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Fat Tuesday Fetes

Should you be so far from Louisiana come February 8 that open-container laws are still in effect, don't fret—some of the city's finest establishments are opening their doors for a night of inebriation, iniquity, and étouffée. Plus: Top Mardi Gras meals.

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The party at Jacques-Imo's NYC.  

Acme Bar and Grill
9 Great Jones St., between Lafayette St. and Broadway; 212-420-1934; acmebarandgrill.com
The Dirty Water Dogs play to crowd fattened up on shucked oysters, catfish fingers, and seafood gumbo. Multicolored hot sauce bottles line the walls of this East Village eatery, an ever-present reminder of the fiery food to come, but the bar's specialty, the three-rum hurricane ($7.75), is sure to cool mouths down.
Time: 11:30 a.m.-4 a.m.; band starts at 7:30 p.m.
Price: No cover.

The Big Easy
1768 Second Ave., between 92nd and 93rd Sts.; 212-348-0879; bigeasynyc.com
Savor $6 hurricanes, $3 bottles of Bud and Bud Light, and $25 84-ounce Jungle Juice fishbowls (a high-octane concoction of three rums, Amaretto, and fresh fruit) at this Louisiana-themed bar where beads hang haphazardly from the ceiling, a Bourbon Street sign juts out from the wall, and women often dance on the bar. OK, forget about savoring anything. Just get good and trashed—fast.
Time: 5 p.m.- 4 a.m.
Price: No cover.

The Cajun
129 Eighth Ave., between 16th and 17th Sts.; 212-691-6174; jazzatthecajun.com
Sample authentic New Orleans fare like crawfish, jambalaya, and chicken Creole, then work it off dancing to Stanley's Washboard Kings and the Canal Street Dixieland Jazz & Blues Band. Free masks and beads kick the partying up a notch.
Time: 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Price: $15 cover in main dining room; no cover at bar.

The Delta Grill
700 Ninth Ave., at 48th St.; 212-956-0934; thedeltagrill.com
This classic Louisiana-inspired restaurant goes all out for Mardi Gras, removing its tables to make room for a kick-ass all-you-can-eat buffet fete. Bluegrass band Citigrass will play to the crowd, and all revelers will receive two free hurricanes. Patrons need not flash anything but a smile to get them.
Time: 5 p.m.-4 a.m.; live music and buffet from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Price: $20 cover.

Jacques-Imo's NYC
366 Columbus Ave., at 77th St; 212-799-0150; jacquesimosnyc.com
A tarot card reader will tell patrons their fortunes at this casual Cajun-Creole eatery, which will feature giant hurricanes ($8), not to mention specials like an appetizer of cheesecake stuffed with hearty hunks of shrimp and alligator sausage. A costume contest will be held at 10 p.m.; winners will receive a free dinner for two—and be declared king and queen of Mardi Gras.
Time: 5 p.m.-4 a.m.
Price: No cover.

Live Bait
14 E. 23rd St., between Madison Ave. and Broadway; 212-353-2400; amuse.org
It's beads, beads everywhere the eye can see at this Flatiron District Cajun joint, where patrons gorge themselves on fried oysters, seafood-and-chicken jambalaya, and chunky gumbo before downing it all with one of Louisiana's own Abita beers ($6 drafts).
Time: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. for dinner; bar open until 1 a.m.
Price: No cover.

Mara's Homemade
342 E. 6th St., between First and Second Aves.; 212-598-1110; marashomemade.com
The 12th Street Playboys will play Cajun tunes, but it's the gator jambalaya and $5 bottles of Abita beer that'll really make things zesty.
Time: Restaurant opens at noon; band plays 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Price: No cover; limited a la carte menu available.

Mardi Gras
7020 Austin St., Forest Hills, Queens.; 718-261-8555; mardigrasnyc.com
Bone up on your Cajun at this unconventional Creole restaurant featuring classic crawfish étouffée, Cajun fried chicken, and voodoo pasta. Jazz guitarist Maurice Sedacca will perform while Fat Tuesday specials include $3 pints of Bass and $5 hurricanes and cyclones (the hurricane's vodka-based sister).
Time: noon-midnight.
Price: No cover.

Odea Bar & Lounge
389 Broome St., at Mulberry St.; 212-941-9222; odeany.com
Outside the sign says Broome St., but inside, where they’ll be serving Cajun specials and $8 hurricanes, it’ll feel like the heart of Bourbon St. A DJ will spin alternative acid jazz all night, and if you bring your beads from a Mardi Gras past, you qualify for drink giveaways. Don’t have those old beads anymore? Show the bartender some skin, and he’ll hook you up with a brand new pair.—Joe Delessio
Time: 6 p.m.-2 a.m.
Price: No cover.


Sazerac House
533 Hudson St., at Charles St.; 212-989-0313; sazerachouse.com
Beads, balloons, and Cajun tunes will give this old-fashioned eatery a New Orleans vibe—but the classy décor won't let you forget that this ain't a bit like the sin-tinged Bourbon Street. Jambalaya, muffellatta, blackened fish, and crabcakes are on the menu, as are eponymous Sazeracs (bourbon, peychoud bitters, Pernod), hurricanes, and Ramos gin fizzes ($7.50).
Time: 4:30 p.m.- 11 p.m.
Price: No cover.

Top Mardi Gras Meals

1. Jacques-Imo’s
Half-price Hurricanes, Dixieland band, and a tarot-card reader flown in from New Orleans.
366 Columbus Ave., nr. 77th St.; 212-799-0150

2. Natchez
The Roulette Sisters and a live brass band ($5 cover), plus fresh oysters and jambalaya at Patio Bar, and Mardi Gras specials like crawfish étouffée next door at Natchez.
31 Second Ave., nr. 2nd St.; 212-460-9171

3. Virgil’s Real Barbecue
A week’s worth of N’Awlins-inspired specials like fried-oyster po’ boys and Uglesich’s “famous shrimp Uggie,” February 1 through February 8.
152 W. 44th St., nr. Seventh Ave 212-921-9494

4. Delta Grill
Twenty bucks buys an all-you-can-eat Cajun buffet—crawfish boil, jambalaya, red beans and rice, chicken Creole—plus two Hurricanes and live bluegrass and zydeco.
700 Ninth Ave., at 48th St.; 212-956-0934

—Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite


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