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February 29, 2012

South Bay Yelpers Get a Santa Cruz Staycation!

Posted by Abby Schwarz

One of the best things about living in the Bay Area is the amazing amount of day trips and staycation opportunites we have at our fingertips; Santa Cruz is most definitely one of those spots! One of the most prolific beach towns in the entire state of California, Santa Cruz is a destination spot for travelers around the world. Lucky for the South Bay and Peninsula Elite Sqaud, it's also part of our 'hood. And on Friday, February 24, Yelp had its first Santa Cruz Staycation Elite event! Thanks to the Santa Cruz CVC, this was all within reach...

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The fabulous Dream Inn was our host for the evening, not only showing off their event space that looks right out on the water and boardwalk, but offering discounted King suites for any yelper who wanted to stay the weekend! Jen C couldn't get over the venue: "This hotel is a great place to party, it's right next to the beach! The party room has nice views of the ocean and the Santa Cruz wharf. Freakin' awesome!" Guests were also greeted by cans of Guyaki Organic Yerba Mate, brewed right down the road in Watsonville. It was a nice non-alcoholic alternative for yelpers to enjoy.

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As guests filtered into the party, dressed in their favorite resort wear, they were immediately greeted by the "fabulous" Starring You Photo Booth where they could mug it up for the camera right away. Meg T was enamored by them: "The pics turned out hilarious and the options of black and white or color just added to the fun!" Check 'em out on Facebook to see everyone's photos. Also on hand to snap pics was PhotoStudio29, our regular Bay Area Yelp photographer duo. And who could forget our very own San Francisco yelp team, Ruggy J DJ'ing our party and Jessica T's amazing hula hoop skills?

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There were plenty of local food, drink and entertainment for guests to try, including organic pulled pork sliders from The Picnic Basket, prune ice cream bon bons from The Penny Ice Creamery, pork belly appetizers as well as tasty bevvies and massages from Chaminade Resort & Spa, vino tastings from Copious, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard as well as Quinta Cruz, homemade Balsamic and olive oil samples from The True Olive Connection, crab wontons from Aquarius, mint infused punch from ZU Vodka and a delicious floral Love Potion beer from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery. Not to mention the paddle surfing demos from Coverwater Stand Up Paddle. There were so many sponsors, Mellanie D "didn't know where to start. Pulled pork sandwiches, bon bons, wine and more wine, beer, vodka, massages, chopsticks, salads, seafood, awesome music..." Hey, Santa Cruz knows how to party! Read the 5-star event reviews here!

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After two hours of eating, drinking, music, pictures and overall fun, the Elite portion of our weekend was over. However, the party didn't end there! Since many stayed the night at The Dream Inn, one of our awesome Elites planned a brunch/winery UYE the very next day. A handful of yelpers dragged themselves out of their big, comfy beds to enjoy a quick breakfast at the Beach Street Cafe before hitting up Swift Street Courtyard for some wine tasting. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon filled with local vino, new friends and even a cheeseburger or two... We all left that afternoon a little buzzed, sunburned and definitely grateful to live so close to an awesome beach town.

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Jessica J summed up the weekend pretty eloquently: "Ocean Views, Photo booths, Bon Bons, Bison Grass flavored Vodka, Balsamic Oils, Copiuos amounts of wine, FREE Mimosas with Brunch!, Learning about the Mothership (@Bonny Doon), Love Potion Brew, buying new SANTA CRUZ sweatshirts, ordering Big Juicy Burgers with Bacon from Kelly's Bakery while sitting on my butt enjoying a beer at SC Brewing Co, Spa Getaway, walking around Santa Cruz at 2 am looking for ANYTHING but Taco Bell!, making new friends....  Oh good times! I love you, Santa Cruz!!!"

Agreed!

Until next time, SYOY!

Abby "I need a vacation from my staycation" S, Yelp South Bay-Peninsula Community Manager

Yelp Drinks Brooklyn Kicks Off at Twenty3 Supper Club!

