(Above) © The League Collective, @leaguetravels
Dining in an outdoor setting isn’t just delicious, it’s deliciously memorable. Here are a handful of our favorite alfresco eating experiences offered across Opal properties that we know you’ll savor long after your vacation bags have been unpacked.
Admit it: You don’t just select a restaurant based on the style of food. The setting plays just as big a role – especially as it’s the first thing patrons absorb upon arrival. And while Opal restaurants deliver big on flavor in the form of creative menus and restaurant atmosphere (case in point: Latitudes’s amazing bubble-themed coastal décor at Delray Sands Resort), the first and foremost element the brand embraces is the destination they are in. We’re talking about bringing the outdoors in – whether that’s feeling the spray from the ocean on Florida’s Atlantic Coast or dining under the watchful eye of a 4,000-footer in the Adirondacks. And that translates to outdoor dining settings that aren’t just delicious, they’re deliciously memorable. Here are a handful of our favorite alfresco eating experiences offered across Opal properties that we know you’ll savor long after your vacation concludes.
Classic Maine in Just the Perfect Frame [Stewman’s Lobster Pound]
It may be hard to pull yourself away from Stewman’s classic Maine lobster pound interior, adorned in pine paneling on the ceiling and walls and colorful buoys, but we promise, the two floors of outdoor seating are nothing to scoff at. Located within easy walking distance to both West Street Hotel and Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina, here, the view – overlooking the edge of Frenchman Bay – is just as drool-worthy as the menu of fresh-caught New England favorites (think everything from mussels to clams to shrimp, and, of course, lobster pretty much every way you could have it). Looking to sling a few back as a toast to the end of summer? The outdoor lounge area known as the Eagle’s Nest boasts its own full-service deck bar and frames you in just right the position of The Porcupine Islands directly across the bay.
Up-Close & Personal with the Ocean [Latitudes at Delray Sands Resort]
Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows offered within all five of the distinctive dining spaces at Latitudes, Delray Sands Resort’s modern and coastal-chic signature restaurant, you really aren’t ever missing a view of the ocean (Latitudes is, after all, the only restaurant directly located on the beach in the town of Delray). However, there’s still no view like the one that greets you on the restaurant’s outdoor Ocean Terrace. Just steps from the sand, it’s literally so close to the ocean, you can almost feel the water’s spray. Throw in an order of their Iced Shellfish Tower from the raw bar – also set outdoors in an aquarium-inspired space – and you’ll have a taste of the sea across all your senses.
Where to Stay Delray Sands Resort
Penobscot Bay Views from an Italian-Inspired Terrace [La Bella Vita at Samoset Resort]
Thanks to rich wooden furnishings, romantic lighting, a wood-fired brick oven, and artwork inspired by the boot-shaped peninsula, you’ll feel a bit like you’ve wandered into an Italian trattoria at Samoset Resort’s on-site signature restaurant, La Bella Villa. But the element that brings you firmly back to Mid-Coast Maine? The restaurant’s spacious outdoor slate terrace bordered by a romantic stack-stone wall. While the open and airy-space – accented with sleek fire-fueled patio heaters – looks directly over the property’s seventh golf hole and the ground’s manicured gardens, the sweeping views of Penobscot Bay are unmistakably Maine. And a cushy corner alcove, featuring a circular couch, is the perfect place for a post-meal – whether you opt for the antipasti dishes, pizza, or chicken and veal piccata – nightcap.
