ADDRESS: 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
WEB SITE: www.valentinorestaurant.com
VISUALS & VIBE: Founded by restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino's has been serving authentic Italian cuisine to Angelenos for more than 30 years. A highlight is the restaurant's bountiful wine cellar, which features more than 90,000 bottles of wine.
EVENT AREAS: The 12,000-square foot site offers six distinct areas, including the 85-capacity Main Dining Room, 35-capacity Garden Room, and intimate Wine Cellar Room, which can seat 16 guests. The entire restaurant can seat 200 guests and has a reception capacity of 300.
ON THE MENU: Italian classics including Angus beef carpaccio with arugula and Parmigiano, burrata-stuffed ravioli with fresh tomato and asparagus, and Sicilian cannolli are customer favorites.
“We are seeing a growing trend of people wanting to make their parties and events more interactive by involving guests in hands-on cooking classes or asking the chef to give a cooking demonstration.”
— Piero Selvaggio, owner
SITE: THE BEACH HOUSE
ADDRESS: 5022 Lawai Road, Koloa, HI 96756
WEB SITE: www.the-beach-house.com
VISUALS & VIBE: Palm trees surround this beachfront restaurant, where sliding glass doors let in the breeze from the Pacific Ocean to provide an open-air dining experience. Local artists' paintings of island scenes and native flora and fauna give the restaurant a tropical vibe.
EVENT AREAS: The 240-capacity restaurant features three semiprivate areas: the Gallery and Lower Surf rooms, which can each accommodate 40 guests, and the 32-capacity Lower Surf Lanai patio. The adjacent lawn area can also be used for al fresco cocktail receptions and private dinners.
ON THE MENU: Hawaiian flavors such as shrimp-and-scallop wontons with mango-Thai basil sauce, macadamia nut crab cakes with papaya-black bean salsa and ginger beurre blanc, and mango creme brulee.
“Couples having intimate ceremonies, as well as those planning large reception dinners, have all chosen us as their special place.”
— Katrina Ciapponi, sales and marketing director
SITE: CAROLINA'S ON EXCHANGE
ADDRESS: 10 Exchange St., Charleston, S.C. 29401
WEB SITE: www.carolinasrestaurant.com
VISUALS & VIBE: Carolina's has been serving upscale Southern comfort food for the last 20 years. The elegant restaurant's decor elements include Charleston-inspired artwork, antique mirrors and custom-made chandeliers suspended from cedar plank ceilings.
EVENT AREAS: The 7,200-square-foot restaurant has three rooms: the 75-capacity Sidewalk Room, 85-capacity Bar Room and 48-capacity Perdita Room; each room can be rented separately, or the entire restaurant can be bought out for events.
ON THE MENU: Low Country-inspired cuisine such as black-eyed pea cakes with avocado salsa and corn-and-field-pea relish; sauteed grouper encrusted in almonds and sesame seeds, topped with crabmeat and served with grits; and South Carolina peach rice pudding with lavender sorbet and Jack Daniel's bourbon sauce.
“A unique aspect to Carolina's is the fact that we are almost like three restaurants in one. Each of our three individual rooms offers something different — whether it be Old World charm and romance or modern decor with an artistic flair.”
— Steven Harris, general manager