Upcoming Events: Mardi Gras & Fat Tuesday Celebrations Galore

On Monday, February 24, Vic & Anthony's will host a special five-course wine dinner featuring wines from the Michael David Winery, the overall top winery at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition for 2014. All of the selections for the evening are Double Gold winners. The meal begins at 7 p.m. with an endive salad tossed with candied pecans, peppered Texas goat cheese and a cherry vinaigrette, followed by a trio of duck: foie gras, crispy duck skin and a roulette crostini. The third course includes pheasant and corn tamales, followed by an intermezzo of a mojito sorbet. The final savory course includes a dry-aged prime New York strip steak served with wild mushroom ragout and a root vegetable puree. The feast concludes with a molten chocolate ganache cake with hazelnut ice cream. The meal costs $135 per person.

Mardi Gras celebrations must include music, alcohol and tasty Cajun food. Head to Market Square Park for the 1st Annual Mardi Gras Jamboree & Gumbo Showdown on Saturday, March 1, from 4 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Saint Arnold Brewing Co. will serve up the beer and teams competing in the gumbo competition will dish the grub for the evening. Sample gumbo creations from a variety of teams for the first two hours of the event, then stick around to see who will walk away with the grand prize of $500 and a case of Saint Arnold beer -- in fact, second and third place receive a case of beer as well as a cash prize. From 5 p.m. until 6 p.m., The Hustlers will provide the tunes, followed by T Bird and the Breaks from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Don't miss out on the Illuminated Art Car Drive-About as the after party moves to nearby bars and restaurants.

Fat Tuesday is March 4, and there are two ways you can celebrate. First is at the Rice University Farmers Market from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. Come out to sample some Salento wine, gumbo from Rice University chefs, Greenbar Craft Distillery's organic handcrafted spirits, and beer from Saint Arnold, 512, Real Ale and No Label breweries. Did we mention it's all free?

The second event takes place at BB's Cafe in the Heights on White Oak on Tuesday, March 4. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with The Bourbon Street Band until 8 p.m., followed by Keyun & the Zydeco Masters until midnight. Fill up your stomach with tons of crawfish, drink specials and, of course, king cake. Who needs to go to NOLA when you've got BB's Cafe in your own backyard?

Newly opened Caracol will host its first Oyster Fest on Tuesday, March 4, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. The festival will showcase Texas appellation and Gulf Coast oysters, as well as seafood dishes and seafood cocktails, tamales and Saint Arnold craft beer. Each ticket costs $75 and includes food, oysters (maximum of 18 per person) and beer. You will also have the opportunity to purchase cocktails and wine from the bar for an additional cost. A portion of the proceeds from Caracol's Oyster Fest will benefit Foodways Texas.

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