There are plenty of amazing things about living in Central Jersey, but this time of year, we are reminded of one that is not so great: We are more than 1,000 miles away from next week’s Mardi Gras celebrations down South. ♦ On Feb. 9 – and in the days before and after – the population of New Orleans will triple as revelers make their way to The Big Easy for a celebration that dates back thousands of years. Mardi Gras began as a Roman celebration of spring, and an indulgent prelude to Lent.The tradition made its way to Louisiana with French explorers in the late 1600s, according to historical accounts, and street parties, masked balls and opulent dinners soon followed.While we may be unlucky to live so far from the festivities, we are lucky to have a handful of restaurants where Southern, Cajun and Creole food reign supreme. Here is a look at places in the Garden State where you can join in the fun. Verve BistroTHE FESTIVITIES: Owner Rick St. Pierre and his staff go big for Mardi Gras. The five-day celebration, which begins Feb. 4, features food and drink specials that honor New Orleans, Venice and Brazil,… Read full this story
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