While many of you may be wishing you could escape the cold and head to warm New Orleans for Mardi Gras revelry, there are ways you can celebrate right here in the suburbs. Traditionally, Mardi Gras is celebrated on Fat Tuesday, which this year falls on March 5. And while Mardi Gras used to be celebrated on just one day as a day of indulgence in food and drink leading up to the fasting of Ash Wednesday and the 40 days of Lent observed by Catholics, in many places the merriment has evolved into a longer celebration.
Here are some suburban restaurants feting Fat Tuesday and offering meatless specials on Fridays over the next couple of weeks. Party on!
2124 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, (847) 498-4321 or di-pescara.com/
How does celebrating Fat Tuesday with a lobster feast sound? From 5 p.m. to close on Tuesday, March 5, nosh on garlic bread, chopped salad, seafood gumbo, steamed lobster, potatoes and corn at Di Pescara. End on a sweet note with warm beignets. Served family-style, the meal is $49.95 per person. Reservations are required.
Shaw’s Crab House Schaumburg
1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 517-2722 or shawscrabhouse.com/
Start feting Mardi Gras early with a special New Orleans-inspired menu at Shaw’s Friday through Tuesday, March 1-5. The tempting menu features seafood gumbo (cup $6, bowl $9), shrimp jambalaya (cup $7, bowl $10), oyster po’boy with french fries and coleslaw ($17), shrimp and crawfish étouffée ($24), New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp served with white rice ($24), blackened redfish with crawfish sauce ($26), crazy Cajun maki roll ($16) and homemade bananas Foster ($9). Come in on Fat Tuesday for all-day happy hour in the Oyster Bar. Reservations are not required as it’s first come, first served.
1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 278-5181 or tokiopub.com/
Mardi Gras comes to Tokio Pub Friday through Tuesday, March 1-5, with a New Orleans-inspired maki roll dubbed the Crazy Cajun Roll (shrimp tempura, cucumber, spicy crawfish and lime zest). Sip on specialty Mardi Gras cocktails like the Shinshu Sazerac (made with Mars Iwai, Peychaud’s Bitters, Demerara and St. George Absinthe Rinse) and the Tsunami Slammer (made with Cruzan Aged Light Rum, Myers’s Dark Rum, Yuzu Luxe and fresh fruit juices). Happy hour will be going all day on Fat Tuesday (March 5).