In October I hit up a couple more restaurants on my list.
Everyone’s been talking about Compère Lapin and its chef, Nina Compton, and since she’s a WOC, that sealed the deal on my going. I went for lunch with my husband for our anniversary. While I’d been preparing my stomach based on looking at the dinner menu, the lunch menu didn’t disappoint. First of all, the biscuits they serve as their complementary bread…I could’ve just eaten those for the whole meal. Perfectly flakey and buttery and then the additional butter on top was just the icing on the cake. We always order so we can try the most items without killing ourselves or our budget. For an appetizer we got the cold smoked tuna tartar with avocado and crispy bananas and the radicchio & endive salad. As a second I got the curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi and cashes and he got the drum with apples, collard greens, and fennel. The appetizers were tasty, the tuna tartar was good but nothing I’d go out of my way for but the radicchio salad was unexpectedly delicious. What did knock me over was the curried goat: definitely something I’d go back for. I tasted his drum, but the goat was just so good that I wasn’t really tryna taste something else and really have an opinion about it. I always have to try dessert but they were out of the roasted banana zeppole, so we got the grilled pears with angel food cake and hazelnut granola instead. It was pretty looking but underwhelming. Overall, the meal was really interesting, but I think I need to go back for dinner since that was the menu I was most excited about. I really want to try the seafood pepper pot and some of the small bites. I also need to go back when I can drink again so I can try one of their cocktails.
I’ve been to Casamentos before, but it was lent and I’d decided to go gluten free for some ridiculous reason. Casamentos does fry all of its seafood in a gluten free batter, so it wasn’t like I couldn’t eat when I went, but I couldn’t try their signature item: the oyster loaf. On this visit, for some reason I still didn’t order the oyster loaf. I got some raw oysters, chargrilled oysters, and tried some the oyster stew. The oysters were great, it’s pretty hard to mess up oysters, but the oyster stew was not the business. It looked like it should’ve tasted like clam chowder but with oysters instead of clams, but my expectation was wildly off base from what I received. I’m not really sure how to describe that stew but the base is much thinner, and it’s oily and not very flavorful. I didn’t finish it. My husband got the gumbo and ordered the oyster loaf. Both of those were definitely the better decision, especially the oyster loaf. Basically, if there’s a signature dish on a menu or something the restaurant’s well known for, I should just get that and stop being ridiculous. The oyster loaf just looks like a basic oyster sandwich–fried oysters in between two pieces of white bread. But they give you a generous portion of fatty oysters relative to the amount of bread and the way they’re fried isn’t quite the same as what you’d get at other places; it’s better!
The building itself hasn’t changed its decor in decades; it looks like an old cafeteria between all the tiling and lighting. It’s also cash only. Don’t expect some new age, chic, sit-down-and-remark-on-the-ambiance, experience. Because nothing’s been changed in so long, it’s like eating in a time capsule. That’s the experience and the ambiance to be remarked on. Also, you go there because the food is delicious.
I don’t have many pictures from either of these visits because I’ve been telling myself to detach from the phone and just enjoy being in the moment when I go out. Then I get home and get annoyed for not having even one picture to go with my posts. I need to find some balance: take a couple pictures at the beginning and then put it away. Next time I guess.