12684866055?profile=RESIZE_710xPenelope’s brings the taste and vibe of New Orleans to Mizner Park in Boca Raton. Photo provided

By Jan Norris

From the prolific hospitality family of Rodney Mayo’s Subculture Group comes the new Penelope’s — correctly pronounced as the English do: PEN-a-lope’s.

“Our tagline is ‘Southern charm with a French kiss,’” said partner Vaughan Dugan. “It’s Southern food inspired by New Orleans.”

The restaurant takes over the former Kapow spot in Boca Raton’s Mizner Park. Kapow moved across the plaza last year.

Dugan said diners already were eager to sit again at the indoor-outdoor bar for which Kapow was noted, but “it doesn’t look anything like Kapow. Rodney’s done an amazing job, completely transformed it. I’m always impressed with his vision. He never reveals the whole picture, so you wonder, where’s he going with this?”

Mayo said Penelope’s has a cozy vibe, with 125 seats. The restaurant is named for his sister, who died a few years ago.

“It’s a running joke. She corrected everyone on the pronunciation. She thought the common Penelope was a child’s name — and insisted she was no child,” Mayo said. “So, there’s a picture of her as a child in the back.”

Walls also feature cat pictures and the colors of the French Quarter. Inverted parasols hang from the ceiling and move up and down.

“We tried to incorporate some of the Gothic weirdness of New Orleans,” Mayo said.

The menu is approachable, dubbed “New Southern Soul,” with familiar items such as chicken and waffles, pimento cheese dip, oysters a few ways, and burgers. Other dishes are gumbo, shrimp and grits, Jackson Square bouillabaisse, and for dessert, the famous Cafe du Monde-inspired beignets. All are from the hand of chef Kevin Avellaneda.

A nod to NOLA also comes with the cocktails like the Sazerac, Pimm’s cup, and Ramos gin fizz, along with twists on other classics curated by Dugan’s spouse, Angela Dugan, and Myles Robinson, the beverage program creators.

Also on the menu are vegan and gluten-free dishes and a list of mocktails.

Through September, Penelope’s offers dinner only with late night weekends, but a jazz brunch and lunch service are planned for fall.

Another restaurant from the group, Shaker and Pie — a bar and pizza spot — is under construction next door to Penelope’s, scheduled for a fall opening. About the frantic construction, Dugan joked, “It’s like having three babies in two years.”

More are to come, including another Subculture coffee shop in Delray Beach, and a new concept from Mayo for the former C.W.S. Bar and Kitchen in Lake Worth Beach.

Penelope’s, 431 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Open daily for dinner, 4 p.m.-midnight; till 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone 561-896-1038; online at penelopeofboca.com.

12684866468?profile=RESIZE_710xWho could resist this seafood display at Corvina’s in Boca Raton? Photo provided


Summer brings out the special menus, entertainment and deals at area restaurants.

At Corvina Seafood Grill (110 Plaza Real S., Boca Raton), there’s an early bird special. All drinks and dishes — wines included — are half price throughout the summer.

Diners must place their orders between 5 and 6 p.m. The emphasis is on seafood here from chef Jeff Tunks: branzino, whole red snapper, seafood towers, sushi, ceviche, plantain-crusted corvine, lobster and more. For menus and to make reservations, go to corvinabocaraton.com.

Also in Boca Raton, Il Mulino (451 E. Palmetto Park Road) has a $58 sunset menu, available Sunday through Friday. It’s a four-course prix fixe menu with specialty Italian dishes.

At lunch there’s a three-course version for $35, including branzino filet, or veal in a white wine and lemon sauce. Open for lunch, noon-3 p.m., dinner daily from 4:30 p.m.; multicourse brunch on Sunday, noon-3 p.m.

The restaurant was recently renovated. The popular Italian eatery from New York’s Little Italy got a modern look with art deco accents and upgrades to the seating and open bar layout. Also new: an air-conditioned patio outdoors.

In Delray Beach, Le Colonial (601 E. Atlantic Ave.) offers a $35 two-course prix fixe Monday through Friday before 6 p.m.

Diners can choose from several rolls, a beet salad or pan-seared chicken dumplings for the first course. Second course choices include roasted salmon, spicy chicken stir-fry, yellow tofu curry, or the signature fried rice. A dessert from the menu is an extra $10. Open for dinner daily from 5 p.m. The lounge is open at 4 p.m., with social hour 4-6 p.m. and piano nights Monday-Wednesday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Caffe Luna Rosa (34 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach) has a special $24 menu most nights. Monday, it’s Cacciucco di Mare — a variety of shellfish and calamari with catch of the day and lobster in an herbed tomato sauce over fine linguine. Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s a lump crab-stuffed lemon sole with vegetables and rice. Thursday features beef tenderloin medallions with shrimp scampi and chef’s potatoes. On Sunday it’s rigatoni and gravy with a meatball and sausage. Open for lunch and dinner daily.

At 800 Palm Trail Grill (800 Palm Trail, Delray Beach), weeknight specials are in place for summer. Two-for-Tuesday means buy one entree, get one at half off. Must be of equal or lesser value. It’s half off bottles of wine under $100 on Wine-Down Wednesday. Thirsty Thursday means it’s Happy Hour throughout the restaurant open to close, with half off wines by the glass, beer, and most liquors. (This deal also applies to lunch, Tuesday through Saturday.) On Date Night Friday, get a free bottle of select wines with the purchase of two entrees. Open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30-3:30; dinner Tuesday-Sunday at 5 p.m., and Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Josie’s (650 E. Woolbright Road, Boynton Beach) has daily specials, including Meatball and Martini Mondays, featuring $3 meatballs, $3.50 sliders and $4 off the full-priced martinis: watermelon, espresso and limoncello.

Tuesdays bring 25% off all entrees for takeout or delivery. Use code 25OFF. On Wednesday, it’s 40% off all bottles of wines under $80. There’s a BOGO offer Thursdays, takeout or delivery: Buy one entree, get one half-off. Use code BOGO. At lunch and until 4 p.m. daily, get a free bottle of French Rose All Day with two full-priced entrees. Open for lunch and dinner daily.

Art Basil in Manalapan’s Plaza del Mar (218 S. Ocean Blvd.) has summer specials such as steamed clams or mussels for $14; artichoke Francaise, $12; surf and turf, $15; mussels linguine, $26; lobster mac ’n’ cheese, $20; and seared scallop salad, $25. Other seafoods and salads are on special, as is a summer dessert, lemon cream cake for $9. Live music plays on the patio. Open weekdays for lunch, 11:30 a.m., and dinner daily at 4:30 p.m.

Ravish in Lantana (210 E. Ocean Ave.) features Martini Monday, 4 p.m. to close. Get $6 martinis and $2.50 oysters. Thursday is ladies’ night, with a never-ending happy hour on drinks. Half off select cocktails, beer and wine, plus discounted food. The restaurant continues its monthly spirits seminars and tastings. Recent ones included rum; an agave one is coming. Also, this summer includes the monthly Collab with Chefs — visiting chefs cook up special menus.

See ravishkitchen.com for more info. Open daily at 4 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

In brief
Bella Reina Spa in Delray Beach will begin Teapot Tuesdays on July 16. A program of education about tea with a certified tea master features a lunch and tea service, with information about the flowers teas are made from, and a talk about the “glow” of teas. For reservations, call 561-404-7670 or email info@Bellareinaspa.com. ... Oceano Kitchen, which moved from Lantana to Lake Worth Beach last year, has closed till probably November, says owner Jeremy Bearman. It’s being renovated with outdoor modifications for guests’ comfort.

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