‘Top Chef’ participant to open restaurant in New Orleans _lowres

Photo provided -- Corey Jacobs, executive chef at Desire Oyster Bar in New Orleans' French Quarter, shows off a new item on the menu, chargrilled oysters.

Chef Nina Compton, a St. Lucia native who was the runner-up on Bravo’s “Top Chef Season 11: New Orleans” television program, will open her first restaurant this summer at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in New Orleans.

The soon-to-open Warehouse Arts District hotel is the latest from Provenance Hotels.

Compton, who trained in the French tradition at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, most recently served as chef de cuisine at Scarpetta at Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

As owner and executive chef of the yet-to-be named restaurant, Compton said she plans to combine her culinary background with New Orleans’ rich food traditions. The chef said she fell in love with New Orleans during the filming of “Top Chef.”

“As I worked on concepts for my restaurant and looked at locations, I kept getting drawn to New Orleans,” she said. “When the opportunity to partner with Provenance Hotels and do it here arose, it was kismet.”

It’s a one-a-kind-place with amazing indigenous products and an international influence in all artistic aspects. I’m very excited to be working in a city this vibrant, unique and iconic and to do it with a partner that is as dedicated as I am to honoring New Orleans’ traditions and history.”

The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, located at Tchoupitoulas and Lafayette streets, will feature art from students of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts in its guest rooms.

Desire Oyster Bar remodeled

The Desire Oyster Bar, 300 Bourbon St. at the corner of Bienville in New Orleans’ French Quarter, has reopened its doors after being remodeled.

The casual restaurant within the Royal Sonesta New Orleans features seating for 100 guests, a new chargrill station, decorative iron grillwork paired with French doors looking out onto Bourbon, an antique mirror over the bar, the original tin ceiling and black-and-white checkered tiled floor.

Along with its new look, the restaurant features new items on its menu including chargrilled oysters. Under the direction of Executive Chef Corey Jacobs, the dining establishment is open daily from 6:30 a.m. and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner service. Call (504) 553-2281.