It’s Fat Tuesday, and while Midtown may be 500 miles or so away from New Orleans, that’s not stopping local revelers from joining in the fun. But just what is Fat Tuesday?
Well compliments of our friends at New York’s Bayside Patch, historians believe Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” has its origins in Roman pagan fertility festivals. When Christianity swept Rome, the church incorporated the oft-debauched festivals into its observances as a way of attracting followers.
The name “Fat Tuesday,” comes from the custom to indulge on sweets and meats that Catholics traditionally forego during the Lent period, in order to foster contrition.
Celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday is a tradition of blowing off steam before the 40 penitent days of Lent.
Though the custom of wearing brightly ornate masks and costumes during balls and in street processions began in Italy, the tradition spread to France, which popularized the rite throughout Europe, and later the French population of New Orleans. Read more Mardi Gras history at Bayside Patch.
So where’s the party in Midtown this Fat Tuesday? The Nook is getting its 3rd annual Mardi Gras party on all day, serving up authentic New Orleans dishes such as shrimp etouffee, and chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya; plus plenty of beignets and King Cakes. With hurricanes from the bar and plenty of prize giveaways, it’s good times this today at The Nook, for sure.
Marlow’s Tavern has added a Cajun kick to its menu just in time for Mardi Gras. Marlow’s will be serving up a “Bayou ‘n Bourbon” menu through March 26. Diners can enjoy New Orleans style dishes like roast chicken and shrimp gumbo, crawfish fondue, po’boys, deconstructed jamabalaya, a Bourbon Street ribeye and Bayou flatbread with andouille sausage, spinach, peppers, cheese and spicy remoulade sauce. The “Bayou ‘n Bourbon” menu also features jazzed up New Orleans cocktails like Marlow’s Hurricanes, Ramo Gin Fizz and Cajun Cosmos.
Whiskey Park has been celebrating Mardi Gras throughout the month of February with a Fat Tuesday-themed cocktail. They are kind enough to share the recipe here for their Mardi Gras Mambo.
1.5oz of Svedka Citron
S M GRAS 3/4 oz Cointreau
1oz of cranberry
splash of lime juice and a splash of simple syrup.
Pour everything into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and then strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
From 7 p.n. to close RA Sushi will celebrate its version of Fat Tuesday with “Mardi RA.” During the event, enjoy food and drink specials, festive décor and DJ entertainment.
Take a bite out of the Big Easy with a variety of spicy food specials made just for the occasion. Mardi RA dishes include the spicy chicken and shishito green necklace, a noodle dish tossed with chicken, green and red bell peppers, onion, garlic, chili sesame sauce, and shishito peppers, garnished with Sriracha and black sesame seeds. Or enjoy the Spicy Kalbi Beef, grilled beef short ribs marinated in a spicy black pepper soy sauce, served over grilled red and green bell peppers and onions.
Tame the heat from these and other spicy dishes with two special cocktails that give a nod to New Orleans. Sip on a Southern Julep, made with Southern Comfort, Makers Mark, simple syrup and mint, or cool down with a HurRAcane, featuring Southern Comfort, fresh fruit juices, lemon lime soda, simple syrup and grenadine.
Or celebrate Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday style during a parish-wide celebration at All Saints' Episcopal Church beginning at 5 p.m. There will be live music, food and drink—all Mardi Gras style. Even some pancakes to enjoy for all you pancake supper lovers. And the Liturgy of the palms will take place in the courtyard at 6 p.m. See here for more info.