You can laissez les bon temps rouler for Mardi Gras on actual Fat Tuesday (March 5) or before at any one of our NOLA-accented restaurants, from the big poppa Slate’s in Cape Coral (where it’s Cajun all day every day and a virtual time-warp to the Garden District) to places like Another Broken Egg, a breakfast chain with crawfish skillets and Bananas Foster pancakes, and The Claw Bar, which features a sea of oysters, including ones that are freshly chilled, others fried with bayou remoulade and authentic Rockefellers.
Specials and events that are happening throughout Southwest Florida can also help you get into the spirit early. Burntwood Tavern in Mercato started dishing up Crescent City specials as early as February 12. Not to be outdone, Gather in Cape Coral is hosting an all-night, two-party party on Saturday, March 2. The first half of the night dubbed, “Beads, Bites and Booze,” is a collaboration with other Cape restaurants and food trucks, such as Nevermind, Rollin’ Raw Bar and Marker 92, and they’re aiming to turn Gather’s back alley at Tarpon Point Marina into a mini-Bourbon Street. From 5 to 9 p.m., beads will be flying, musicians will be blasting and aside from the food, vendors will be selling themed cocktails and slushies. There’s no charge to attend, but bottomless drink wristbands can be purchased for $75 a piece. The revelry will continue with a masquerade soiree in the restaurant itself with DJs spinning until midnight (entrance for that is $25 per person). For more information and to purchase tickets, call Gather at (239) 673-9939.