Mardi Gras is less than two weeks off, and though we’re awfully far from New Orleans, we can travel there in spirit via some special Mardi Gras dinners around town. First off, the Absinthe folks are doing another Boxing Room preview dinner, this time with a Fat Tuesday theme — as you may recall, the new restaurant in the former Citizen Cake space at Gough and Grove will have a New Orleans bent, from N.O. native chef Justin Simoneaux, and it’s slated to open in March or April.
Boxing Room’s Mardi Gras Celebration
at Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
398 Hayes Street at Gough
Monday, March 7, 5:30 to 10 p.m.
$35 per person, exclusive of beverage, tax, or gratuity
See the menu here, and reserve at 415.551.1590.
Do note: There will be fried alligator.
Town Hall does it up big every year, with samba dancers, Hurricanes, Willie Brown (probably), and unlimited fried chicken, étouffée, gumbo, oysters, and barbecued shrimp. Beware: those advance tickets sell out quick.
Over in La Lengua, Front Porch will be doing a Louisiana shrimp boil, with an all-you-can-eat prix fixe (around $20) and beers from Louisiana’s Abita Beer.
Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk Street
This popular breakfast place is in the process of expanding, currently operating out of a new space next door to their old space, and they announced recently that they’d be opening up for dinner in time for Mardi Gras. This still may not be a certainty.
High end soul food eatery Pican is throwing their biggest party of the year, with free-flowing cocktails, crawfish jambalaya fritters, gumbo, and a Zydeco band.
Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen
2261 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley
You’ll need to check back here for that evening’s specials, but this is sure to be a down-home Louisiana good time.
1745 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland
There’s not a specific Mardi Gras menu set in stone at the moment, but chef Sarah Kirnon already has a crawfish soup on the menu, so she’s already halfway there. Also, you must have the fried chicken.