Most dining experiences with a view of the water don't take you down to sea level, but this one may take you even lower.
The "Over the Top, Down in the Sand" meal at the Lido Beach Resort actually has diners sitting in a massive sculpture of a dining table built in the sandy beach by the professional sand-sculpting firm, Team Sandtastic.
Dinner guests literally step down a set of stairs into the sand, where they take a seat in their custom-made table that can be geared for a wedding party, corporate event or even a marriage proposal. "What girl could refuse a proposal in this setting?" asks Karen Rangel, regional director of sales for Lido Beach Resort.
Erin Duggan, communications director at the , was a guest at Lido Beach Resorts trial run dinner on March 28. "When we arrived, the sun was still up, so we were able to marvel at [the sculpture]," she said. "They've really brought the art of sand sculpting to the forefront and have made sand sculpting a little chicer."
Each person had their own cushion and, as Duggan said, they opted to not lean back in their seats so as to not disturb the sculpture. "We were all sitting up straight, which is good for etiquette!" she said.
Diners were served a five-course meal created by Executive Chef Matt Lewis that started with a bento box full of appetizers, followed by salad, intermezzo, surf-and-turf entree and dessert, all paired with champagne and wines. The table was covered in linens so the pairing of food and sand — a sometimes risky endeavor for outdoor meals — wasn't an issue.
"By the second course, the sun was setting and by the last two courses it was pitch black and we were dining by candlelight," Duggan said. "So we could hear water but couldn't see it. It really engaged all of the senses."
With several days notice, Rangel said the table can be recreated for any type of event and can include customized logos or sayings in the sand. The five-course dinner with paired wines is $250 per person, and the unique sand-sculpture table and art is $1,500 for two to four people or $2,500 for five to 10 people.
"Working at the visitors bureau, I hear all the time that consumers are looking for experiences, and people will pay a little more for it," Duggan said. "And for folks to have an opportunity to eat at a table in the sand – that's an experience."