Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Get ready for Mardi Gras!


Count on us to be right in the middle of the action when Division Street turns into a full-on Bourbon Street scene on Fat Tuesday (Feb. 24).

This first-ever, three-bar pub crawl stumbles through Bootleggers, The Original Mother’s and Shenannigans with live music, $5 Hurricane refills, dancing and more. Starts at 6pm. $10.

If that's too rambunctious for your tastes, check the list for more jump offs:

Carnivale throws a three-day celebration, mixing it up with a different theme each night. Festivities begin Sunday with family night complete with face painters, balloon cartoonists, stilt walkers, and free masks and beads. Mojito Monday keeps it going with a masquerade ball and drinks themed from around the globe, including a Mexican version with hibiscus-infused Gran Centenario tequila. And, as a grand finale, the Fat Tuesday bash offers live music, samba dancers, tableside mojito cart and Carnivale-inspired menu by chef Mark Mendez. 5-10pm

Get your dance on at Crobar's version of the New Orleans French Quarter. The Debonair Masquerade Ball boasts a live Louisiana brass band along with deejays Tony Arzadon and Tomeeo keeping the beats flowing. They’ll provide beads and masks, and when you need a break from the excitement, check out your fortune with tarot card readings. Don’t forget to RSVP for free admission and your first Hurricane on the house before midnight. Saturday 10pm-5am.

Heaven on Seven amps up their 24/7 Cajun flair with live music and a special themed menu. This time around, the spotlight is on the King Cakes—flown in straight from New Orleans. Find a prize in this traditional dish and you could be the lucky winner of some pretty sweet give-aways. They’ll be celebrating all weekend through Fat Tuesday. 11am-10pm.

For a well-paired brew with your Cajun celebration, head to Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap for the all-you-can-eat-and-drink beer tasting event. Cajun-inspired dishes will be paired with Louisiana microbrew, Abita, and set up in stations with information about each pairing. They’ll also feature Blue Plate Special, playing Creole-Zydeco to get you outta your seat. Beer pairing 6:30-9pm/$30. Live music 7-11pm Tuesday.

Mardi Gras Masquerade's the theme for Kit Kat’s Fat Tuesday set. In addition to their New Orleans-style menu, they’ll have masks, beads and performances throughout the evening by Kit Kat Diva Traci Ross. Half-price martinis and $5.50 Cruzan rum cocktails should keep the party going. 5:30pm-2am Tuesday.

Marche will bring diners a taste of the Bayou with Creole-inspired dishes created by chef Cory Peterson. The a la carte menu includes items like alligator soup ($12) and blackened rock shrimp risotto with bacon and scallions (14). Offered Friday through Fat Tuesday. 5:30-10pm

And celebrate Mardi Gras season Brazilian style at Texas de Brazil for a week-long kick-off to Carnival. The sword-wielding gauchos will be making the rounds with extra specialty recipes, including Carnival’s signature dish, Brazilian Feijoada (includes several kinds of meats cooked with beans and served with white rice). Also, check out the Carnival Shot Block for a little post-meal treat. This wooden tray holds four different shots inspired by the Carnival season ($44.99). Feb. 19-23.--Served deliciously by Suzy M.

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