Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Specials in Boston

Ten ways to laissez les bons temps rouler this week.

Mardi Gras Dining: King Cake

King Cake photo via Shutterstock

Beat Brasserie

For the third year in a row, the subterranean Harvard Square boîte gets a Bourbon Street makeover, for Beat Brasserie’s Le Mardi Gras Carnival. Tuck into bowls of gumbo ($9), shrimp and grits ($14), jambalaya ($22), and skirt steak frites with okra and Cornichons ($26), while listening to live jazz from Alex Lee Clark and One Finger Down’s second line brass. And yes, there will be beads.

Dinner specials served a la carte. February 9, 4-11 p.m., Beat Brasserie, 13 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-499-0001, beatbrasserie.com.

Brass Union

Just close your eyes, and pretend the weather’s about 40 degrees warmer, as you sip Brass Union’s NOLA-influenced cocktail specials. On the menu: the classic rum drink Hurricane ($10) and cognac-and-rye-whiskey tipple Vieux Carré ($12). Meanwhile, the kitchen will serve up catfish po’ boys ($12) and hushpuppies ($8). It all comes with a side of Dixieland jazz.

Specials served a la carte. February 9, 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Brass Union, 70 Union Sq., Somerville, 617-623-9211, brassunion.com.

Foundry on Elm

Of course, it’s not a true New Orleans party without a Sazerac—one of the oldest known American cocktails, and the official drink of the Big Easy—and favorite Davis Square haunt Foundry on Elm is shining the spotlight on this venerable Louisiana tipple, along with a selection of Abita Brewing Company beers. “And because no Mardis Gras celebration is complete without a sugar rush,” Foundry adds, “executive chef Shayne Nunes will serve up beignets with a chocolate-chipotle sauce” ($6).

Specials served a la carte. February 9, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Foundry on Elm, 255 Elm St., Somerville, 617-628-9999, foundryonelm.com.

The Hawthorne

If you think buzzy hotel bar the Hawthorne is a lively place to spend an evening, just wait till they bring in a brass band. This Tuesday, the Hot Tamale Brass Band will bring Bourbon Street raucousness to Kenmore Square. In addition to a special New Orleans-inspired menu, there’ll be face-painting and giveaways. The first 30 guests will be eligible to win engraved copper cuffs, money clips and tie bars from Sasha Walsh Designs.

Free admission, February 9, 8 p.m.-12 a.m., The Hawthorne, 500 A Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-532-9150, thehawthornebar.com.

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

This Southie joint combines Fat Tuesday and Taco Tuesday this week. In addition to their regular roster of taco specials—avocado and Brussels sprouts, cola pork carnitas taco, root beer braised chicken, Baja fried fish tacos tacos, at $2-$3.50 per taco—you can feast on executive chef Matt Drummond’s Po Boy Taco ($3).

Specials served a la carte. February 9, 5 p.m.-1 a.m., Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, 412 W Broadway, Boston, 617-917-5626, locosouthboston.com.

River Bar's Absinthe fountain

River Bar’s Absinthe fountain / Courtesy photo

River Bar

You don’t have to go to New Orleans’s Old Absinthe House to chase the green fairy—not when Assembly Square’s River Bar is pouring pastis and absinthe from their antique absinthe fountain. On tap: Herbsaint ($8), Prado Pastis ($9), Pastis Henri Bardouin ($10), St. George Absinthe Vert ($13), and Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure ($14). Try all five with a tasting flight ($21). Or opt for the Pastis Suissesse—a cocktail of pastis, Herbsaint, crème de menthe, cream and egg white ($12).

February 9, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., River Bar, 661 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617.616.5561, river-bar.com.

South Street Diner

As one of Boston’s few 24-hour establishments, South Street Diner is pretty much Mardi Gras all year—if you show up after 1 a.m. on weekends, that is. So, naturally, they’re the perfect place to whoop it up on the holiday proper. For their Fat Tuesday celebration, they’re serving all-you-can-eat jambalaya for $6, plus a menu full of such New Orleans-style crowd pleasers as beignets, crawfish, shrimp po’boys, alligator sausage, and “Lucky Dogs.” And don’t forget the king cake. To keep things extra festive, the staff will hand out beads and blasting Zydeco from the jukebox.

Specials served a la carte. February 9, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., South Street Diner, 178 Kneeland St., Boston, 617-350-0028, southstreetdiner.com.

Summer Shack

Over at superlative seafood spot Summer Shack, Jasper White and company promise a “delicious and debaucherous evening.” They’re serving Cajun boudin balls, crawfish-smothered grits, grilled catfish, and gumbo. And for dessert, they’ve got the Southern classic chess pie and beignets. Debauchery, indeed.

Specials served a la carte. February 9, 5-10 p.m., Summer Shack, 149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, 617-520-9500, summershackrestaurant.com.

Sweet Cheeks Q

Chef Tiffani Faison’s barbecue temple in the Fenway is one of Boston’s go-to spots for top-notch Southern-inspired cuisine. So it’s no surprise that they’re throwing themselves into the Mardi Gras spirit this week. With a ticket to their special Fat Tuesday meal deal, you get a bowl of gumbo, a crawfish boil (that’s a half-pound of crawfish and a quarter-pound of shrimp, corn, and potatoes, along with drawn butter), and one Narragansett.

$50, February 9, 5-9 p.m., Sweet Cheeks Q, 1381 Boylston St., Boston, 617-266-1300, sweetcheeksq.com.

Ula Café

For something a little different, Ula is serving up pre-Lenten treats from north of the Mason-Dixon. This month, you can try their paczki (pronounced “punch-key,” Ula informs us), “a big Polish donut” traditionally served on Fat Tuesday. Back by popular demand, the bakery’s delectable dough balls come filled with lemon cream, raspberry jam, or vanilla custard.

Ula Café, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-7890, ulacafe.com.