Best Fusion 2000 | 32 East | Food & Drink | South Florida
Nobody cheered when Boca Raton's Nick & Max's restaurant, a joint effort between nationally known chef Nick Morfogen and restaurateur Dennis Max, went out of business less than a year after it opened. But the gastronomically minded were delighted to see both land on their ladles and were particularly thrilled to see Morfogen remain in the region, going straight to 32 East. Already a local favorite for fine dining, 32 East went up a notch when Morfogen took over the kitchen. His signature fusion style, blending classic American ingredients with European technique, is complemented by superior service and a wonderful drink list. (Try infused vodkas or microbrew draught beer.) Now 32 East is attracting patrons from all directions, not to mention multiple counties and even states. What can we say? We can't get enough of his solid, satisfying cooking.
It all depends on what you mean by power. If you mean business suits and cell phones, you'll probably see a few of them here during the lunch hour. But if you're talking supremacy, mastery, or even just some serious clout -- that kind of power -- then you're speaking about executive chef-proprietor Eduardo Pria. The return of the founding chef to this wonderful regional Mexican restaurant has resulted in more than sumptuous dinners stemming from such areas as Oaxaca and the Yucatán. Now the gourmet hacienda has started serving lunch for the first time ever, a practice we hope becomes an institution -- and a powerful one at that.
It's 1 a.m., you can't sleep, and there's nothing on TV except infomercials and Bewitched reruns. What to do? Hightail it over to Rickey's, where you're sure to find a few other friendly faces: nurses from Hollywood Memorial Hospital, police officers on the night shift, and other night owls. Take advantage of a special on chicken wings -- 25 cents each -- from 12:30 a.m. to closing, which, by the way, is 3 a.m. during the week, 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 a.m. Sunday. The unassuming rust-color building that has been a mainstay of Hollywood since 1955 is a favorite hangout for Herald reporters, the guys from Hollywood Woodworking, and firefighters, who get a discount if they're in uniform. With its high-backed wood booths, expansive center bar, stained-glass Coca-Cola hanging lamps, seven TVs blaring sports and a popular trivia game, and a jukebox in the back, the small room has a cozy feel, although the din can be deafening during the peak hours of 6 to 9 p.m. Most come for the weekday special -- a pitcher of beer and a platter of 20 wings drowning in mild, medium, or hot sauce, all for $9.95. The chicken wings are shipped three times a week from Alabama, and the sauce is so popular that the owner bought his own plant in Louisiana and exports the fiery condiment to Europe and the Middle East, which apparently have a huge appetite for the stuff. As does Hollywood.

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