Last week, chef Nina Compton (www.facebook.com/chefninacompton), a finalist on season 11 of Top Chef, which was filmed in New Orleans, announced she will open a restaurant in the Warehouse District in summer. The as-yet unnamed restaurant will be located in the soon-to-open Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery (535 Tchoupitoulas St.).
Compton is a native of St. Lucia and trained at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. She served as chef de cuisine at the Miami Beach Italian restaurant Scarpetta.
Later this spring, chef Nick Lama, formerly of Gautreau's, will open his first restaurant, Avo (5908 Magazine St.; www.restaurantavo.com), in the space formerly occupied by Martinique Bistro. Lama will combine Sicilian and Southern cuisines on the menu. A press release included sample dishes of whipped burrata with grilled peaches, prosciutto and aged balsamic, short rib lasagna, pork Milanese with chianti-braised turnips and grilled grouper with chick pea ragu and farro pilaf.
Lama was chef de cuisine at Gautreau's, and has worked at Jean-Georges' The Mark and Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster in New York City.