Mardi Gras at Big Jones

All of us at Big Jones are looking forward to our first Mardi Gras! We will be celebrating the entire week leading up to Fat Tuesday, February 18-24, with a special menu of New Orleans Jazz and Funk, extra special entrees, and cocktails to fit the occasion.

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, is an old and grand tradition, and we’ll be a little less creative than usual, instead focusing on reproducing, as truly as we can, some of the most decadent traditions of New Orleans that have been around as long as the parades have been. Here’s a sampling of what we’re cooking up:

Seafood Gumbo Odyssey – this involves a mélange of the best Gulf seafood: wild-caught shrimp, crab meat, crawfish, and whatever fin fish I select from the market daily. Okra is called for in seafood gumbo, and we’ll salt things up a bit with andouille. Court-bouillon and a duck fat roux provide the foundation for a truly decadent gumbo.   $18

Two-way Duck Gumbo – with our house-made tasso, which starts with Niman Ranch Pork shoulder, and Gunthorp farm ducks. The leg and thigh are cleaned and dropped straight into the gumbo pot. The breasts are pan-seared to order and served rare over the gumbo, to be dipped in the rich gravy. We render the skin and neck fat to start the roux, to keep the flavor true to the essence of duck, with a very, very dark roux.   $18

Red Beans and Rice – With a nod to our vegetarian friends, we make a vegan (and ultra low-fat) red bean recipe with organic  kidney beans in a pot liquor made from the stems of our greens, and lots of onion and garlic. House-smoked tomatoes more than make up for the smokiness of salt pork in the recipe. Piccalilli, a house-made green tomato pickle relish, adds a cool, tart foil for the smoky beans.   $12

The Peacemaker – It couldn’t be Mardi Gras without an oyster po’ boy. A dozen Gulf oysters will grace French bread along with remoulade slaw and fried pickles.   $14

Jambalaya – Done the only way to do it, in Cajun iron kettles, over a flame. Gunthorp Farm chicken, house tasso, wild-caught Texas shrimp, popcorn rice, and lots of spice.   $15

Wild Mushroom Etouffee – Another nod to our vegetarian friends, this one would satisfy the most voracious carnivore. Locally-grown Portobello, shiitake, and Cremini mushrooms combine in a brown roux for a rich, “meaty” entrée that can rival braised short ribs, but without animal products. Totally vegan, we dare you to try it, and miss the meat!   $15

Calas – For weekend brunch, we will feature these delicious sweet rice fritters, risen with wild yeast. The Calas Lady may no longer roam the streets at night, but we wish she would! They’ll also come along with the Mardi Gras Sampler for the whole week.

We will also feature a Mardi Gras Sampler for two or more, at $30 per person. This will include:

  • Seafood Gumbo Odyssey
  • Red Beans and Rice
  • Choice of Po’ Boy (Peacemaker, Andouille, Shrimp, or Catfish)
  • Chicken Jambalaya
  • Calas

Our bar specials will include:

  • Uptown Hurricane – Cruzan Light and Dark Rums, Monin Passion Fruit, Fresh Squeezed Lime   $6
  • Sazerac Cocktail –  Wild Turkey Rye, Cane Syrup, Herbsainte, Peychaud’s Bitters   $8
  • Peach Daiquiri – Cruzan Silver Rum, Mathilde Peach Liqueur, Fresh Squeezed Lime
  • Abita Turbodog – the ultimate accompaniment to gumbo or etouffee, rich, malty, slightly sweet   $3

Laissez les bon temps rouler!