Here's Where Top Chef's Nina Compton Dines Out In New Orleans

It seems there's nowhere else Nina Compton would rather put down roots than New Orleans. Hailing originally from St. Lucia, Compton was a contestant on Season 11 of "Top Chef" (filmed in New Orleans), where she not only clinched the runner-up title, but was also crowned fan favorite by viewers (per The competition show inspired the chef's big move to New Orleans in 2015. After spending time in both New York and Miami, she packed up her knives and headed down to The Big Easy. Since then, Compton's career has been on the rise.

As South Florida Times notes, she was honored with the James Beard Award in 2018 for Best Chef: South, making her the first Black woman to do so. During those first three years, she opened not one, but two restaurants: Compère Lapin at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, and Bywater American Bistro, which sits on the Mississippi riverfront in the historic Marigny and Bywater side-by-side neighborhood district. Success has been through the roof for Compton. In fact, reservations are strongly recommended for both establishments.

Though she may be the acting culinary ambassador for her birthplace of St. Lucia, Compton has deeply immersed herself in the New Orleans food scene. She told CNN that Bacchanal Wine and Hansen's Sno-Bliz are some of her favorite local spots, and revealed her love for Pêche Seafood Grill to Cuisine Noir. As far as dining out goes, Pêche is tops for Compton.

Pêche Seafood Grill menu offerings

As Cuisine Noir puts it, Nina Compton simply "can't get enough" of chef Donald Link's South American and Spanish cooking at Pêche Seafood Grill. According to the restaurant's website, one of Pêche's main missions is sustainability, which is why the restaurant works so closely with local fishermen and farmers. In 2014, the restaurant won a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in America.

Pêche's menu offers an abundant variety of options, including a raw bar with fresh oysters and Gulf fish. Additionally, bites like hushpuppies, smoked tuna dip, fried bread, seafood gumbo, mixed greens, grilled chicken, and catfish can be found on the small plates, snacks, and soup and salad portions of the menu. The entree selection usually features five different dishes, some of which are cooked on an open hearth. Those heartier meals can range from dishes like grilled tuna with lentils to hanger steak with salsa verde, to jumbo shrimp with purple rice pilaf and broccoli.

Sides don't pull punches, either. That's where you'll find Brussels sprouts with chili vinegar, brabant potatoes, glazed turnips, and brown rice with mushrooms and chili oil. And for dessert, guests can choose from key lime pie, salted caramel cake, carrot sticky toffee pudding, and more. Visitors should know: Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are encouraged.