Fat Tuesday Revelry at Le Mardis Gras and Jergel’s (CPs Tues., 3/4/14)

1) Bon ton roulet is the French phrase for “Let the good times roll,” and that is exactly what will be happening tonight on Fat Tuesday. Traditionally, Fat Tuesday is the last chance for many Catholics to live it up a little before the solemn pre-Easter season of Lent, which begins the following day, on Ash Wednesday. One of the best places in Pittsburgh to celebrate Fat Tuesday (and many other nights) is Shadyside’s Le Mardi Gras, which bills itself as “A Hysterical Landmark Since 1954.” The bar is known for great cocktails, including New Orleans’ Hurricane with fresh-squeezed fruit and a nice assortment of beer and wine. The decor is a French Quarter motif and slightly on the dark side, which makes it the perfect place for a romantic evening or an illicit rendezvous. The bartenders are very friendly and knowledgeable. Le Mardi Gras is operated by Rich Costanza, who marks a second generation of ownership by the Costanza family. His father Joe, some called him “Papa Joe,” was an affable, beloved Shadyside character who was always working  a cigar. 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. 731 Copeland St.

2) Another Fat Tuesday and Mardis Gras pick is Jergel’s in Warrendale, where they’re hosting a themed-party costume contest (with prizes) to see who’ll be named king and queen of Mardis Gras. A psychic will do readings (5 – 8 p.m.), and there also will be free beads, giveaways, and live music from the swing band Dr. Zoot. 8 p.m. No cover. (There is a charge for a psychic reading.) 285 Northgate Dr.

3) At Theater Square, vocalist Tania Grubbs is the featured performer for this Tuesday’s JazzLive series at Backstage Bar. Grubbs has sung with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the CLO. She often is accompanied by her quartet, which includes husband/bass player Jeff Grubbs. No cover. 5 – 9 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Cultural District.

4) Getaway to the tropics with a trip to Brillobox for Tropical Tuesdays. There you’ll feel the trade winds (heating ducts) soothe your overdue vacation bones. Here’s a sampling of their specials: $3 select craft cans, $4 frozen drinks, $10 California bubble bath, $10 Eva Peron, $7 Fernet con cola, and $6 Coronita Margaveza. You can also sop up the island drinks with $7 pineapple soy-glazed chicken or tofu skewers served with Caribbean sweet potato salad. Shoes and shirt required. 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield.


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Rick Handler

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