Mardi Gras is coming up next week and Townhall is having its annual Fat Tuesday celebration. Co-owner Mitch Rosenthal recalled last year's celebration: "We shucked 1,900 oysters. It was brutal. There were about six of us, just shucking and jiving." Although for 2008, the restaurant ordered big, fat oysters straight from Louisiana (having grown up there, I like my oysters big, which often slightly horrifies people here who prefer delicate little—i.e. sissy—Kumamotos), they learned a lesson when the $900 overnight shipping bill came. For 2009, the oysters will be sourced locally.
Other than that—and the fact that the all-you-can-eat-and-drink (keeping within the N.O-style cocktails, such as Hurricanes) price tag is only $45—this year the party will be pretty much the same: Booze, a band, and food stations serving yes, oysters, but also fried chicken, gumbo and some Southern-style BBQ. There will also be a moment where everyone clears way for a Brazilian samba performance by girls in "a step up from g-strings" (I'm thinking this means a thong), as Townhall's Colleen Booth puts it. Many years, Mitch's old friend from New Orleans, a former chef from K-Paul's, helps out in the kitchen. He's a real character and his real name is Steve, Mitch told me, but he goes by "Yankee" due to the fact that he's from Queens, which makes for a really weird accent. Whether or not he's appearing this year is still a mystery, which you'll have to solve by getting your ticket now and finding out.