Mardi Gras is fast approaching (this year falling on March 4) and Chicago's restaurants and bars are gearing up for Fat Tuesday celebrations. So before Lent hits (if that's your bag), check out these noteworthy spots to chow down on some Cajun/Southern Creole food and knock back a hurricane (or ten).Read More
Where to Let the Good Times Roll This Mardi Gras
1. EL Ideas
If you're looking to live it up right this Mardi Gras, make your reservations now to Michelin-starred EL Ideas' celebration on March 4. Expect 12-14 courses for your $145 (per person). Alcohol is BYOB.
Dusek's and Punch House are celebrating Fat Tuesday with Jared Wentworth's Cajun twists, cocktail and beer specials, and live New Orleans-themed music on March 4.
3. Shaw's Crab House
Shaw's Crab House will host their Sunday brunch on March 2 with Louisiana flair. For $55 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. guests can enjoy special Mardi Gras dishes such as Cajun oyster benedict and Hoppin' John.
4. Davis Street Fishmarket
Head to Evanston on March 4 for a cooking class at 5:30 ($25), as well as live music, free psychic and Tarot readings and prizes for best costumes.
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5. Commonwealth Tavern
Newly opened Commonwealth gets into the Fat Tuesday action with $7 Hurricanes and $12 jambalaya from executive chef Kevin Church.
Untitled is hosting a Sailor Jerry rum event with a live brass band, a crawfish boil, and Sailor Jerry cocktails, of course, from 4:30 until midnight on Fat Tuesday. No cover.
Trellis is serving up a whole new menu for Mardi Gras. Sous chef Josh Hutton, who lived in Louisiana for a number of years, has a hand in crafting dishes that include seafood gratin, gumbo pizza (?!), as well as an assortment of po' boys.
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8. Newport Bar and Grill
Newport's the place to be for $4 Abita beer and Cajun, Brass Bands and Zydeco themed music this season.
9. Bub City
Bub City will have its regular BBQ menu on March 4, but will also feature their take on gumbo, as well as an oyster po' boy ($9.95).
10. Carnivale Restaurant
Featuring a special three-course prix fixe menu March 1 through March 4, Carnivale is mixing its Latin roots with N'Awlins cooking on dishes like Maine lobster etouffe featuring huitlacoche risotto.
11. Nouveau Tavern
Nouveau Tavern will kick off Mardi Gras festivities on Feb. 28 with the opening of their Bourbon Street Lounge. Look for activities leading up to Fat Tuesday, including a New Orleans Jazz Sunday Brunch on Sunday, March 2.
Check out Frontier chef Brian Jupiter's shrimp boil ($33 per person) on Tuesday, March 4. Guzzle down a $8 New Orleans gin fizz or a Sazerac.
13. Takito Kitchen
Celebrate Mardi Gras beginning Thursday, Feb. 27 at Takito Kitchen. Chef/partner David Dworshak will serve up a jambalaya taco ($15/$19 for 3/4) and try the bar's new blood orange margarita (get the BIG for $16).
14. Sunday Dinner Club Event Space
Chicago, IL 60618
Sunday Dinner Club's upcoming dinners on February 28, March 1, 5 & 6 will feature a 6-course meal that includes black pepper popcorn shrimp salad, boudin balls and king's cake for $85 per person.
Grab a Hurricane from Luxbar's Matthew “Choo” Lipsky to go with your corn meal crusted shrimp with spicy Creole sauce.
16. Cactus Bar & Grill
$20 gets you into Cactus' fourth annual crawfish eating contest on March 4, benefitting New Orleans Habitat for Humanity. The first-place winner receives a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant.
17. Division Ale House
This neighborhood staple is serving up jambalaya and a spicy shrimp po' boy for $10.99 each, as well as a special gumbo along with their drink specials from February 27-March 4.
18. Fat Cat Bar & Grill
Come out to Fat Cat on Saturday, March 1 for their Mardi Gras beer dinner featuring crawfish etouffee with mascarpone grits and braised greens along with three additional courses for $45 per person. Contact ChicagoEvents@Rocketmail.com for tickets.