Long Island goes a little bit Big Easy for Mardi Gras. Even if you're not giving up anything for Lent, why not treat yourself to a Fat Tuesday celebration?
H2O, Smithtown’s elegant seafood grill, isn’t the first place you think of for laissez les bon temps rouler, but when chef Michael Meehan ran Tupelo Honey in Sea Cliff, his Floribbean kitchen always went whole hog for Mardi Gras. This year, Meehan is bringing favorites from his old menu to his new restaurant: blue-crab hush puppies, shrimp-and-crawfish gumbo, blackened catfish, jambalaya pasta, BBQ shrimp, beef (!) and grits, bananas Foster shortcake and pecan tart. Issuing from H2O’s bar: Mardi Gras mojitos and hurricanes.
Also on hand, singer-guitarist Russ Seeger, who used to serenade Tupelo Honey’s Fat Tuesday celebrants. H2O is at 215 W. Main St., Smithtown, 631-361-6464
At R.S. Jones in Merrick, chef Carole Olkoski is kicking up her exuberant menu with Vidalia onion pie, Mardi Gras pasta (featuring smoked chicken, andouille sausage and shrimp) and Fat Tuesday mixed grill (grilled smoked sausage, jambalaya and dirty rice) along with such classics as gumbo, crawfish rémoulade, shrimp Creole and bananas Foster. R.S. Jones is at 153 Merrick Ave., Merrick, 516-378-7177.
At Big Daddy’s in Massapequa Park, “Mardi Gras Madness Week” is in progress. The restaurant’s website has all the details, with menu specials and live entertainment every night. Tuesday night is the “GranDaddy of all parties,” with a classic New Orleans-style buffet from 6 to 10 p.m. and live music from The King Cobras starting at 8 p.m. $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Costumes welcome. Big Daddy's is at 1 Park Lane, Massapequa Park, 516-799-8877.
The Bayou in North Bellmore also promises “the party of the year.” The bar is open all night, but tables are reserved for customers partaking of the four-course “Amazin Cajun” dinner, $59. Seatings are at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. The Bayou is at 2823 Jerusalem Ave., North Bellmore, 516-785-9263.