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Posted at 4:24 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Cajun kitchens celebrate Mardi Gras

By Justin Rude

Braxton Cook of the Howard University Jazz Quintet plays the saxophone at Bayou. (Astrid Riecken/ For The Washington Post)

Fat Tuesday is a week away, and area Cajun restaurants are beginning their seasonal celebrations. Here are some of the most promising parties and special menus from both old favorites and fresh faces:

Acadiana is marking the date with a with a four-course prix fixe menu in the dining room, which will be available from 5:30-10:30 p.m. The $50 menu will include favorites like crawfish, jambalaya and rabbit etouffee. From 3:30 p.m. on, the bar will feature $5 specialty cocktails and $4 draft beers, as well as a menu of New Orleans inspired street food, like house-made cracklin ($2), popcorn shrimp ($5) and frog legs ($10).

Bayou, Rusty Holman's new restaurant that occupies the old Rookery space, will feature seven straight nights of live music and drink specials. Festivities include bar sports on the patio and, naturally, bead giveaways.

At Bayou Bakery, David Guas is throwing a party from 5-10:30 p.m. to coincide with the Clarendon Mardi Gras parade that begins at 8 p.m. His special menu includes chicken and andouille gumbo, shrimp and sausage jambalaya, and his signature muff-a-lottas for $7, as well as the beignets and king cakes that already have Crescent City ex-pats flocking to his storefront.

The Cajun Experience, a recently landed Louisiana kitchen in Adams Morgan, is throwing a day-long crawfish boil, with live accompaniment from a six-piece New Orleans jazz band. You can get a seat at the all-you-can-eat party for $30, but I recommend you hurry and get reservations soon. The restaurant says it's three-quarters booked.

By Justin Rude  | March 1, 2011; 4:24 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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