Tonight, it's time to pick a drinking priority. For the beignet loving, hurricane-swilling crowd, Fat Tuesday celebrations are an obvious choice, and the city's Cajun and Creole-influenced restaurants do a particularly good job of providing a wild venue for celebrations outside of New Orleans. But button-ed up DC has another bar-based tradition that takes place tonight: watching the State of the Union address at a bar, often with likeminded political junkies. Which to choose? Here are five places to celebrate Fat Tuesday this evening, as well as five SOTU watching options for tonight's festivities. Have another favorite destination for either? Share in the comments.
Bayou Bakery: David Guas's restaurant is the epicenter of Fat Tuesday celebrating in Arlington. Head to the restaurant's third blow-out event, where there will be cocktails from Gina Chersevani, a block party, oysters from Rappahannock, a costume contest, and Guas' signature beignets and New Orleans-influenced cooking.
Acadiana: Jeff Tunks' New Orleans restaurant will offer a four course meal tonight for $50. Menu items include crawfish and rabbit etouffee.
Central: The restaurant may be more French than Creole, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth checking out the wine pairings and a la carte menu that they're offering, which includes oysters gratin and jambalaya.
TruOrleans: At the H Street NE bar, visitors will find masks, beads, giveaways, food
Bayou: Head to Bayou's bar, and there will be constant live music until midnight, and a $20 all-you-can-eat buffet.
State of the Union
Star & Shamrock: The H Street Jewish/Irish restaurant and bar is having an event with no cover starting at 8 p.m. Those who show up before 7 can enjoy happy hour specials, too.
Stetsons: Stetsons is a traditional State of the Union destination for U Street crowds, and the bar's Facebook page urges customers to head there again this year.
Busboys & Poets: The crowd will likely lean progressive at Busboys, where there are free State of the Union parties at all of the restaurant's locations. Food specials will be available and multiple televisions will show the speech.
Ventnor Sports Cafe: The Adams Morgan bar will hold its eighth annual State of the Union party. Pick a word when you enter, and if it's said during the speech, get a $1 13/02/05/ventnors-8th-annual-state-of-the-union-address-viewing-party/
Union Pub: Union Pub hedges its bets by showing the State of the Union tonight while offering $12 Bud Light pitchers...and $4 hurricanes.