Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras in Chicago
Beads, masks, booze: It must be Mardi Gras! You may not be able to make it to New Orleans or Rio for this annual celebration of excess, but Chicago has plenty of places for some Fat Tuesday debauchery on Feb. 28.
Carnivale is a feast of color and flavor on a daily basis, so if anyone can do Mardi Gras right, it’ll be this restaurant. On Fat Tuesday, you’ll be transported to Brazil for Carnival as a parade of samba dancers, illumination dancers, and drum and dragon processions keep the party hopping. Chef Rodolfo Cuadros will serve a special Mardi Gras menu including moqueca de bacalhau (salt cod stew) and wood-roasted prime picanha (sirloin cap). Fat Tuesday dinner and celebration is from 6 to 10 p.m., but the menu debuts Feb. 25. Reservations are recommended; call (312) 850-5005.
Why wait until Fat Tuesday to get into the Mardi Gras spirit? Big Jones has a decadent prix fixe menu available from now until March 2. The three-course menu, complete with bread service, delivers the rich flavors of Creole and Cajun cooking. Choose from gumbo z’herbes, crawfish étouffée, and sweet potato and black bean jambalaya. Special dishes will also be available à la carte, including Pontchartrain lump crab cakes and blackened andouille po’boy. Make reservations by calling (773) 275-5725.
Heaven on Seven
Jimmy Bannos’ stalwart of Cajun cuisine is ready to take you down to the bayou this Mardi Gras. Heaven on Seven will be celebrating all weekend long with live music on Friday, Saturday, and Fat Tuesday and plenty of beads on hand. Check out its Facebook event page to get the latest on food and drink specials. You can make reservations by calling (312) 263-6443.
Fifolet, Chicago’s newest nod to New Orleans, will be living it up this Mardi Gras weekend. Festivities start on Friday, Feb. 24 with a special menu and huge specials on Abita beer flights. The Taste of New Orleans menu, which includes red beans and rice with smoked pork and andouille sausage and king cake, will be available Sunday and Monday as well. The big party happens on Fat Tuesday with a live brass band, face painting, and beer specials courtesy of Abita. Grab your beads and enjoy a little Bourbon Street in Chicago.
Join the masquerade at STK Chicago this Fat Tuesday. The free event includes Bulleit Bourbon cocktails and NOLA-inspired appetizers. Don a custom mask and some beads while DJs keep the party hopping. Table reservations are available if you’d like a full dinner. Get the details at the Eventbrite page.