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From Jambalaya to Alligator Bites: Bayou's 20th Mardi Gras Extravaganza

The Staten Island staple Bayou is celebrating their 20th year in a row of Mardi Gras. They are the only Cajun restaurant on the island and offer a variety of things on the menu ranging from alligator bites to lamb chops and short beef ribs to their famous jambalaya. The side dishes are even magnificent, and it’s hard to find a spot that excels on their main entrees and side dishes equally.

Here’s just a couple of happy customer reviews that reflect how tasty this restaurant is and how much the staff cares about the customers:

  • “Amazing New Orleans inspired food. From top to bottom, everything was delicious. Excellent drinks menu. The staff was very friendly and attentive. They hosted us, a group of 12, comfortably. I'm definitely planning to return.”

  • “Decided to surprise my wife tonight with reliving one of our most favorite trips we took in 2021 to New Orleans. This place was amazing from our waiter (Brian) who did such an amazing job he was always very attentive and very professional and polite. We ordered a little bit of everything to get the best experience possible. We started with the New Orleans Mussels, Grilled Alligator bites, Lobster bisque soup and Arugula and beets salad with goat cheese (picture was blurry) but that salad is so amazing all flavors were amazing and the dressing was just right amount of sweetness and richness from the balsamic vinegar. Then we ordered dinner. I ordered the seafood jambalaya which was perfection. All seafood was cooked to the right texture and tenderness so full of flavor. My wife got the lobster tail stuffed with crabmeat over risotto which was so good. We ended our night with dessert. I ordered banana fosters and pecan pie (yes I was a pig) but I couldn't hold back now. Lol and she got the apple crumb cake. All the desserts were amazing. I wished my banana fosters had a bit more caramelized color but the fireworks presentation made up for it. Loved our experience overall. I'd definitely go again. Was an amazing time. Thank you Bayou and Brian for making our date night that much more memorable.”

Hurricane & Blackberry Collins

When a restaurant offers great cuisine as well as scrumptious dessert, you know it’s established and well rounded. From my experience, I was a big fan of the crème brûlée and the bread pudding desserts, those generally being my favorite. I also am not a fan of strong drinks and my waiter Brian recommended the Blackberry Collins which automatically ended up becoming my favorite. 

The ambience itself is unique and has many things around the restaurant centered on New Orleans history. This being the only restaurant on Staten Island representing this culture, they are closing down on March 31st, 2024. I was very disappointed when I heard the news, especially knowing they’re potentially opening up another restaurant with American cuisine called “the Basement” on 11 Schuyler St in place of it. The waiters working at the soon to go restaurant had a couple of things to say as well:

  • Ricky -“I’m disappointed about the location change but I’m also excited. You can never know what to expect and change is sometimes good.”

  • Brian -”If they don’t open the new restaurant location, we may be transferred to one of the other restaurants owned by the owner (Blue in Richmond Terrace or Beso right by the St George ferry). I don’t know what’s going to happen yet but it is what it is.”

I attended their annual Mardi Gras celebration on February 13, 2023 and they had a live band playing as well as festive decorations and props for customers to get into the spirit. It was a great time and a shame that this experience won’t be played out again next year. Hopefully the future of the new restaurant is just as successful as Bayou and the other restaurants owned by Julian Gaxholi.

Photos and Article by Rayna Pajares-Held


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