It's Mardi Gras! Also known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, is a carnival celebration beginning after Three Kings Day and ending the day before Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is the last day of indulging in your favorite foods and drinks before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season begins. Mardi Gras is marked by celebrations that include parades, masked balls, feasts, partying, and the famous bead throwing.
Although Mardi Gras is celebrated in other cities in the US and across the world, it's widely associated with New Orleans, LA. I absolutely love New Orleans - the food, drinks, music, culture, people, and everything else that contributes to making the city a special gem. I was unable to travel to NOLA this year for Mardi Gras, but Tapa Tapa brought Mardi Gras to Atlanta during their Mardi Gras Midtown pop-up. Tapa Tapa, which also hosts Miracle Bar during the Christmas season, transformed their restaurant, located on Monroe Dr. in Atlanta's midtown area, into a piece of the Big Easy.
Upon entry, guests were able to grab a handful of beads and jump right into the Mardi Gras festivities! The restaurant was decked out in decor full of the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold; purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. Tapa Tapa really brought Mardi Gras to life in Atlanta with masks, beads, lights, streamers, second line umbrellas, and a themed photo booth. Not to mention, the jazz and brass band music really made me feel like I was living my best life on Bourbon Street!
Tapa Tapa created a special Mardi Gras menu for the occasion featuring Bayou classics such as jambalaya, po' boys, beignets, red beans and rice, boudin balls, fried alligator, and more. The menu also included New Orleans-inspired drinks like hurricanes, King Cake martinis, and "Who Dat!" shots. In traditional Mardi Gras fashion, slices of King Cake were available for purchase. King Cake is a colorful ring-shaped doughy cake that has cinnamon, sugar, and other fillings including a plastic baby that is baked inside of the cake! Whoever receives the slice of cake with the baby is supposed to have good luck and is responsible for hosting and purchasing the King Cake next year.
I didn't find the baby in my slice of King Cake, but I found one in the bottom of my drink - the King Cake martini! This specialty cocktail modeled after the famous King Cake was made with cinnamon vodka, white chocolate, crème de cacao, finished with a sprinkled Mardi Gras rim. This was a perfect way to turn the famous King Cake into a drink. Hopefully the baby brings me some luck because I could definitely use a little.
I had a great time at Mardi Gras Midtown! It warmed my heart that I was able to eat, drink, party, and throw beads like I was at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans since I couldn't actually be there. Thank you to Tapa Tapa for hosting the festivities and turning your restaurant into a Mardi Gras capsule! They are definitely one of my favorite Atlanta gems due to their festive pop-ups throughout the year. Check them out if you're in the Atlanta area!
Here are some photos from #MardiGrasMidtown: