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Sides are almost as huge as the mains, and anyone ordering pigeon peas or cabbage in an attempt at healthy eating should be warned: Pigeon peas come in a trough with what appears to be a pound of maple-cured bacon. Purple cabbage arrives as a casserole, with noodles, cheese, and cabbage layered between more cheese.
The cocktail list is a draw itself. Engineered by Cassarly, a former bartender at Bizarre Cafe in Lake Worth, it includes some old-school offerings — a Lava Flow for two ($16), a Scorpion Bowl ($20), or an old-fashioned strawberry daiquiri ($10). The more-popular newfangled drinks include the Dirty Mow Mow (a porny-sounding name for an especially bad wipeout) ($10): fresh ginger, citron vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, agave, and ginger beer. An elegant option is the Chiki Ti Ta ($10) with Hendricks, St. Germain, lemon, simple syrup, and champagne, garnished with an orchid and served in a martini glass. Seems Cassarly is as smitten by the ginger of St. Germain liquor as are the rest of the country's mixologists. "Think of it like hops to beer," said Cassarly. "It adds an extra spike, floridity, if you will, that goes well with so much, especially champagne."
But at these prices, two courses and two drinks cost about $50. Maybe not outrageous but not cheap, considering half the crowd wears flip-flops and bartenders are in swim trunks. There are deals to be had, though, particularly on the nightly specials list — a daily soup, appetizer, and catch of the day. During happy hour (4 to 7 p.m.), beer, wine, and cocktails are two-for-one, and Monday through Thursday nights after 11, there are in-the-biz specials (a trademark Mayo move in all his restaurants).
It's tough to leave room for dessert — primarily a selection of pies — yet the cookies and cream elicits lust: two handmade scoops of vanilla topped with house-made cinnamon whipped cream and garnished with a card house of warm, chocolate-chip cookies. As the dish was delivered to a customer's table, staffers hovered, relaying stories of after-work binges inspired by these cookies hot from the oven.
Kiki and her companions were too disciplined for such a dessert. "We're here for the drinks," she said, waiving off the decadence. "We've gotta look good in our swimsuits."