Here's Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras and Carnival in Westchester
We round up the best places to get authentic NoLa and Rio experiences close to home.
Lynne Ann Mitchell | AdobeStock
Mardis Gras and Carnival are many things, all of them joyous and celebratory and most of them utterly delicious. While Westchester might be 1,300-plus miles away from the Bacchanalia of Bourbon Street, and nearly 4,900 miles from the teeming streets of Rio de Janeiro, we’ve no shortage of our own places to spend these holiday. Make plans to attend one of these local celebrations.
This Caribbean and soul food hotspot is dipping into its New Orleans influences for Mardi Gras on March 5. Chef Alex Smalls will be whipping up batches of his famous gumbo and jambalaya for guests to enjoy, while they enjoy the street jazz stylings of Mudsole. Reservations are recommended, so call ahead.
With a name like “The Bayou,” you can trust this Mount Vernon mainstay to put together one heck of a Fat Tuesday party. Starting at 6 p.m. on March 5, The Bayou “Krewe” will kick things off with Creole-born musician CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band. Think jazz, blues, and classic Louisiana zydeco. While you revel, enjoy a four-course dinner of the restaurant’s most delectable Cajun fare, of course culminating in king cake to determine the King and Queen of Mardi Gras! Dinner is $55 and reservations are highly encouraged.
One of Westchester’s favorite Tex-Mex places is also getting into the vibe with some Cajun specials to mark the end of the Carnival season. All day on Fat Tuesday guests can enjoy Mexican jambalaya (sausage, chicken, and chorizo in a savory stew), the Bayou Burrito (loaded up with shrimp, chorizo, rice, cheese, and a special Creole sauce), and sautéed Cajun shrimp. There will also be festive drinks in commemorative take-home glasses, and extended happy hour featuring beads, masks, and of course live music all night long.
If ever there was a place to celebrate Carnival in Westchester, this Brazilian steakhouse in Port Chester is it. In honor of Rio’s world-renowned Carnival celebration — celebrated March 1 to March 9 this year — Copacabana will hosting a Carnival culmination party on Sunday March 3 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Drink specials will include $6 caipirinha, a Brazilian staple, and domestic beers, while their mouthwatering menu will pair with live Brazilian music all night.
Rye Roadhouse — famous for its Cajun cuisine ranging from classic gumbo to shrimp and grits, crawfish etouffee, po’boys, and the ever adventurous ‘gator nuggets — is going large as ever for its Fat Tuesday celebration. Wash down your Louisiana comfort food with a traditional hurricane or some New Orleans style beer, all to the jubilant sounds of Francois and the Po’Boys. Menu runs all day, music starts at 7:30 p.m.
The Food Hall is breaking out a full menu of Cajun-inspired dishes the weekend leading up to Mardi Gras. Select from Fat Tuesday fried oysters, crawfish, beer-dipped mahi po'boys, jambalaya, ribs, Andouille sausage pizza, and more. Make sure to leave room for dessert, however, as you'll definitely want to try the beignets, angel wings, and banana Foster a la mode!