Denver isn't too big on Mardi Gras; unlike in the Big Easy, the Mile High City has no parades, no krewes dancing in streets that have been shut down to accommodate the drinks and debauchery. But Denverites can celebrate the day anyway; letting loose one last time before you tread the straight and narrow for the next six weeks is human nature, after all. And, ladies, you won't even have to show your boobs to land beads and drinks at any of these events tonight and tomorrow.
Recess Beer Garden starts the party early.
Monday, February 27
Recess Beer Garden
2715 17th Street
Recess Beer Garden isn't content to wait for Fat Tuesday; it's getting the jump on the party. Head over today or tomorrow for a special menu of gumbo, shrimp po' boys, hush puppies, a Cajun burger sauced with remoulade, pecan bread pudding and — you guessed it, a crawfish boil. It'll also up the ante by adding New Orleans-inspired cocktails (Hurricanes, natch, and Hand Grenades — a possibly dangerous and definitely ungodly concoction of vodka, gin, rum, melon liqueur and pineapple juice) for $6.
This is the kind of partying you're likely to find at ViewHouse.
2015 Market Street, 720-282-1588
7101 South Clinton Street, Centennial , 303-848-3366
ViewHouse is also getting into the spirit a bit early, kicking off the celebration at 7 p.m. tonight with $8 Hurricanes and New Orleans-inspired menu items like chicken and andouille jambalaya egg rolls (call it fusion cuisine). The fun continues all day tomorrow on Fat Tuesday with bead giveaways and classic ViewHouse revelry.
Tuesday, February 28
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
8100 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village
Fat Tuesday is all about living it up before Lent, so go ahead and splurge on the cigar dinner at Del Frisco's. And it is a splurge: It will run you $150, but this isn't your average backyard crawfish boil. Instead, you'll dine on lobster beignets, buffalo shrimp with blue-cheese fondue and a Cajun-style ribeye with smoked sea salt, plus puff on Arturo Fuente cigars. Dinner starts at 7 p.m., and reservations are strongly recommended.
Jax Fish House
Head to any of the Colorado Jax locations for booze and beads starting at 4 p.m. on Fat Tuesday. Post Brewing Co. beers will be just $3, and for those who prefer something stiffer, a Sazerac made with Bulleit rye is on offer for $10. Other cocktail options include a whopping 24-ounce Hurricane for $18, which is served in a keepsake yard glass, so even if you have such a spectacular Fat Tuesday you can't remember any of it, you'll have a souvenir. Add in a crawfish boil for $18 a head, and it's sure to be a raucous and rollicking good time, especially if you make it to the Glendale location, where Mark Diamond and the Jubilee All Stars will be providing live music for the evening.
The normally quiet Moxie Bread Company will get a little wild for Mardi Gras.
Moxie Bread Company
641 Main Street, Louisville
Not up for an ultra-boozy bash? Allergic to shellfish and don't want to risk a trip to the hospital? Couldn't get a sitter and are stuck with the kids for the night? Moxie Bread Company has just the thing for you: a Mardi Gras pizza party from 5 to 9 p.m. on February 28. Freshly baked pizza by the slice and cocktails will be available, along with live music from Nashville duo Field Division. Sure, it's non-traditional, but with a name like Moxie, what do you expect?
The bar at NOLA Voodoo Tavern and Perks.
NOLA Voodoo Tavern and Perks
2231 Bruce Randolph Avenue
Live it up on Mardi Gras before you give it up for Lent. The NOLA Voodoo Tavern and Perks is run by New Orleans native Henry Batiste, who opened his first restaurant in Louisiana in 1985. Batiste now calls Denver home, but brings a slice of his home town to north Denver with welcoming service and recipes from his mother, Vivian. The Voodoo Tavern is about as authentic as Big Easy style gets in Denver, so head over from 3 p.m. until last call on February 28 for good times, live music and a crawfish boil with more than 200 pounds of shellfish. Find out more information at noladenver.com.
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The interior of The Pig & the Sprout.
The Pig & the Sprout
1900 Chestnut Place
Move beyond the ubiquitous shiny plastic beads — though surely they'll make an appearance here, too — at the Pig & the Sprout's inaugural crawfish boil. The squirmy crustaceans hit the pot starting at 3 p.m. February 28, and will be served up with a mess of sides: collard greens, boudin sausage balls, étouffée and gumbo. After you've had your fill of sucking heads, cleanse your palate with $5 Abita Turbodog beers or $6 Hurricanes. New Orleans band Louisiana Lobsters will take the stage for some authentic Southern riffs from 6 to 10 p.m.