Like every other special occasion over the last year, Mardi Gras won't feel familiar in 2021. Parades in New Orleans and Galveston have been cancelled.
Thankfully, Houston bars and restaurants have ways for people to celebrate without being around thousands of strangers in crowded streets. Festivities include live music, crawfish, and plenty of boozy beverages.
Brennan's of Houston
Celebrate Fat Tuesday at the venerable Creole restaurant. In addition to a three-course, $65 menu, Brennan's will feature live music by Vincent Trio Jazz Band and Sin City Drag, beads, and a balloon display for photos. Call 713-522-9711 for reservations.
The Washington Avenue steakhouse will host its third annual Mardi Gras brunch on Saturday, February 13. Proprietor Ben Berg will create an appropriately lively atmosphere with face painting and live dueling pianos. In addition to the restaurant's regular menu, look for New Orleans-themed specials, cocktail specials from Beam Suntory, and swag. Reserve by calling 713-862-1814.
Krewe de Plethora
Asha Holloway has followed up her successful pop-ups, including the Harry Potter-themed Muggle-less bar and the Office-themed bar Dunder Mupplen, with a Mardi Gras experience. The two-story, 13,000-square-foot space includes mask making, bead throwing, and plenty of photo worthy Instagram environments. New Orleans-themed food and drinks will also be available. The event runs from February 6-28; tickets ($20) may be purchased online. (UPDATE: Due to issues caused by the winter storm, the remaining days for the Krewe de Plethora pop-up have been cancelled.)
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House
The recently-opened bayside seafood restaurant will celebrate Fat Tuesday with live music, Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic performances, and specials on Veuve Clicquot. Chef Joe Cervantez will serve a few specials, including BBQ shrimp, boudin roasted oysters, and king cake bread pudding.
Revelry on Richmond
The Montrose sports bar will kick off crawfish season with a socially distanced, Mardi Gras-themed bash. Get all-you-can-eat crawfish for $30 and pair them with $20 buckets of Abita beer or Louisiana-spiced Bloody Marys.