South Florida restaurateur and nightlife maven Rodney Mayo is celebrating the grand opening of his 13th establishment this Labor Day weekend at Camelot in downtown West Palm Beach.
But -- even though it serves food -- Camelot isn't a restaurant. It's also not a nightclub. And it's not really a lounge either. It's sort of like a blending of all three, something unique to South Florida's nightlife scene.
Camelot is Mayo's vision for the sophisticated South Floridian, a bar and lounge dedicated to the "Camelot lifestyle" -- homage to the Kennedys' love of the ocean, sailing, and Palm Beach. The idea: to bring back the memory of some of the old-time, long-gone watering holes of Palm Beach, like Peter Dinkles, Conchy Joe's, the New York Bar, Taboo, and the original Bradley's, said Mayo.
The restaurant comes into focus with a pop-up-style raw bar and New England-themed seafood menu offered at Camelot's front entrance bar.
Known as Rick's Lobsta Bar, the man behind the name (and the menu) is executive chef Rick James. James -- who has spent the past nine years with the Nantucket Hotel & Resort in Nantucket, Massachusetts, before relocating to South Florida -- said he wanted to offer a taste of authentic New England seafood at Camelot.
That includes a raw bar with oysters, stone crab claws, lobster, and an Alaskan king crab cocktail. There's also a selection of caviar, everything from smoked trout to white sturgeon and a kaluga for $150 an ounce.
If you're looking for something less fancy, Rick's lobsta roll is his signature item. Fresh, steamed lobster tossed is tossed in a Hellman's mayo dressing with green onion, celery, tarragon, and lemon and served on a grilled and buttered bun. James' take on the quesadilla combines lobster and Brie cheese, and the tuna tartar is served with coconut or avocado cream sauce.
Rick's Lobsta Bar is open inside Camelot at 114 Narcissus Ave., West Palm Beach. The menu is available from 4 to 10 p.m. Prices range from $19 to $29 for most items.
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