Chef Nina Compton's second restaurant, Bywater American Bistro (2900 Chartres St., 504-605-3827; www.bywateramericanbistro.com), opens March 15.
The Chartres Street space was home to Mariza, which closed at the end of 2017. The new project is a team effort by Compton, her husband Larry Miller and chef Levi Raines, who moved to New Orleans in 2015 to be the sous chef at Compton's other restaurant, Compere Lapin (Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, 535 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-599-2119; www.comperelapin.com). Raines previously worked at acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini's Miami outpost The Dutch. Raines will be the bistro's chef and is a partner in the business, according to a release from the restaurant.
A former Top Chef fan favorite, Compton opened Compere Lapin in 2015 and wooed critics with elegant dishes fusing Italian and Creole influences. Bywater American Bistro appears to take a more local, casual approach.
The menu includes pickled shrimp with celery, avocado, rye croutons, trout roe and buttermilk dressing and a tuna toast topped with bresaola, garlic, tomato and avocado mousse. Farro risotto is made with maitake mushrooms and minted breadcrumbs. Crab fat rice includes green apple and file.Handmade pasta is higlighted in dishes such as spaghetti pomodoro and smoked ricotta agnolotti with sunchokes. The menu also features game, seafood, pork and fowl dishes and a rabbit curry with cilantro, pecans and jasmine rice.
For dessert, there is rice pudding with dulce de leche and puffed cereal as well as a Nutella flan with crystallized hazelnuts.
Crystal Pavlas runs the bar program, and for cocktails there's a BABs sour made with blended Scotch, chamomile liquor, honey and lemon.
Bywater American Bistro will serve dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.