Where to Stay Samoset Resort
Where an Award-Winning Sunset & Cuisine Come Together [Latitudes at Sunset Key Cottages]
The Florida Keys are known for their amazing sunset experiences. So is there anything that could ever enhance the view of that iconic day-glow-pink sunset? How about the addition of award-winning cuisine? Latitudes, Sunset Key Cottages’ on-site restaurant, offers just that thanks to a delicious, ever-evolving “work of art” menu that incorporates locally sourced fresh fish and tropical fruit based on what is in season. We’re talking dishes like Key West pink shrimp carbonara and pan-roasted Caribbean lobster tail that have not just earned this Key West restaurant scores of accolades like “Best Overall Restaurant in Key West” and one of the “100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America” by OpenTable, but a nomination for Best Restaurant in Condé Nast Traveler 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards. And the perfect place to relish a meal in full view of the sun dipping below the shoreline? On the outdoor patio, offering both covered seating under the building’s extended eaves and non-covered seating right on the sand, surrounded by low hedges, palm trees, Tiki torches, and a breathtaking backdrop of the Gulf that, come sunset, never fails to elicit a steady stream of “oohs” and “aahs.”
Where to Stay Sunset Key Cottages
Mountain Spoils – Both in Cuisine & Setting [Artisans at Lake Placid Lodge]
You can’t miss the Relais & Châteaux plaque adorning the grand entrance into the lobby of Lake Placid Lodge, signifying that the Adirondack Great-Camp-inspired hotel is part of an elite collection of boutique hotels with gourmet restaurants. And the restaurant that helped garner this title: Artisans, a legendary farm-to-table restaurant – only open to lodge guests at this time – that makes its home off the lobby. But to dine in true Lake Placid style, opt to eat alfresco on the intimate fire-lit restaurant’s wide, covered balconies. Here, a stacked stone fireplace and dining chairs and tables constructed from branches and local wood lookout to the lake and the sentinel Whiteface Mountain. And while we’d love to recommend one signature dish, we can’t. Not just because they’re all delicious (and they certainly are), but because the menu regularly changes based on the bounty of local vegetables and meats that the chef has access to. Think light watermelon and mint mingling on summer plates, heartier beets and turnips in the fall, local Moulard duck breast, foie gras, and Adirondack beef cuts.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge
The Best of Both Worlds [Pool Bar & Sandbar at Opal Sands Resort]
The hardest thing won’t be finding an open-and-airy place to dine, it’ll be which one to choose – particularly between the Sandbar, set on soft sands beside Opal Sands Resort’s thatched-roof Tiki bar, and the Pool Bar, surrounding the resort’s zero-entry pool with a deck that cantilevers over the Gulf. Still, despite whether you choose to gather around one of the bordering fire pits at Sandbar or one of the cabanas – outfitted with lounge chairs, a sitting area, and a flat-screen TV – at the Pool Bar, both menus are serviced by the kitchen at Sea-Guini, the resort’s Tripadvisor 2020 “Travelers’ Choice” Award-Winning restaurant, specializing in fresh local seafood, Italian hand-made pastas, and Neapolitan pizzas.
Where to Stay Opal Sands Resort
The Hubs of the Hotel [Tate Island Grill & Caretta on the Gulf at Sandpearl Resort]
Whichever outdoor spot at Sandpearl Resort you opt for – Caretta on the Gulf or Tate Island Grill – you’re always set within easy sight of all the action. For example, since Caretta’s seating wraps around the hotel’s zero-entry pool, you can easily keep an eye on your little one splashing while dining on herb parmesan chicken wings and grouper tacos; at Tate Island Grill, the best part isn’t just the open-air patio serving light salads and sandwiches right on the beach, but the evening sunset bell, rung each night when the sun first touches the Gulf horizon. Cap both dining experiences off with a visit and a seat around the resort’s beach-based fire pit, a spacious communal area that is the perfect place to toast a vacation well spent with a perfectly toasted marshmallow.
Where to Stay Sandpearl Resort
Lingering – Quite Literally – Over the Lake [Pavilion at The Sagamore Resort]
Diners are often impressed by Pavilion – actually only one of eight seasonal restaurants at The Sagamore Resort – before they even step foot into the Lake George restaurant. That’s because half of the venue is on land, while the other half is positioned on stilts over the lake. They won’t be disappointed when they enter, either: The open-air venue cycles through the freshest catches flown in to serve only the finest seafood. Coupled that with gorgeous views of the lake, and you’ve got the makings for one memorable meal.
Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort