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Lexington restaurants offer special menus to celebrate Mardi Gras, Carnival of Brazil and Valentine’s Day

Brasabana will celebrate Carnival, the Brazilian version of Fat Tuesday on Feb. 9, with grilled Spanish chorizo over caper tomato sauce and yellow rice $13.95..
Brasabana will celebrate Carnival, the Brazilian version of Fat Tuesday on Feb. 9, with grilled Spanish chorizo over caper tomato sauce and yellow rice $13.95.. Photo provided

Hold on tight because it’s about to get crazy busy on the food front with lots of celebrations and specials in February.

First up, Mardi Gras on Feb. 9. If you can’t get some good Cajun food, you just aren’t trying.

▪  From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Good Foods Co-op, 455 Southland Drive, will be serving chicken and andouille jambalaya, Cajun fish cakes with spicy remoulade, creamy Cajun pasta, okra Creole, maque choux, Creole mirilton, Cajun style green beans, red beans and rice, veggie étouffée, bananas Foster bread pudding, Creole mashed potatoes, and Good Foods kale and seafood gumbo. Starting at noon, all customers get a piece of king cake, and the one lucky person who gets the hidden baby in the cake will win a $50 Good Foods gift card.

▪  Bourbon n’ Toulouse, 829 Euclid Avenue, will host its 12th annual Fat Tuesday Party, beginning at 11 a.m. Along with their normal menu, Bourbon ’n’ Toulouse will be serving 30 gallons of alligator étouffée and boiling 400 pounds of live crawfish. The Chevy Chase Inn next door will open at 11 a.m. for extra seating; at night, CCI will have Hurricanes, Abita beer and blues music from The Tall Boys of Kentucky. There also will be king cake from Sunrise Bakery. Customers also may order food by the quart and by the gallon via email at kevin@ilovecajun.com or by calling 859-335-0300.

▪  Gumbo Ya Ya, 1080 South Broadway in Lexington and in Brannon Crossing in Nicholasville, will have Mardi Gras specials.

▪  Bayou Bluegrass, which operates Copper Roux, 861 South Broadway, will have seatings Feb. 5 for a Cajun-style dinner with boiled crawfish, fried alligator and catfish and more; also on Fat Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Reservations required; call 859-523-7915. It’s $16.50 for lunch and $28.50 for dinner.

▪  Wild Thyme Cooking, 1060 Chinoe Road, will host a Mardi Gras Feast beginning at 6 p.m. Feb. 9, with plenty of jambalaya, shrimp étouffée, crawfish boil, pecan pralines and beignets. Chefs will be on hand to talk about the secrets of Cajun cooking. It’s $45; sign up at WildThymeCooking.com.

▪  Brasabana, 841 Lane Allen Road, will celebrate Carnival with a Mardi Gras edition of the weekly Havana Nights. Special dishes will include Spanish cazuela, a Spanish seafood stew that resembles jambalaya; chupe de camarones, a Peruvian version of gumbo; and grilled chorizo sausage over caper tomato sauce with white rice and beans. Dance demonstration at 7 p.m.

▪  Coba Cocina, 2041 Richmond Road, will be celebrating the Carnival of Brazil from Feb. 5 to 9 with traditional Brazilian cuisine and the national cocktail of Brazil, the caipirinha. Chef Jonathan Lundy’s take on traditional Brazilian cuisine will include bifes panados with piri piri sauce — pan-fried thinly sliced beef steak with hot pepper sauce; fresh palm heart salad with passion fruit dressing; feijoada, a pork and black bean stew with greens and oranges; and bolo de rolo, a cake resembling a Swiss roll with layers of melted guava. All items served a la carte. Call 859-523-8484 for reservations.

And then there’s Valentine’s Day:

▪  Blue Heron Steakhouse, 185 Jefferson Street, will have three seatings for a special Valentine’s Day dinner at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Feb. 14. Choose from Berkshire pork osso buco with polenta, prime rib, charbroiled filet of beef tenderloin, pan-seared sea bass or Hudson Valley duck breast. Dinner is $75; call 859-254-2491 for reservations.

▪  Coba Cocina, 2041 Richmond Road, will be featuring chef’s specials and romantic live music Feb. 11 to 13. Reservations may be made by calling 859-523-8484 or Cobacocina.com.

▪  Brontë Bistro at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 161 Lexington Green Circle, will offer a three-course Valentine’s menu Feb. 12 to 14 featuring a choice of smothered chicken breast, peppercorn-crusted sirloin or broccoli farfalle alfredo for $26; add $13 for wine pairings. Reservations recommended; call 859-422-1429.

▪  Azur, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, will have a Valentine’s menu Feb. 13 along with the regular menu, and on Feb. 14 there will be seatings at 5 and 7 p.m. The special menu is $55 and includes a choice of 10 entrees. Reservations recommended; call 859-296-1007.

▪  Brasabana, 841 Lane Allen Road, will offer a Valentine’s menu the evening of Feb. 13 and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 14. The three-course menu is $34.95 and includes choice of tamarind peach glazed short ribs, blackened salmon, chino latino chicken, lobster forbidden rice, or grilled beef medallion. Reservations recommended; call 859-303-5573

▪  Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, will have special entrées for dinner Feb. 13 and for brunch on Feb. 14.

▪  Bour-Bon, 616 Main Street in Paris, will bring back the dinner show Rapid Cupido – A Romantic Comedy on Feb. 13 and 14. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. with a set-price menu for $74; it includes a glass of house wine or beer. Reservations required; call 859-987-1662.

▪  Clawdaddy’s, 128 North Broadway, will have a $60 four-course dinner on Feb. 13 and 14. Reservations required; call 859-258-2529. Dinner will include lobster bisque; lobster, crab and shrimp sushi; lobster or crab in fettuccini Alfredo sauce or with fra diavolo sauce; red velvet Whoopie Pie with Champagne-ganache filling; and a glass of Champagne or pink bellini. Also available for Valentine’s: lobster claw bloody Marys.

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