2/16/2012 11:28:00 AM

Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras in DC

King cake donuts at Acadiana
Mardi Gras! Carnevale! - call it party time. Pre-Lenten festivities, next week, offer themed happenings ranging from to Brazilian carnival to a Venetian black-tie masquerade party. Hurricanes and other potent potions are de rigeur. Here’s where to get down (and be sure to go vote for your favorite Cajun-Creole restaurants in our current survey!).

Acadiana: New Orleans bar fare like crawfish bread and frogs legs, specialty cocktails and a four-course prix fixe feast will fuel festivities February 20-21 at this Mt. Vernon Square "fixture."

Bayou: Celebrate Lundi Gras (February 20) with four courses of parade route fare, a "rebirth" punch and jazz for $55 (6-8 PM) at this Courthouse Cajun. On Mardi Gras itself (February 21, 5-11 PM), there will be oyster shucking and à la carte servings of crawfish étouffée, mini muffalettas, jambalaya, punch and beer (202-973-2168).

Ceiba: Can’t get to Rio? Hit this Downtown Brazilian for caipirinhas ($5), and street foods like black-eyed pea and shrimp fritters and chicken croquettas; 3 PM-close).

Central: The good times will roll with a French accent at this Downtown hot spot that will feature Crescent City classics like turtle soup and gumbo on a special menu starting Friday, February 17, in addition to the usual offerings. On Fat Tuesday, Dixieland jazz by Laissez Foure (7-10 PM), beads and themed decorations will set a festive backdrop for upgraded Cajun cuisine and cocktails.

Fiola: The mystique of a traditional Venetian masquerade party will be replicated at this Penn Quarter Italian, with a special four-course tasting menu featuring traditional foods of the festival ($85, inclusive of wine pairing. 202-628-2888; 202-626-0015).

Cravings for Cajun-Creole cooking can also be satisfied at Cajun Experience, Eatonville, Hot 'N Juicy, Johnny’s Half-Shell, Mokomandy, R.T’s and TruOrleans.

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