6 soul food events to kick off Mardi Gras

Laissez les bons temps roulez!
6 soul food events to kick off Mardi Gras
Photo by: Flicker User Rhonda Tipton

Tuesday, Feb. 21
With Mardi Gras only a week away, get in the mood to overindulge with Chef Dan Bonanno of A Pig and a Fur Coat and the Goodman Community Center. The event features a southern meal including classics like smoked brisket, cornbread and collard greens. Proceeds benefit Goodman’s TEENworks employment program. $15, 5:30-7:30 p.m., goodmancenter.org

Mix beer and southern-style cuisine at the Pearl Street Beer Dinner hosted by Hopcat. Sample five different beers from local La Crosse brewing company, Pearl Street Brewing. Using the flavors of the beer, HopCat and Pearl Street Brewing paired four of the beers with a course-meal. $31.65, 6:30-9 p.m., eventbrite.com

Thursday, Feb. 23
Mix up Thursday with specialty cocktails and a four-course dinner at The Cooper’s Tavern hosted by Kyle Cherek, the host of Emmy Award-winning PBS show Wisconsin foodie, and Philippe Coquard, the owner of Wollersheim Winery & Distillery. Along with the food, meet fellow foodies through the communal seating and pre-dinner cocktails. The first 30 people to purchase tickets will receive a private VIP cocktail hour with Cherek, Coquard and Master Distiller Tom Lenerz. $75, 6-9 p.m., thecooperstavern.com

Friday, Feb. 24
To jumpstart your weekend festivities, CIRC is hosting its first wine dinner. CIRC is featuring Orin Swift Wines from St. Helena, California. All guests will enjoy three specialty Orin Swift wines in pairing with a locally-sourced four-course menu. $75, 7-10 p.m., circmadison.com

Saturday, Feb. 25
If looking for a soul food-filled, interactive experience, then check out the Black History Soul Food Dinner hosted by the Goodman Community Center and African American community. As a way to honor Milele Chikasa Anana, the longtime publisher of UMOJA Magazine, the Mt. Zion Livites Choir and spoken word artist Zhalarina Sanders will perform. The menu provides guests a choice between multiple southern classics, so expect a challenge when ordering. $25, 5:30-8 p.m., goodmancenter.org

Sunday, Feb. 26
Let the good times roll at Liliana’s for MadCity Mardi Gras, which raises money for the Henry Vilas Zoo. Throughout the day, participate in a silent auction with donations from local retailers. Earlier in the day, join a family brunch with a three-course meal for adults and two-course menu for kids. At night, enjoy live music, drink specials, the full New Orleans-style menu and it wouldn’t be a Mardi Gras celebration without beads. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., facebook.com