Fat Tuesday may be the ultimate food holiday. Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday. It is celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday as the last day of indulgence before the ritual fast of lent. This means food, lots of it. While Mardi Gras is “the” holiday in New Orleans; there’s no reason New Yorkers can’t celebrate. These are some great restaurants to make your Mardi…a little more gras.
Gravy (32 East 21st Street): They make the top of our list since they are working together with the Make It Right Foundation, in order to help rebuild New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Gravy is known for upscale Southern cuisine. Gravy’s new Executive Chef, Reagan Angelle, has created a New Orleans inspired Mardi Gras Prix-Fixe Menu ($45 pp). Proceeds from the following dishes will go to support Make it Right: corn-fried Blue Point Ooysters ($12), “The Bacchanal” ($12). Their prix fixe looks succulent as well: with choices like chicken with andouille gumbo, pan roasted red snapper, fried chicken and sour apple king cake…to name a few.
Neely’s Barbecue Parlor (1125 First Avenue): On Saturday, February 18th and Sunday, February 19th from 10 am to 3 pm they will offer “Mardi Gras” brunch specials featuring items like pain perdu with pecans and bananas foster sauce ($11.95), and Louisiana crawfish etouffée ($19.95). On Fat Tuesday, the celebration will include Bayou-style specials including smoked chicken and andouille sausage gumbo ($9.95) and Blackened Catfish with sweet corn pudding, collard greens with bacon and crawfish lemon tabasco butter ($17.95).
The Tea Set Bistro (235 West 12th Street): If you’re a Francophile (like me), check out Tea Set. Their Prix Fixe, available starting at 5pm on Tuesday, February 21st, includes a classic ham and Gruyère crèpe, a succulent strawberry crèpe, and two champagne cocktails of your choice. To top it off, they will be handing out Mardi Gras masks at the door.
Virgil’s BBQ (152 West 44th Street): Virgil’s is offering a specialty menu from now until Fat Tuesday on February 21st featuring dishes such as their “Not Just for Mondays” Red Beans & Rice ($16.95) with smoked sausage, jambalaya ($17.95), and authentic Dixie style heroes ($12.95).
Oficina Latina: (24 Prince Street) Nolita’s Oficina Latina will celebrate from Feb 16 through Fat Tuesday by pairing its deconstructed feijoada with a classic caipiriña for $22. Oficina Latina’s Feijoada turns the black-bean peasant stew into more than the sum of its parts, with each perfectly prepared element—pork leg, spinach, bacon, plantain—served separately for you to mix in a coconut bowl. Don’t forget your festive Carnival garb!