Mardis Gras and Carnival are many things, all of them joyous and celebratory and most of them utterly delicious. While Westchester might be 1,300-plus miles away from the Bacchanalia of Bourbon Street, and nearly 4,900 miles from the teeming avenues of Rio de Janeiro, we’ve no shortage of our own places to spend these holidays. Make plans to attend one of these local celebrations.
580 Gramatan Avenue, Mount Vernon
With a name like “The Bayou,” you can trust this Mount Vernon mainstay to put together one heck of a Mardi Gras. Starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, February 21, join Fat Boi’s Brass Band for a pre-party night of music straight from New Orleans. ($5 cover.) Then on Monday, February 24, head on back for Pre-Mardi Gras Jam Night full of beads, masks, and local music along with the house band. All this leads up to the 30th Annual Mardi Gras with CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band and the Creole-born singer’s unique blend of jazz, blues, and classic Louisiana zydeco. While you revel, enjoy a four-course dinner of the restaurant’s most delectable Cajun fare, of course culminating in king cake to determine the King and Queen of Mardi Gras! Dinner is $60 and reservations are highly encouraged for 6, 8, and 10 p.m. seatings.
7-27 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville
One of Westchester’s favorite Tex-Mex places is also getting into the vibe with some Cajun specials to mark the end of the Carnival season. From 6:30 p.m. p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, guests can enjoy live music, plus classic dishes like Mexican jambalaya (sausage, chicken, and chorizo in a savory stew), the Bayou Burrito (loaded up with shrimp, chorizo, rice, cheese, and a special Creole sauce), and sautéed Cajun shrimp. There will also be festive drink specials like $3 beer, $4 margs, and $5 sangria at extended happy hour until 8:30 p.m., and of course plenty of beads, masks, and merriment.
39 Chestnut St, Dobbs Ferry
Chef DiBari has chosen Mardi Gras as the perfect opportunity to roll out this year’s 7th Annual “Mother Shucker” Oyster Fest. The Cookery has teamed up with Industrial Arts Brewing Company to create this epic feast. $125 buys you all-you-can-eat oysters and IA beer, along with house favorites like fried chicken, seafood gumbo, smoked sausages, a whole roasted suckling pig (as is a Cookery staple), shrimp rolls, chicken fat biscuits, house-made pickles by the bucket, and stone ground grits. There’ll even be wine and NOLA-approved mini hurricanes.
The Church of Saint Barnabus
15 N. Broadway, Irvington
Louisiana native-turned-Westchesterite Chef Kelli Scott is hosting a Mardi Gras celebration her her typical flair and blend of Creole/Cajun influences. The $45 prix fixe menu includes appetizers of fried boudin, stuffed mirliton, and marinated crab claws, followed by gumbo or crawfish bisque, sensation or fried okra & tomato salads, and entrées of catfish acadiana, étouffée, jambalaya, red beans & rice, or shrimp & grits. Polish off the night with pralines, bananas foster, and sweet and sticky king cake. Call for reservations.
23 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry
The Rare Bit is going all out for Mardi Gras with a New Orleans inspired menu that you can catch all week long, from Fat Tuesday through March 1, featuring classic dishes like gumbo, boudin balls with Creole mustard, buttermilk fried ‘gator, shrimp & grits, jambalaya, crawfish, red beans & rice, and more. The restaurant will also be holding a Mardi Gras Game Dinner on February 27. (The first session on February 26 has already sold out, but the new one includes free valet parking!) The $110 five-course prix fixe affair will feature smoked ham hock and hush puppies, crab gumbo, alligator, a traditional New Orleans style crawfish boil, and dessert of beignets and chicory coffee. Food won’t be all they are offering: a live band will be playing traditional New Orleans tunes from 6 p.m. until 10 pm.
12 High St, Rye
Rye Roadhouse — famous for its Cajun cuisine ranging from classic gumbo to shrimp and grits, crawfish etouffee, po’boys, and the ever adventurous ‘gator nuggets — is going large as ever for its Fat Tuesday celebration. Wash down your Louisiana comfort food with a traditional hurricane or some New Orleans style beer, all to the jubilant sounds of real cajun fiddle & scrub board music. Menu runs all day, music starts at 7 p.m.