By Jan Norris
Parties and events in Palm Beach County are back in force, with bookings filling restaurants throughout the holiday season and into 2022. Diners are also comfortable with indoor dining again, the hospitality managers say.
“People are coming back inside,” said Giulia Merklein, manager of Arturo’s Ristorante in Boca Raton. “We don’t have as many requests for outside as before. I’d say the numbers are higher than before the pandemic.”
“We’re booking the whole patio,” said Bonnie Beer, manager of Caffe Luna Rosa in Delray Beach. “A lot of parties are inside, too; we don’t have a private room. But our numbers are up over 2019 already.”
There are a number of venues for private rooms and spaces throughout the area, including in hotels and restaurants, but also bars, clubhouses and even yachts.
Prices at each depend on number of guests, food and drink. The event planners say to have three dates and times in mind before booking — many venues are booked well into 2022. Lunches or early-bird parties may be easier to sign up for, or a brunch instead. Some offer after-hour parties; ask, if interested.
Here’s a look at some
Dada, 52 N. Swinton, Delray Beach, is an iconic American eatery with indoor and outdoor dining under huge banyan trees. The chef offers a prix fixe menu or a la carte in the 20-person private room. Info at sub-culture.org/dada/ or call 561-330-3232.
Arturo’s, 6750 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, always shows up on the list of romantic restaurants in the area. It’s an Italian menu; a prix fixe is available in each of its three private rooms. The largest is upstairs and can accommodate 60; a midsize room for 20 is on the main level, and the exclusive wine cellar can fit 12. For more information visit www.arturosrestaurant.com, or call 561-997-7373.
Casa D’Angelo, 171 E. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, has a full Italian menu available in its private wine room. It accommodates up to 30 people. A semiprivate room that opens to the patio can fit up to 50 people. The patio also is available for parties of up to 30. Prix fixe menus are available as well. Info at www.casa-d-angelo.com, or call 561-996-1234.
The Wine Room Kitchen & Bar, 411 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, is a lively setting for parties centered on vino. Its private room accommodates 14, and a full menu is available as well as shared plates — charcuterie, for instance. More information is at www.thewineroomonline.com, or at 561-243-9463.
Booking for a crowd? You can rent the entire restaurant at The Pavilion Grille, 301 Yamato Road, Boca Raton. Its bright, window-lined rooms are popular for daytime events as well as nighttime parties. Information at https://paviliongrille.com, or at 561-912-0000.
More than one area and a private room are available for booking at The Farmer’s Table, 1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton. The emphasis is on healthier foods here, with nods to vegetarians and gluten-free diners, among others. Patio dining is available. Contact the restaurant at https://dinefarmerstable.com, or 561-417-5836.
The back patio is available for parties at The Grove, 187 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. The bar can also be included, to accommodate 20-60 people. The cozy restaurant is a locals’ favorite for cocktails and dinner. Information at thegrovedelray.com or 561-266-3750.
Chops Lobster Bar, 101 Plaza Real South, Boca Raton, bustles during the season. Steaks and lobster make for upscale dinner parties. One of its private rooms holds 15 people, while the other has room for up to 60. A number of menus can be designed or an a la carte can be served. Information at https://buckheadrestaurants.com, or 561-395-2675.
Elisabetta’s, 32 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, serves up an Italian menu with a specialized cocktail program. Elisabetta’s private room can accommodate 12, and it has a special menu just for those diners. Information at www.elisabettas.com, or 561-560-6699.
Another locals’ favorite is La Cigale, 253 SE Fifth Ave., Delray Beach. A mix of French, Italian and some Greek cuisine is on the menu here. A few rooms are available, with movable walls that can create rooms for 18 to 60 people. Partiers are allowed to bring in live music or entertainment for their events. For information, visit www.lacigaledelray.com or call 561-265-0600.
The Delray Beach Market, the giant food court at 33 SE Third Ave., has a mezzanine available for rent. Large crowds may want to look here: It can fit 250 for cocktails, or 177 for a seated dinner. Foods come from vendors below, who each provide a separate catering menu for events — a wealth of choices. Information at www.delraybeachmarket.com, or contact events coordinator Justin Rivas at 561-461-1385.
Looking for something different? Book a two-hour cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway through Delray Yacht Cruises. The cruise leaves from north of Atlantic Avenue at the west side of the Intracoastal bridge and goes south. It’s particularly scenic during holiday nights when the houses are all decked out in lights. Information at www.delraybeachcruises.com, or 561-243-0686.
The old Anchor Inn, off Hypoluxo Road on Lake Osborne, is now The Hive Waterfront Restaurant and Tiki. It’s run by the same people who took over Pearl’s Diner a few years back. The Hive Waterfront is a mix of a huge tiki bar, sports bar and family dining. Emphasis is still on seafood, but more landlubber fare appears on the menu. The address is 2412 Floral Road, Lake Worth. ...
Polpo is the new Italian seafood restaurant opening in the Eau Palm Beach. It’s a sister to the restaurant of the same name, theme and owner in Greenwich, Connecticut. The beachfront resort in Manalapan is undergoing a massive renovation, and Polpo is just part of it. It replaces Temple Orange, the restaurant that lasted longest there. Its scheduled opening is winter 2022.
Jan Norris is a food writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org