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August 08, 2010

Portland Yelp Elites Were On A (Love) Boat

Posted by Don Bourassa

Portland Elites got decked out in their finest yacht wear and set sail for a two hour tour on Departure Urban Lounge’s Lido (aka West) deck this last Saturday, August 6th, for an afternoon of captain’s-table-worthy drinks, food, and sheer summertime fun. All aboard as we cruise through another mind-blowing Yelp Elite event!  

Drinx Don n Bob

Just as the clouds broke and the first rays of sun peeked through, the cruise-wear-bedecked Yelp Elites led by Orian L were whisked up the 15 floors to Departure’s roof-top balcony where food and drink awaited. Welcomed with lei’s and captain’s hats, Anna S and Brandi P sipped on cocktails made with local House Spirits brand new shochu (not even yet released!) and Krongstad Aquavit. Those shochu Mai Tai’s and Swedish (Singapore) Slings sure did cool Patrick S and Jeannie J down. Meanwhile, Bob S and Troy SNinkasi’s Total Domination IPA and their delicious seasonal Summer Radiant ale. With 22oz bottles in hand, there wasn’t a frown in the crowd. And not to be left out, wine drinkers like Kyle F were treated to a sampling of Oregon’s own A to Z Wines, including a fantastic dry Reisling, their classic Pinot Noir, and the luscious Night and Day red blend. There was nary a dry palate in the house! 

  Group Landscape GroupLandscape

Of course, drinking in the afternoon sun is no easy task for empty bellies, so the amazing folks at Departure provided a staggering array of dishes, including Steelhead Nigiri with Furikake; Chili Prawns; Kani Avocado Rolls with Dungeness Crab; Departure Chicken Wings with daikon; crispy pork belly skewers; pickled watermelon, ginger and pumpkin Seed skewers; chicken samosas with scallion yogurt; Yakitori - yuzu chicken skewers; Harami Goma Tara - Wagyu skirt steak skewers with black sesame sauce; Kushiyaki - grilled red potatoes, Korean chili mayo or pickled vegetables (vegan); papaya salad with crystallized tamarind, peanut and lime (1/2 made vegan); Summer Vegetable Sushi Roll (vegan); watermelon skewers with cherry tomato and Thai basil (vegan). Um... yeah. The food just kept coming, and coming and coming, and as fast as it came, the incredible staff was whisking away skewers, spent plates, silverware, and used glasses. Talk about an amazing army of folks, from the bartenders to the food-servers, the Departure crew brought their A+ game.

Pork belly landscape BeefLandscape Chix Landscape

A huge thanks to Bette for taking incredible photos, to Connie C for traveling all the way from SV to help, to Stephen S for running backup, to Matt Mount for the amazing spirits, to Morgan Miller and the fine folks from Ninkasi, to Mike Wilson for the very fine A to Z wines, to Kara Sherman and the incredible staff from Departure Urban Lounge, Chef Gregory Gourdet, for blowing our minds and our palates, and most of all, to you, the Yelp Elite Squad, for being the best cruise passengers a captain could ever ask for.

  Ninkasi Portrait AtoZ porttrait Shochu Portrait

If you don’t believe me, check the photos and the reviews.  

Until next time. SYOY! 

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--Don “Captain Steubing” B.


Edward J. Palumbo

I had a great time and enjoyed the event very much! Thank you, Don, for a well-organized and lighthearted event. Great photos, Bette! It was a pleasure to meet so many Yelpers, and I hope to see you around town. So many restaurants, so little time.

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