SOMERVILLE, NJ – Just a bit more subdued and a little less rowdy, Bourbon Street meets Main Street this weekend through Tuesday, as Verve Restaurant, Bar & Bistro hosts its annual Mardi Gras celebration, culminating on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 25.
But owner Rick St. Pierre encourages bead and trinket throwing – and don’t forget to wear your masks.
A Creole-inspired menu created just for the celebration features Creole-style cooking a la New Orleans - spicy fish and gumbos, as well as dishes from Brazil and Venice, where revelers know how to celebrate the final day before the Lenten season begins.
Verve will also host its 4th annual Gumbo Cook-Off on Sunday, Feb. 26.
“We’ll show what it means to have a little bit of fun, a little bit of spice and some art, all for a good cause,” St. Pierre said.
Beginning on Thursday, and extending through Fat Tuesday, visitors to Verve are encouraged to bid on the Mardi-Gras style masks that decorate the walls.
The masks are made by residents of the Matheny School, which treats young adults with severe challenges. The masks will be sold to the highest bidders. Bids are accepted through Tuesday.
Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Matheny School, as well as a portion of food receipts.
Same for the $10 it will cost to sample the homemade gumbos brought in by contestants.
Trophies will be awarded to the winners in different categories. Those wanting to compete must arrive at Verve no later than 1 p.m. Sunday with two gallons of their best Gumbo recipe. Chafing dishes will be supplied.
There is a $10 cover for the Gumbo feast. Verve will provide the sides. Gaudy beads and other bling will also be supplied by Verve. Specialty drinks will be available. The Gumbo Buffet will be open from 1-5 p.m.
Music will be performed by Bob Lanza Blues.
Fat Tuesday winds up the five-day Mardi Gras celebration, with food, libations, prizes, gaudy decorations and cheap plastic trinkets, according to St. Pierre.
Further information is available by calling Verve at (908) 707-8655 or online at VerveStyle.com.