7 Luxe Dining Venues to Feast Upon
Donald Contursi, president of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, says corporate groups never lost their appetite for eating out. Now that COVID restrictions are being lifted nationwide, he expects business to be booming soon. After guiding 250 hosted buyers attending MPI’s World Education Congress around local eateries in Las Vegas, the prediction looks good. “There's nothing that can come between breaking bread and bonding over food and drink,” Contursi said.
While Contursi has plenty of options at his disposal in Las Vegas, planners elsewhere can create evenings to remember at these fine dining establishments across the country.
Attendees will love the breathtaking indoor and outdoor private dining space with spectacular oceanfront views of Kapalua Bay at Merriman’s Kapalua in Maui. Indulge in the best Hawaii Regional Cuisine while taking in a stunningly beautiful Kapalua sunset before cozying up by next to one of the outdoor firepits or taking a stroll along the bay.
Planners looking for a new delicious experience should check out the swanky seafood and woodfire grill Sear + Sea at the newly opened JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa. The restaurant boasts a light-filled private dining room that overlooks lush Florida greenery and offers a carefully crafted menu from Chef de Cuisine Alex Pyser, including items like prime Angus beef, strawberry grouper and more than 1,300 bottles of wine. Tableside preparation is also available to personalize the meal.
Located in the bluegrass countryside of Lexington, Kentucky, Keeneland Racecourse provides upscale dining experiences through Keeneland Hospitality with custom menus helmed by Executive Chef Marc Therrien. The Keeneland Room has private access to a clubhouse with panoramic, floor-to-ceiling views of the racetrack and an outdoor patio to allow guests to keep a safe space yet feel like they are part of an intimate gathering. For a regal dining experience, the historic Keene Place mansion provides a one-of-a-kind private setting in the oldest building on the property.
Guests of the highly acclaimed Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa, California, can enjoy an exotic private dining experience in the vineyard’s expansive caves. Ensconced in the hillsides of Stags Leap District and illuminated by candlelight, the caves are ideal for luxurious, intimate dinners, tastings and private events.
A tucked-away respite reminiscent of the English countryside just 40 minutes north of Chicago, the "hidden” wine cellar at Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest, Illinois, doubles as the ultimate private dining room for intimate meetings and gatherings. Planners have a menu of choices ranging from elevated European cuisine with white-glove service in The English Room to traditional bangers and mash in The White Hart Pub — paired with a selection of the best destination wines.
MR CHOW -- W South Beach
Decked with artwork from Michael Chow’s renowned private collection and furnished with black lacquer furniture, MR CHOW’s private dining room in the W South Beach is ideal for those groups looking to dine on some authentic Beijing cuisine. Guests can enjoy an array of iconic dishes like the Mr. Chow noodles, shrimp water dumplings, ma mignon and the Beijing Duck.
The newly opened Spanish restaurant MDRD sits atop the historic and luxurious Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Its prized views of the city and Grand River create an atmosphere your groups will eat up. The restaurant can host intimate dinners of 10-200-person receptions, offering three- to five-course meals.
This luxury lakeside boutique resort in the heart of the Finger Lakes, New York, features five stunning boutique inns complete with resident innkeepers, in-room fireplaces, private balconies and stunning views of Cayuga Lake. Groups can book one of three inns available for private rental – E.B. Morgan House, Rowland House and Zabriskie House – and enjoy a private dining experience in their respective inn’s impeccably decorated dining room. Groups can also utilize state-of-the-art kitchens – outfitted with high-end appliances, cookware, cooking utensils, dinnerware, flatware and glasses – to prepare a homecooked meal or add on private chef service to prepare a unique dining experience, from a sparkling four-course meal and a casual brunch buffet to a festive cocktail hour and a fireside gourmet s’mores bar.