Timed to include a sunset over the Newport Beach Harbor, the launch party for Newport Beach’s new culinary marketing initiative Dine Newport Beach had a picture-perfect backdrop that only a California coastal city can provide. Set on the private lawn, overlooking the beach and mega-million yachts at the Balboa Bay Resort, the event welcomed media, local restaurant owners and chefs, as well as city officials and tourism executives to not only take in the view and ideal weather but to also sample small bites from the resort’s three newly remodeled dining spots.
“Newport Beach and Company tells the story of Newport Beach’s people and places all over the world,” noted Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of Newport Beach & Company in opening remarks. Bolstering those efforts is Dine Newport Beach, the non-profit organization's newest marketing venture established in partnership with the Newport Beach Restaurant Association. The first of its kind in Orange County, and patterned after Los Angeles’ successful and growing Dine LA initiative, Dine Newport Beach offers consumers a new and unified way to search and find news on the locale’s diverse culinary community, which has more than 400 restaurants.
As Dine Newport Beach’s Polly Peak explained the website features a user-friendly database, news, images, links to reservations and content that highlights the hottest restaurants to neighborhood gems as well as culinary trends. The site and initiative is no foodie flavor of the month. Promoting the city as a dining destination makes financial sense. Per statistics provided, Newport Beach’s restaurants gross $500 million in sales annually and importantly provide $5 million in sales tax revenues to the waterfront city.
Executive Chef Vincent Lesage of the Balboa Bay Resort and his culinary events team were front and center, deliciously demonstrating the resort’s new culinary direction. A progressive menu of small plates showcased the variety of dishes at the Balboa Bay Resort’s three new eateries. First bites included an addictive bacon and caramel popcorn from A&O (Anchors & Oceans Kitchen + Bar) the hotel’s newly remodeled bar and gastro-pub (formerly Duke’s) while the dessert bar offered super portable and fanciful delights such as chocolate or vanilla mini-cones topped with mini-scoops of nitrogen-infused strawberry ice cream.
A whirling drone with GoPro camera above captured the action below adding to the event’s buzz. Unlike many official meet-and-greets, guests remained at the Dine Newport Beach launch party until the very end, savoring the generous spread and the sunset’s after-glow.