fat tuesday restaurant picks

February is a month of culinary celebration! It kicks off on February 13 with Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday.  Here are some restaurants that are gearing up to serve some of their most titillating specialties with loads of fun on the side.

Proprietor Peter Van Cott of The Bayou Restaurant, at 580 Gramatan Avenue in Mount Vernon, has been serving up the spirited sounds and flavors of Cajun country since 1991, and the place is still funky and enjoyable. So, if you can’t make it to New Orleans, this is the spot to revel in authentic blues and zydeco music while hunkering down to an overstuffed Po’ Boy or such house specialties as: southern fried chicken, grilled peppered catfish, tender pork ribs smothered in BBQ sauce, Jazzy Jumpin’ jambalaya served with Louisiana Andouille sausage, alligator sausage, and crawfish tails smothered in rich Creole gravy.

Their annual Mardi Gras Bash will be held on Fat Tuesday, the 13th, featuring live entertainment and a full-course dinner ($60). Seating times are at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. If you just want to hang at the bar there will be a $20 cover charge. Entertainment will be provided by Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas. Reservations are suggested. Phone: 914-668-2634. www.bayourestaurantny.com

You can also check out Rye Roadhouse, 12 High Street in Rye, on Fat Tuesday. The fun starts at 4 pm with specialty cocktails, authentic New Orleans dishes and traditional King Cake. Beads and giveaways are also promised. Phone: 914-925-2668. www.ryeroadhouse.com

Holy Crab, 32 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, opened last February, serving fresh Cajun-style seafood as you would see in New Orleans. It is a long sprawling space with a bustling bar/lounge during Happy Hours: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Check out such specialties as: lobster mac & Ccheese, Po’ Boys, gumbo, snow crab legs and jambalaya. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Phone: 914-948-3888. www.holycrabny.com

Freebird Kitchen & Bar, 161 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, opened this past December at the former Elements location. They serve a southern-themed menu that includes such specialties as: pimiento cheese balls served with pecans and Ritz crackers; fried green tomatoes; shrimp & grits; and chicken fried steak. Look for a swarm of flying birds hanging from the ceiling. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Happy Hours 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Phone: 914-607-2476. www.freebirdkitchenandbar.com

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