Posted by peter d.

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Twenty3 Supper Club is stunning. That's all there is to it. And last night, the best of Brooklyn Yelp took an exclusive look this brand new Bay Ridge hotspot at the Yelp Drinks Kickoff Party!

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With its distinctly Vegas vibe and chic design, every inch of the Supper Club is stylish; even the bathrooms are beautiful! When you walk in, you can feel the lively lounge's energy thanks to the state-of-the-art sound system and the rockin' DJ. Last night, the expert bartenders were getting the party started with delicious Cavoda Vodka cocktails like the Pink Sparker. The unique ice vessels (imported from Italy!) offered an elegant touch as the Elite sipped the smooth spirit. Like Jillian H says, this is "supper clubbing done right."

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After getting settled, everyone was treated to culinary creations by Executive Chef Fernando Leites like those mouth-watering chorizo empanadas, filet mignon skewers, and mini shrimp po'boys that offered up an authentic taste of NOLA. The full menu at this contemporary Brooklyn hotspot offers up a sampling of cuisines from around the world, and they offer late-night dining for people that like to party!Picnik collage

What really stands out at the Supper Club, however, is the amazing hospitality. The glitz and glamour doesn't stop this family business from providing personal and excellent service. This is where you want to be for a special night out, and to be treated like royalty. A huge thanks goes out to Phina, Mike and the rest of the Twenty3 Supper Club staff for welcoming the Yelp Elite with open arms for such a fantastic time! 

Whether or not you made it out, make sure you check out all the photos courtesy of Melanie Fidler, and what people are saying in reviews and on Talk

Cheers,
Peter D
 and the rest of the NYC Yelp Team

Yelp Drinks Madness Launches Another Week Long Happy Hour In San Diego!

Posted by Danny Wurst

Yelp Drinks Week is back in San Diego…This time with 36 local bars and restaurants offering select beer, wine, and cocktails at discounted prices from February 27th - March 4th. Monday night 250 Yelp Elite members kicked off the madness with an exclusive event held at Bub’s @ The Ballpark.

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Complimentary U4RIK Vodka (Twitter and FB) cocktails and Tailgate Beer (Twitter and FB) accompanied Bub’s YD menu of Swamp Water, Modelo Rita, and Big Boy Punch for an abundance of local buzz. Yelpers also scored on a buffet of food including sliders, tater tots, corn dogs and other tasty bites that provided some much needed carbs for the challenges ahead.

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Games included a best of ten free throw contest that saw a perfect score walk away with the title. Several others earned gift certificates back for more Bub’s fun by winning a flip cup tournament. And this is just day one…Stay tuned for much more Yelp Drinks to come all week long!

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If you weren't in attendance check out what you missed by peeping the photo gallery and reviews, but don't worry... Yelp Drinks is half off all week long from February 27th - March 4th. so there's still plenty to buzz about. Don't forget to give your feedback about the promo here too.

Until next time...SYOY (See You On Yelp)

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Danny W San Diego Community Manager

 

February 28, 2012

The Yelp Indy Elite Squad Meats The Capital Grille

What's the capital of community? What's the capital of the food coma inducing state of Epicure? If you said, The Yelp Elite Squad and The Capital Grille's steak then you need to challenge your pals to a friendly game of $25,000 pyramid.

The Capital Grille warmly welcomed the Elite Squad to an exclusive tasting of their new Plates menu, which features items like parmesan truffle fries, beef tenderloin sliders, shrimp cocktail, lobster rolls and roasted red pepper shooters. Those delicious bites were washed down with their Stoli Doli & Bohemian champagne cocktails.

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Elites were treated to a very special chef demostration to get an inside look on how The Capital Grille rubs their food into mouth-watering magic. Before elites left with a gift package of TCG's rubs, one lucky Elite won a prize of a Plates lunch with six friends, and Elites took tours of The Capital Grille's Meat Room.

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Five star reviews here, and five star Solar Flare Photos here.

