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Innovative Caribbean Gem Compere Lapin Wows Critic Brett Anderson

Critics also head to Cavan & Ralph's On The Park

Elsa Hahne for Compere Lapin

Brett Anderson gives FOUR BEANS Compere Lapin this week: "Certain dishes register like arguments to pay closer attention to the cooking of the Latin-Caribbean diaspora" thanks to chef and St. Lucia native Nina Compton, whose "notably skillful" technique can be found in dishes like conch croquettes, a "confit tender" half chicken, and her  "piece de resistance" the curried goat strew. Don't overlook the exceptional desserts from pastry chef Danny Alas and cocktails from Abigail Gullo. Overall, Anderson deems this Warehouse District gem a "showcase for startlingly original food." []

Helen Freund finds a taste of coastal America at Cavan: "The most remarkable things about dining" at this spacious Uptown hotspot "are the restaurant's charm and character," from custom-made dinner plates to mismatched cutlery. Chef Ben Thibodeaux serves up a delicate tuna carpaccio, an addictive dish of butter baked shrimp and "one of the better" hushpuppies in town, served here with whipped lardo and honey, but the menu has some inconsistencies including a smattering of toast offerings that "could use some work." The noise level can reach "deafening" levels but the upstairs bar is a "quieter refuge."  [Gambit]

Tom Fitzmorris give FOUR STARS to Ralph's on the Park this week: "Ralph's always seems to be running a promotion," and T-Fitz gets in on a "$33 summer special," though the spot would be "perfect for an all-appetizer dinner." Essential dishes include turtle soup, smoked fried oysters, and more contemporary Creole "employing locally-raised foodstuffs"  If you're not taken with the view of City Park, there's also an "amusing" mural "depicting a historically-accurate 1800s faceoff between the high-end call girls of the time and the wives of their customers." +1 hipness points because T-Fitz is possibly a time traveler. [CityBusiness, sub req]