Compère Lapin is French for brother rabbit. It was a large place with low lighting, music in the background, exposed brick walls, bare polished wood tables, windows to the street on one long side, and a number of paintings on the walls. Some other walls were lined with bench seating to be one side’s seat for the majority of small tables for 2. They are located in a hotel with a long bar and oyster counter for different seating options. The ceiling held some noise reduction panels but with the hard walls, the concrete floor and being packed with people the noise level was high. They offer a small menu which has lots of plates to be shared and we were told they prefer you put in your whole order at one time rather than as you go along. Service was friendly but not overly so, leaving you feeling no connection to the place. Some of the food was pretty good but a lot of it was way mild for the style of cooking.
They start you off with a biscuit with a choice of chive butter or honey butter. It was a good flaky biscuit and I preferred the honey butter.
The Conch Croquettes were served with a pickled pineapple tartar sauce. They came 4 to an order and were long like eggrolls. The sauce had a little spice to it and the outsides of the croquettes were nicely crisped. However the insides fell out if you tried to eat it by hand. I would rate them okay.
Crispy Dirty Rice Arancini with Sour Orange Mojo were also served 4 to an order but were ball shaped. They contained some chicken liver which went well with the strongly flavored citrus sauce that was creamy. The ball itself was mildly flavored but did offer a good mix of crisp and gooey. They would also rate okay.
The Daily Selection of Chilled Oysters were local oysters sold by the piece, this night about $2.75 a piece. They came with red wine and cocktail sauces as well as a bottle of jalapeño hot sauce to add as desired. The oysters were fresh and tasty and well cleaned and separated from the shell. The hot sauce was not too hot and a drop mixed well with whatever sauce you desired to put on the oyster.
Marinated Shrimp with Roasted Jalapeno Jus was like a shrimp cocktail with lots of cilantro, slices of jalapeño and avocado. It could have benefitted from some of the oyster’s hot sauce. This one would rate a nice, but still mild in flavor.
The Cobia with Passionfruit and yucca was mildly flavored. The very thin strips of fish were mixed with a grapefruit and citrus-like sauce. Some crispy things added some texture to the dish.
Curried Goat with Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Cashews was garnished with cilantro. It had nice clean flavors with some spiciness and really tender strings of meat. The good sauce was well accented with the cashews and the lovely sweet potato gnocchi. The sauce was a roux similar to those for gumbo. This one was finally full of flavor. It was really good.
For dessert we tried the Roasted Banana Zeppole with Hazelnuts and Rum Caramel. A cup of hazelnut rum caramel was served beside the crispy balls of banana cake. They were similar to small donuts and the sauce was very good. They dipped easily into the sauce and were messy to eat but worth the mess.