The weekend is here and, as we all know, Palm Beach has no shortage of dining options for a date. But if you’re looking for an authentic Deep South dining experience with just a touch of the macabre, look no further than Voodoo Bayou.
When I decided to brave the long drive north to PGA’s Voodoo Bayou, I was expecting a deliciously spicy dinner of traditional Cajun dishes like jambalaya and crawfish stew, but what I didn’t expect was to walk into a full gothic cathedral. As we walked along the outdoor seating area with spiked chandeliers hanging above and in the dimly lit space, I was filled with medieval awe.
Inside, the walls were decorated with memento mori-style paintings of skulls and painted wooden sculptures of crucifixes, angels and demons. A soft red glow emanated from the walls of the chandelier-lit space, and the tall stained-glass windows behind the bar and the small lanterns hanging above had a greenish glow. We were seated under two ornate and painted wooden sculptures of alligators and had a perfect view of the small stage in the corner near the entrance. A screen projected onto the wall played music videos of classic rock n’ roll songs.
We started with one of Voodoo’s specialty cocktails, the Snake Oil Salesman, a spicy elixir of tequila, Ancho Reyes liqueur, lime juice and agave, and opted for a hearty meal in appetizer, starting with a dozen raw oysters, deviled eggs, cornbread, and crawfish pies. Appetizers came just in time when a band took the stage and began a guitar riff-laden cover of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”
I started with the pink (yes, pink) deviled eggs topped with smoked trout roe, which set the bar pretty high for the rest of the apps, all of which lived up to the great taste. The crawfish pies were deliciously flaky and filled with flavorful crawfish tail meat and a creamy, spicy Cajun sauce and the oysters as briny and perfect as if picked straight from the sea. But the real star was the cornbread: soft, warm and sweet with honey butter that melted on the surface.
We decided to split two entrees: the catfish court-bouillon and the fried chicken and waffles. The catfish was cooked to perfection and served in a metal dish over rice and bathed in a creamy and spicy creole sauce. As for the chicken and the waffles, you could barely see the bottom of the plate. The chicken was fried crispy and tender and the cornbread and cheddar waffles were equal parts sweet and salty (I was leaning a little more towards sweet after dousing them in bourbon maple syrup).
The price came to $150 for the two of us, and I would have paid way more than that to get their cornbread recipe. If you crave a unique dining experience that breaks the mold of the Palm Beach restaurant scene, Voodoo Bayou is the place to go.