Friday, January 14, 2011 at 7:59 a.m.
Bar Speak with Jeff Catalano at Deck84
Jeff Catalano has been bartending since his college days in Connecticut. No experience necessary, he landed his first gig about five years ago at the Thirsty Dog in Storrs, a popular bar and favorite among University of Connecticut students.
A UConn Huskey himself, Jeff received his bachelor's degree in communications and minored in business. He just isn't sure what direction he wants to take it.
The only direction he was concerned with after school: heading to the South. He moved to Florida in 2008, where he has tended bar from Fort Lauderdale to Delray Beach, including hot spots like Blue Fish and Caliente off Atlantic Ave., and Blue Martini in Boca Raton.
When he's not working, Jeff says the beach stretch along A1A is his favorite scene for nightlife in South Florida. When he's not behind his own bar, you can usually find him at one of theirs.
Of course, there's always the occasional swing through downtown West Palm Beach to see fellow bartenders and friends at Off the Hookah
Hometown: Danbury, CT
From: Coconut Creek
The Deck 84 Scene: "A little bit of everything. It depends when you come," says Jeff. You've got fine dining inside, with a bar to match. And outside you get that "vacation feel" at the tiki-style bar on the oversized deck overlooking the intracoastal.
Best Night: Friday nights, fo sho. Jeff says he's a fan of the outdoor bar, which jams out to a live reggae band, and the place is usually packed by 11 p.m. Thursday's are also great deal days, when there's Happy Hour pricing all night from 3 p.m. to close.
JEFF'S FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE AT DECK 84:
Four Orange Sunshine, made with 4 Orange Vodka, Malibu coconut rum, Midori and peach Schnapps, $10. "It definitely packs a punch. There's a lot of alcohol in there," warns Jeff.
JEFF'S FAVORITE DISH AT DECK 84:
The Cheeseburger Spring Rolls with Special "Deck" Dipping Sauce, $11. "They're like a Big Mac on crack," says Jeff.