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Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras 2017

Hurricane-PicWhat late-winter lacks in federal holidays, it more than makes up with festive, edible observances; ways to cut through the gray-skied monotony with the promise of fun, food, and drink.  And chief amongst them is Mardi Gras — i.e., Fat Tuesday — a let-it-all-hang-out lead-up to the sacrificial rigors of Lent.  So whether you actually intend to give something up for the season (or are merely seeking respite from your daily woes), here’s where to laissez les bons temps rouler New Orleans style, with sazeracs, po-boys and more.  From Maison Premiere to Birds & Bubbles…

Root & Bone

Root & Bone
200 E 3rd St
East Village,New York 10009
(646) 682-7076

While Root & Bone’s menu cuts a wide swath through the South, they’re lingering in NOLA during Mardi Gras; transforming into a circa-1924 New Orleans restaurant, complete with historical records, antique cookbooks, authentic jazz-age cocktails and a $50 prix fixe, comprising Crawfish Bisque, Gumbo Filé, Stewed Okra and Galette du Roi (Kings Cake).

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Porchlight

Porchlight
271 11th Ave
Chelsea,New York 10001
(212) 981-6188

Danny Meyer’s first standalone cocktail bar is devoted to gold old Southern comfort; sip cups of “Louisiana Purchase Punch (bourbon, sherry, lemon and ginger) on an actual, built-in porch, and snack on Zapp’s Potato Chips, Crawfish Fritters, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and Fried Oysters with comeback sauce, as you listen to live music from string, folk and bluegrass bands.

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Birds & Bubbles

Birds & Bubbles
100B Forsyth St
Lower East Side,New York 10002
(646) 368-9240

Deep South native, Sarah Simmons, celebrates high and low indulgences at her champagne and fried chicken joint.  Which makes French 75’s an apropos choice during Mardi Gras, as do Cajun specialties like Red Beans and Rice, Shrimp and Grits, Collard Greens and of course, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, sold by the half or whole bird.

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Maison Premiere

Maison Premiere
298 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn,New York 11211
(347) 335-0446

The city’s most expansive absinthe program renders Maison Premiere a year-round Mardi Gras destination — as does a killer menu of impeccably fresh oysters, Cod Brandade, Seafood Bouillon and soon-to-be-debuted additions from new chef, Damon Wise.  (Yes, Damon Wise has returned to the big apple!)

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Claw Daddy’s NYC

Claw Daddy’s NYC
185 Orchard St
Lower East Side,New York 10002
(646) 590-6816

Louisiana seafood boils are the specialty of this Lower East Side eatery.  Select your crustacean (shrimp, clams, crab, crawfish or lobster), your sauce (Cajun, lemon pepper, garlic butter, butter cheese or simply water boiled), your spice level (mild, medium, spicy, insane), and your add-ins; including corn, potatoes and andouille sausage.

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Infirmary NYC

Infirmary NYC
1720 2nd Ave
Upper East Side,New York 10128
(917) 388-2512

Cure whatever ails you at this upscale New Orleans bistro on the Upper East Side, by way of Hurricanes, Vieux Carres and three kinds of Sazeracs, paired with Alligator Sausage Sliders, Chicken Jambalaya, Crispy Boudin Balls, Yak-a-Mein (a Creole variation on Chinese Beef Noodle Soup), and “All That Jazz” Po-Boys; a pile-on of fried shrimp, fried oysters and beef with debris gravy.

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CajunSea & Oyster Bar

CajunSea & Oyster Bar
32 West 33rd St
Midtown West,New York 10001
(212) 564-7333

Get your “bomb” spicy seafood fix in the heart of Koreatown by way of boils brimming with Cajun seasoning-rubbed lobster, crab, shrimp, crawfish and clams.  But keep in mind they comprise a relatively small portion of the sprawling N’Awlins menu, which also offers Ya-Ya Gumbo, Sausage Jambalaya, pan-fried Catfish and sugar-dusted Beignets.

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Tchoup Shop

Tchoup Shop
50 Wyckoff Ave
Bushwick,New York 11237
(347) 223-2710

Big Easy émigré, Simon Glenn, has long dominated Brooklyn’s Creole-Cajun scene, slinging Catfish Po-Boys, Pork Belly Cracklin’s, Louisiana Hot Links and Brisket-Duck Liver Boudin Balls from the back of a Bushwick bar.

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