It's Fat Tuesday, which means we should all be gorging on King cake and dancing in the street New Orleans-style. But because we can't jet off to sunny NOLA, we've rounded up the best Mardi Gras events and dinner specials that bring a bit of the Big Easy to the Big Apple. Here's where you need to be to get down and dirty tonight:
Carnival–Mardi-Gras mash-up at Botequim
Branch out from the French festivities at this Brazilian blowout featuring a four-course dinner of roasted suckling pig, braised black beans with cured meats, collard greens and plenty of caipirinhas, plus live samba dancers, DJ sets and classic Carnival music. $75.
Creole Carnival at the DL
NOLA arrives in Gotham courtesy of the Prohibition Productions crew, who've packed a lineup with 35 performers spanning jazz and Dixieland bands, classic burlesque and swing dancers. Explore three levels of dance floors and bars after the Cajun crawfish dinner. $35–$75.
Mardi Gras at Duane Park
The dinner-and-a-show lounge serves a Southern-inflected menu year-round but its Fat Tuesday celebration features performances by Ripley's Believe It or Not magician Albert Cadabra, burlesque dancer Amber Bray and grub straight from the French Quarter: cheese grits, chicken-andouille gumbo and Abita-braised pork. $55–$65.
Mardi Gras at the Dutch
Sit down for four courses of Cajun and Creole plates like dirty rice, baked clams casino and chicken-fried frog legs, plus drinks straight from Bourbon Street like the Funky Pirate (whiskey, melon, lemon), Hurricane (rum, passionfruit, hibiscus) and the Morning Glory Fizz (Scotch, absinthe, lemon). After you've had your fill, head to the bar room, where People's Champs will be playing their funky, Afrobeat-flavored grooves. $95.
NYC Mardi Gras at Irondale Center
Cook Out NYC hosts this beer (Abita, Smuttynose, Sixpoint) and burlesque bash complete with a gumbo cook-off and live tunes by local Mona’s Hot Four Ragtime Band. Sip more than 18 different spirits (Redemption rye, London No. 1 gin, Tanteo tequila) selected by Modern Distillery Age and nosh on Southern favorites like jambalaya and cornbread during the walk-around tasting. $45–$100.
Mardi Gras at the Way Station
The steampunk-styled bar's fourth annual extravaganza includes Abita beer specials, red-hot brass bands like Nevermind Orchestra, who exclusively cover Nirvana, lots of beads and a raucous (and likely drunken) Second Line parade down Washington Avenue. No cover; $5 suggested donation per set.