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Fun Twists to Traditional Corporate Dine Arounds

December 23, 2015

Organizing traditional corporate dine arounds can be so much fun – right?!? Figuring out how to divide the group, determining where each group should dine, finding appropriate restaurants, making sure transfer times are equal or within reason at least, can be one big headache. Not to fret though, we have a solution; a way to make things a bit easier on the planner and more enjoyable for the entire group dining experience.

Enter the Progressive Dinner – the recipe for the end of the often complicated corporate dine around. A progressive dinner can be a unique combination of great dining and camaraderie, where each group can enjoy the same restaurants, with the same transfer time, and have fun doing it. Not only can a progressive dinner be the solution to the organizational headache associated with corporate dine arounds; it can be a terrific opportunity to highlight the destination. Newport Beach is fortunate in that it has several first class restaurants lining its harbor and, with the help of sleek, eco-friendly electric boats, transfer between each restaurant becomes as much of the experience as the food itself.

Newport Beach Harbor boasts some of the most luxurious waterfront homes in Southern California, gorgeous private yachts and a number of fantastic restaurants. The ideal way to taste some of the best fare the area has to offer and experience the beauty of Newport Harbor is by boat, making dinner transfers unique and entertaining.

Waterfront Dock & Dine Options

Waterfront dining in Newport Beach caters to the sophisticated palate of the community. With several dock and dine options along the harbor; a progressive dinner through Newport Harbor puts an exciting twist on group dining.

Seafood or fresh sushi is a must when dining along the coast and Newport Beach has the perfect spot to enjoy both. Cannery Seafood of the Pacific is located on the peninsula and boasts a large outdoor patio alongside the harbor. Originating in 1921, the Cannery was the first commercial fish cannery in the area, in fact the outside still resembles the original building. But don’t be fooled by its outward appearance, the inside is comfortably chic with an eclectic mix of wood tables, sofas, benches, a water wall and beautiful hanging glass jellyfish. Probably the best-known and most frequented waterfront restaurant in Newport Harbor, the Cannery is a top choice for a progressive dinner.

Just a few docks down from the Cannery is the intimate dining option The Dock. A terrific option for smaller groups or when staggering a progressive dinner, The Dock offers Waterfront alfresco dining with an infused continental menu. The Dock is best known for its outstanding wine selection and delicious hors d’ oeuvres.

The beauty of a progressive dinner is the number of dining options it presents. A trip to Southern California wouldn’t be complete without the taste of gourmet Mexican food. Newport Harbor has the ideal spot for Mexican food in Sol Cocina, a dock and dine restaurant with fantastic waterfront views. Tucked in the Balboa Marina, just off Pacific Coast Highway, this restaurant offers views of multi-million dollar homes and private yachts. Sol Cocina offers more than 70 artisan, premium, and ultra premium tequilas, making this a great choice to kick off a progressive dinner or a perfect location for a tequila tasting event! Upbeat, fun and energetic, Sol Cocina is a must on the progressive dinner stop.

After a stop at Sol, hop next door to 3 Thirty 3 Waterfront. Adjacent to Sol Cocina, 3 Thirty 3, named after the address, is considered a ‘youthful classic’ due to both its age and vibe. The restaurant opened in 2005 in a spot that seemed to have a hard time holding other restaurants for any length of time. Yet, 3 Thirty 3 quickly caught on, thanks to a delicious menu, fantastic service and a great location!

Further up the channel, towards the Back Bay region of Newport Harbor, in the largest remaining natural estuary in Southern California, sits the casually elegant Back Bay Bistro. With a high-tech, retractable roof, Back Bay Bistro offers a panoramic view of the Back Bay estuary and surrounding wildlife. Back Bay Bistro presents award-winning American cuisine with an emphasis and flair on seafood.

Two additional progressive dinner options are located in the harbor front boutique property, Balboa Bay Resort. Waterline is Balboa Bay Resort’s sophisticated waterfront restaurant offering a water to table experience with fresh seafood and a unique chef driven concept. A full bar with views of the resort’s private marina, Waterline is an exceptional restaurant in a gorgeous location.
The resort’s other option, A&O Kitchen+Bar (Anchor’s & Oceans) is a comfortably inviting gastropub with an upbeat, energetic vibe. With décor inspired by nature, A&O’s rustic wood floors, reclaimed barn siding wall, live edge wood communal dining tables, open-air bar and outdoor fire pits make this a great space for the progressive dinner’s late night dessert and after dinner drinks.

While progressive dinners can be a great alternative to traditional corporate dine arounds, a progressive dinner through picturesque Newport Harbor takes group dining to a new level. A restaurant ‘crawl’ through the harbor onboard comfortable electric boats is certain to bring a unique and memorable twist to group dining. You won’t have to plan your group’s restaurant experience alone, Visit Newport Beach can show you all that Newport Beach has to offer and help you find the ideal location for your group.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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