Ever been to South America? After last night, Portland Elites can check that trip off the list! Well over 100 Yelp Elites and guests gathered in the sub-tropical-style heat for A Taste of Peru in the Pearl. With the humid heat outdoors pushing near 100 degrees, yelpers like Kody L dressed in swanky cool summertime gear and trooped up to the always-sizzlin' Pearl District to enjoy a night of fresh cocktails and bocaditos in the Tupai private dining room at one of Portland's all-around best restaurants, Andina.
The sexy bartenders had been shaking up drinks for a good 45 minuites and were ready to drop scores of ice-cold refreshing South American cocktails on yelpers like Danielle K and Stanley T right when the doors opened. To the surprise and delight of the Yelp crowd, Andina offered up not just a few select cocktails, but their entire drink menu, which included favorites such as mojitos, pisco sours, margaritas, caipirinhas, daquiries, and piña coladas, along with novoandina drinks such as the Sacsayhumàn, Tortuga, Açai-pirinha, Guanabana, Fuerte de Tamarindo, Mojito de Piña, Atardecer Porteño and Margarita del Sol, all muddled, shaken, or blended to perfection by two of the hardest working bartenders on the planet! And for those who wanted a simple beer or wine, Andina offered up three different Peruvian brews - Cusqueña, Cristal and Xingu - as well as a delicious '07 Alcance Carménère from Maule Valley, Chile and an '08 Montes Sauvignon Blanc from Curicó Valley, Chile.
As if that weren't enough, the amazing event planners at Tupai brought in master-musician Scott Head, who played an amazing mix of Latin and jazz-style covers on multiple instruments all night long. Using a loop machine, Scott ran drum-lines by pounding on his guitar, played riffs and licks, and belted out trumpet overlays, all to create complex tunes by a one-man band. Ron T and Kristina K were nodding their heads and tapping their feet to acoustic Latin renditions of I Will Survive and other classics, along with some more traditional Peruvian and South American tunes. It was amazng entertainment.
But oh no, Andina and the Tupai crew did not stop there. The incredibly attentive staff passed around eight different types of bocaditos for the evening, including (as Joshua C aptly noted): Ravioles Crocantes De Aji De Gallina, Salmon Marinado Sobre Galletas De Papa, Ensalada de Pulpo al Aji Panca, Chicharron de Camarones con Kiwicha y Salsa de Moras, Mini Anticuchos de Kobe y Pollo, and Mini Anticuchos de Zucchini y Berengena. No, we're not kidding. It was that good. And to top it all off, at last call they brought around plates of house-made cookies sandwiched around a delectable caramel center and dusted with powdered sugar. How do you say "yum" in Peruvian??
All in all, it was one of the most amazing displays Portland Yelp has ever seen. Maddest props in the world go out to Brigitte S and Tatiana M for putting this ENTIRE event together for us. Best event planners ever. A huge thanks to Jels, and Jennifer for taking it the extra mile and offering up everything from Andina in, as one bartender so aptly put it, "abundance." Huge thanks to Mama Doris for hosting us and making Portland's food scene one of the best in the nation. Thanks to the staff of the night, Alyson, Sophie, Doug, Meghan, Jorge, José Luis, Arturo Luis, Antonio, Annie, and Christine! And of course, our night would not have been the same without generous donations by Appleton Jamaica White Rum, Bacardi Gold, Cachaça 51, Don Cesár Pisco Pure, El Tesoro Platiunum Tequila, Monopolowa Vodka, Montes Sauvignon Blanc, and Alcance Carménière. Finally, big thanks again to Scott Head for a night of superb music.
And to the Yelp Elite Squad - you're the heart and soul of Yelp. Portland Elites are the best Elites in the nation. Cheers to you. For more, check out the photos and reviews!