Good food and good fun

Verve owner Rick St. Pierre and Frances Fago of Raritan.

A five-day party began on Thursday, February 27, as residents of Somerville, NJ, and surrounding communities kicked off the Mardi Gras Carnivale at Somerville’s Verve Restaurant.

The contemporary French restaurant celebrated what it calls “the funnest time of the year” from the opening night through Fat Tuesday on March 4 with a mask auction, “gaudy decorations and cheap plastic trinkets.” There were also food specials from the cuisines of New Orleans, Brazil and Venice and a Gumbo Cookoff on Sunday, March 2.

For the third straight year, partial proceeds from the celebration will benefit Matheny. And the walls were adorned with special Mardi Gras masks made by Matheny students, patients and staff. Thank you, Verve!

From left, Ernst Michel, owner of Tessuto Menswear, Somerville; Clarrisa Tanner, CEO of Tanner Financial Services, Bridgewater; and Chris Stamatavos, owner of Kyma Greek Cuisine, Somerville.