The Poor Planner’s Guide to Mardi Gras

Crawfish! Photo: Oresti Tsonopoulos

Mardi Gras! Carnival! Not only is today about overindulging in every way possible, it’s also, in another way, about just goin’ with it. So in that spirit, here is your last-minute guide to the city’s most interesting places to chow down on some good ol’ fashioned New Orleans (and Brazilian) food, get a hurricane or six, maybe (okay, probably) even some beads, and have your king cake and eat it too.

Back Forty
190 Ave. B, nr. 12th St.; 212-388-1990
The Package: A four-course Brazilian feast paired with beers from Sixpoint Brewery
Highlights: Dishes like coxinha de catupiry (chicken and cheese croquette) paired with Sixpoint Pilsner, hearts of palm salad paired with Bengali Tiger IPA, feijoada completa (Brazil’s national dish) paired with Diesel Stout, coconut cake and passion fruit Mousse paired with Berzerker Coffee Black
Price: $55 per person
Plus: All food served family-style. Call restaurant to reserve.

Billy Hurricane’s
25 Ave. B, nr. E. 2nd St.; 646-692-6216
The Package: Saints Football Appreciation Day
Highlights: Free booze!
Price: Complimentary cocktails from 7 to 8 p.m. for anyone donning Saints attire
Plus: Nom on the bar’s New Orleans–style food while enjoying your free cocktail.

Blue Water Grill
31 Union Sq. W., nr. 16th St.; 212-675-9500
The Package: A three-course, New Orleans–inspired prix fixe menu in Blue Water Grill’s Jazz Room
Highlights: Shrimp gumbo, lobster jambalaya, blackened red fish, deep-dish pecan pie
Plus: Hurricanes, French Quarter cocktails, and Abita beer at the bar, a live seven-piece brass band, a tarot card reader, and a special prize for the best dressed table
Price: $125 per person, $15 from each ticket donated to the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. Call for tickets.

Bourbon Street Bar and Grill
346 W. 46th St., nr. Eighth Ave; 212-245-2030
The Package: Fat Tuesday Party with a Cajun buffet
Highlights: Jambalaya, boiled crawfish, barbecued andouille sausage, muffaletta poboys, beignets, king cake
Plus: $5 Hurricanes, two-for-one pints of beer
Price: $25

The Cowgirl Sea Horse
259 Front St., nr. Dover St.; 212-608-7873
The Package: A Classic Cajun Crawfish Boil
Highlights: Five different types of Abita beer on tap, head-on crawfish, corn, and potatoes
Plus: Live New Orleans jazz, beads, and T-shirts
Price: $13.95 for crawfish boil; $5.50 for beer

41 First Ave., nr. 2nd St.; 212-475-5097
113 N. 7th St. nr. Berry St.; 718-218-6006
The Package: Mardi Gras Party
Highlights: $6 hurricanes and complimentary king cake
Plus: Free masks and beads (did we mention FREE CAKE?!)
Price: Varies

The Delta Grill
700 Ninth Ave., nr. 48th St.; 212-956-0934
The Package: Fat Tuesday Crawfish Boil Buffet
Highlights: Crawfish, jambalaya, chicken creole, red beans and rice, and a free hurricane (!)
Plus: Music by Citigrass Band
Price: $20

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St., nr. Thompson St.; 212-505-3474
The Package: Second Annual Two Boots Mardi Gras Ball: A Benefit for the Lower East Side Girls Club
Highlights: Two Boots Swamp Witch pizza (alligator and pork sausage, crawfish, red and green pesto); Bayou Beast pizza (crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage); po’ boys; jambalaya; bread pudding from Mara’s Homemade
Plus: Lots of live music, a raffle for a weekend trip to New Orleans, and a costume contest. Also, alligator sausage is something not to be missed.
Price: $25 General admission; $100 VIP ticket for all you can eat and drink.
(Two Boots Pizzerias will also be serving the Swamp Witch pizza.)

Mara’s Homemade
342 E. 6th St., nr. 2nd Ave.; 212-598-1110
The Package: Mardi Gras Party with a special menu
Highlights: Gator bites, crawfish cheesecake, fried green tomatoes, okra seafood gumbo, po’ boys, jambalaya, crawfish or shrimp etouffee, and much more
Plus: Free beads
Price: Varies

245 Park Ave. S.; nr. 20th St.; 212-475-9377
SushiSamba 7
87 Seventh Ave. S., nr. Barrow St.; 212-691-7885
The Package: Brazilian Carnival Celebration
Highlights: Brazilian specialties like casquinha do siri (stuffed crab shells), acarajé (black bean fritters) with braised short ribs, a sweet coconut flan, and a tangerine honey caipirinha
Plus: Live entertainment including samba dancers and batucada drummers
Price: Varies

Wildwood Barbeque
225 Park Ave. S., nr. 18th St.; 212-533-2500
The Package: Whole Smoked Pig
Highlights: Pulled pork from a whole smoked pig, cornbread, and coleslaw
Plus: Three sauces to choose from for dipping your pulled pork
Price: $23.95

The Poor Planner’s Guide to Mardi Gras