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Destin - Rehearsal Dinner Sites?

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One of my dearest friends is getting married in Destin in July and has tasked me with gathering some ideas for locations for a rehearsal dinner on a Friday night. The details: 30-50 people max, preferably with a focus on seafood, preferably water front, and perhaps close to the Mid Bay Bridge (everyone will be coming over from Niceville).

I think she would prefer somewhere that has private dining options, but she's open to casual to fine dining. I should mention that we're currently planning this from afar. I'm in Virginia, the bride is in Knoxville, and the groom just recently transfered to Niceville. We would certainly appreciate any input you have. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. This is kind of a hard one because you're talking weekend during the most jam-packed part of the tourist season, and there aren't a huge number of places that could handle a 50 person party to begin with. Ruthefords 465 at the Regatta Bay Golf Course has the private rooms and what little feedback I've heard on the food there seems to be positive.

    1. I had a friend get married in 2005 in Destin. We had the rehearsal dinner (about 30 people) at a place in niceville called Giuseppi's Wharf. It is seafood and on the inlet. They also have a location in Shalimar. Here is there website www.giuseppiswharf.com. Hope that helps

      2 Replies
      1. re: carinole

        Are you sure about the year? Because as far as I know, the Niceville Giuseppi's got flooded out badly enough during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that they got caught up in the 51% rule, and they're still trying to figure out how to rebuild high enough to satisfy the federal flood regulations. I miss it for the view and eating on the deck over the bayou. Food there and in their Shalimar location was/is generally decent but not great.

        The Boathouse in Valparaiso has a nice bayou view, but tends to get kind of mixed reviews.

        Maybe Zampieri's on Destin Harbor? IIRC, when Harry T's had that space, it seemed like it could be set up for a large party if need be. And the reviews for there have generally been positive.

        It wouldn't have a view, but McGuire's does have a side room you might be able to reserve for the event. Generally good food there, though very Irish decor. (which may be a plus or minus depending on your party)

        1. re: beachmouse

          I agree that Rutherfords and Zampieri's are good options - both were already on my list. What about Cuvee Beach? Is it worth it? I don't think they're on the water. I also thought the Beach Walk Cafe might be a good option after reviewing their website. On the more casual side, what about Harbor Docks?

          I appreciate your comments so far!

      2. Cuvee Beach was nice when we ate there a few years ago, but I'm not sure where the current price/taste ratio is. I've never eaten at Beachwalk, but it has a good reputation.

        Harbor Docks has a lot of fans, but has just never really wowed me for some reason.

        1. I must be a year off because it was before the hurricane because the place where they got married in Destin on the beach is also gone. Time flies. I never thought about McGuire's. That would be fun.

          1. Thank you all for your suggestions. If you think of anything else, please let me know!