nina Compton moved to New Orleans and opened her first restaurant three years ago this June. Now, after the success of Compére Lapin, she opens the doors to her newest concept, Bywater American Bistro, in the neighborhood she calls home.

"We practically live upstairs," laughed Compton. "I could've duplicated Compére Lapin, but I wanted a separate concept that felt like a neighborhood restaurant where you go three or four times a week."

Just a day after the James Beard Foundation named Compton a finalist for the Best Chef: South award, Bywater American Bistro opened with the help of her husband, Larry Miller, and Levi Raines. Raines, former sous chef at Compére Lapin, was the inspiration for the second restaurant.

"We call this a contemporary American restaurant not because of the style of cooking necessarily, but because of the informality of it," said Raines. "It's not stuffy, we want this to become your regular place."

The menu consists of textures, bright zesty flavors, and fresh ingredients indigenous to the area.

They will be soon be featuring a brunch, because "New Orleans loves a good brunch," said Compton.

Bywater American Bistro is open at 2900 Chartres Street.