Fat Chance: Where to Fête Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras (literally Fat Tuesday, in French) is February 28. Won't be strutting in New Orleans? No worries. Jersey chefs have you covered.

Drew Araneo, chef/owner of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport, is known for taking what he calls “Northern liberties” with dishes that speak with a NOLA accent.

His three-course Mardi Gras dinner, which includes cornbread, biscuits, black bread, red beans and rice served family-style for the table, ranges in price from $46 to $55 per person, depending on choice of entrée.

Appetizer choices include: crawfish hush puppies, seafood gumbo, “alligator” chili, chicken-andouille gumbo and his signature voodoo shrimp.

Entrée choices include: short ribs criolla, French Quarter chicken Cordon Bleu, crawfish étouffée, blackened prime pork chop and Mississippi catfish.

Dessert choices: beignets, bananas Foster bread pudding, and Irish “car bomb” sundae.

(Irish car bomb sundae? Get ready, Table Hoppers. St. Paddy’s Day, March 17, is just around the corner.)

Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, 25 Church Street. BYO 732-739-9219 drewsbayshorebistro.com

Zeppelin Hall, 88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City, will host Cajun Fest starting Thursday, February 16, continuing through Fat Tuesday, February 28. The biergarten’s festival will celebrate all things New Orleans, and feature special dishes, including po’ boy sandwiches, seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits, and a NOLA-style crawfish boil. 201-721-8888 zeppelinhall.com

Old Bay Restaurant, 61 Church Street, New Brunswick, will offer a Mardi Gras Buffet Tuesday, February 28 from 4 pm to 2 am as part of its $15 cover charge. Also included: live music from the New Brunswick Jazz Project and ON7 Band. 732-246-3111 oldbayrest.com

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