Eat, drink and party this Tuesday for Mardi Gras, with special celebrations and Cajun-inspired menus at these restaurants:
Peppercorns Grill, 357 Main Street, Hartford, hosts its annual Venetian Carnevale Tuesday, marking the Italian tradition with beads, masks, fire jugglers, music, magicians and special performances. Special four- or six-course prix-fixe menus ($29; $47) include Venetian antipasto, blood orange and fennel salad, lasagna with meatballs and arancini, beef ravioli, oven-roasted suckling pig and desserts like zeppole and frittelle. The regular menu is also available that night. Reservations and information: 860-547-1714, peppercornsgrill.com.
At Black-Eyed Sally's, 350 Asylum Street, Hartford, the party stretches all day. An all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for $12.95, with jambalaya, fried chicken, blackened catfish, pulled pork and red beans and rice. A "Bourbon Street" style happy hour offers free munchies and drink specials from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Rivercity Slim & the Zydeco Hogs performs at 7:30 p.m., with beads, stilt walkers and face painting. 860-278-7427; blackeyedsallys.com.
Matthew's Restaurant, 55 Mill Street, Unionville, hosts a Fat Tuesday party with a special menu of grilled and baked oysters, crabmeat pie, fried alligator, gumbo, jambalaya, Cajun filet, blackened red drum and beignets, among other specialties. Live music by The Colbys; Hurricane drink specials. Reservations: 860-673-7373. matthews-restaurant.com.
At Creative Cooking, 1835 Boston Post Road, Westbrook, every day is a trip to New Orleans. The menu features jambalaya, escargot, crawfish puff, gumbo, etouffee and blackened seafood. 860-399-7872, creativecooking.cc.
Wood-n-Tap features a special Mardi Gras menu at its six locations around the state, with red bean soup, fried crawfish tails, po'boys with choice of catfish or crawfish, pulled pork sandwich and seafood sausage jambalaya, with chocolate bread pudding for dessert. woodntap.com.
Market Grille, 110 Buckland Hills Drive, Manchester, presents a Cajun-inspired menu through Feb. 12. Specials include two-for-one oysters in the bar area, Hurricane cocktails, gumbo, popcorn shrimp, blackened red pepper Pontchartrain, jerk chicken with red beans and rice and bananas Foster. 860-644-1011, marketgrillct.com.