Keep it Elite (and meaty),

Jon A

-Yelp Indy Community Manager

Yelp Drinks London Launch @ The Foundry Bar

Posted by Katie

So here we are, it's the beginning of London Yelp Drinks 2012 - a week of half-price drinks at some of London's best bars - and what better way to celebrate than with some bevvies and nibbles at The Foundry Bar & Restaurant in Camden. Our keen yelpers gathered in the newly refurbished bar, which is part of The Forge Music & Arts Venue just off of Camden High Street, to be greeted with wine, beer and some good ol' Yelp cheer!

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With photos of jazz musicians donning the walls, The Foundry Bar was a perfect location for some relaxed Monday evening whistle-wetting and a catch-up with yelpers old and new! It was Ben Y's very first Yelp event in London and Duncan W's first Yelp event ever! Proudly sporting their Yelp Elite watches, our newbies caught up with some old-hand yelpers such as the lovely Matt B and Mark S.

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Bar Manager Flava F and his staff were fun and friendly, decked out in their Yelp sunglasses, they kept the alcohol flowing and handed out delicious canapés to our hungry crowd. The homemade beef sausages went down a treat; Jennifer S was certainly a fan!

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A huge thank you to The Foundry Bar & Restaurant for their hospitality. We're all looking forward to returning to take advantage of some of the delicious cocktails that will be offered at half-price this week with Yelp Drinks 2012! As ever, thank you to our yelpers for coming and we look forward to reading your reviews. You can also check out the photos from Xavier Fiddes and join in the chatter on Talk.

We look forward to seeing you at the Yelp Drinks Pub Crawl - it only comes around once a year, folks!

SYOY!

Katie B, Josephine B & the Yelp London Team

Katie B & Josephine B

February 27, 2012

Boston Elites Get Minty Fresh at Julep Bar!

Posted by Damien S

Andre 3000 and Big Boi aren't the only ones feeling so fresh and so clean, clean. More than 150 Boston Elites descended upon the old Rev Rock Bar space on High Street to lounge in the remodeled, reimagined Julep for a night of hot eats, icy drinks and minty freshness!

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Sporting sexy yellows and a ceiling sprouting chandeliers, Julep Bar's loungey atmosphere invited Yelp's finest to sample an assortment of passed bites, and with Smurf-haired cheflebrity Jason Santos at the kitchen's helm, circulating chow did no less than stun the crowd. Tuna tartare on crisped wontons, beef carpaccio on crostini, salt cod fritters, kobe beef sliders and buffalo duck drumsticks met the meat reqs, while Tamar A "could have downed the mushroom truffle soup with a straw."

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Thirsty? Rising star in the galaxy of moonshine Dave Willis from Bully Boy sampled his signature White Whiskey (much to Jill F's swooning delight: "Seriously, local and delicious? Are we talkin' about Whiskey anymore?"), while Julep's Blood Orange Cosmos married Bully Boy's small batch vodka with Triple Sec, fresh squeezed citrus, housemade sour and a zesty, sugared rim. Worcester's own Wormtown Brewery topped the taps with frothy Seven Hills Pale Ale and a malty Irish Red, sating even the snootiest of suds snobs.

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Suave sounds courtesy of KC Hallett carried the crowd through the night. Tatsu snapped freshy pics (tag 'em on Facebook!) and newly tapped Yelp Intern Virginia B kept the crowds in check. Attending Elites are showing minty review love and chatting it up on Talk, so why not join in?

Stay fresh Boston!

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Damien S (with Virginia B)

Yelp Leeds' Rum Masterclass At The Maven!

Posted by Rowena Harris

There's something about exclusivity and intrigue that captures a true yelper's sense of adventure, so there was no better place to gather for the last Elite Event in Leeds than The Maven; a hide away so well shrouded in mystery that even the guests needed specific instruction to make their way in and ascend the secret stairwell leading up. Indeed, this is a space where GPS would fail you, and only those in the know are privy to the recondite and enigmatic venue.

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This latest installment of all things Yelp in Leeds was always destined to be a date with decadence. The unusually sunny day in February set the tone for the event, held at Leeds' newest and most stylish bar. As the folks started rolling in, everyone took a seat in the specially cordoned VIP area, to have a natter and a catch up before the proceedings went underway. With plenty of new folk in attendace, some of the more seasoned yelpers set about introducing themselves, as everyone soon got chatting in anticipation for the tastings to start. As a special surprise, folks were treated to a few select canapés from The Maven's cheese boards, which included some fantastic local cheeses, honey and grapes. Some thirty yelpers later, everything was set to begin, and as everyone marvelled at the latest exciting bits of Yelp Schwag, the rum-fest began.

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To begin the evening the guests were introduced to the owner, Nino, who gave an insight into his vision for the establishment and welcomed everyone into the fold. His unique bar, situated above ground level on Call Lane, is designed to be a pre-prohibition era bar and comes complete with fully attired bar staff (each one dressed to impress with their own USP, be it a flat cap, cravat, or braces), traditional and expertly made cocktails, free chilled water with every drink, and no visible signage as to the location. That's right – you have to be savvy enough to find it, if you want to come for a drink here! (Which of course, is why we were all there.)

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Once Nino had finished his introduction, we were passed on to T.C., who was to divulge the first rum cocktail of the night. He opened the night by introducing folks to Goslings rum, whose history began in 1806 with James Gosling. He had set sail for the Americas but after 91 days of navigating unusually becalmed waters, had to dock at the nearest port at St. George's, Bermuda, where they set up shop. After much trial and error, the distinctive Bermuda black rum was formulated, and it later became the principle rum in Bermuda's favourite drink: The Dark 'n Stormy. This was to be the first cocktail of the night – a jar of ginger beer, topped with Goslings and a few slices of lime.

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As everyone got their mouths 'round the first tipple, Mark Cato of Appleton Estate began setting up, and everyone had a chance to chat over their drinks. Once had everyone finished off their Dark 'n Stormy drinks, the next rum was introduced, and the masterclass resumed. Appleton Estate was founded as a sugar estate as early as 1655, and remains the oldest continually running rum producing distillery in Jamaica – they not only have the largest stocks of aged rum in the Caribbean, but also stock the oldest commercially available rum in the world. It's single estate produced, in so far as the cane, water, yeast, and process are all sourced and completed on one site and their current master blender, Joy Spence, is the world's first female master blender! With this fine product came our next delicious cocktail, the Appleton 8 Year Old Cinnamon Treacle. (Ingredients can be found below, should you wish to make one yourself... ) This delectable drink fully shows off the flavours of the rum, whilst demonstrating that this is a spirit which deserves to be appreciated in creative ways.

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By this time folks were getting rather merry, and so a short break was introduced to take in the tasting, before continuing with the final rum of the evening. After much talking and cavorting, it was time to test out the much anticipated Santa Teresa, and finish off The Maven's specialist rum-cocktail masterclass. Fabrice was to talk us through Santa Teresa, who have been one of Venezuela's leading rum producers for over 200 years, the origins dating back to 1796 when the Count of Tovar founded the Hacienda Santa Teresa, and in 1909 Ron Santa Teresa was registered as the first Ron de Venezuela brand. Their premium Santa Teresa 1796 is a pioneer in the rum industry, using the secret behind Spain's sherry and brandy producers – the antiquated Solera method.

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This final session began with a completely impromptu straight spirit tasting, courtesy of Fabrice, to allow everyone to take in the full flavours of the rum before seeing it in effect in the cocktail. Of course, no one was complaining at this unexpected boon, as everyone shared a rather healthy swig of straight Santa Teresa! Before everyone had even a chance to finish off their generous samples he then passed the bottle of Santa Teresa's liqueur, the Rhum Orange Liqueur, which was an essential ingredient in the final cocktail. Everyone giddily poured themselves a taster, as Fabrice went on to explain how the Rhum Orange can be used in other ways, such as frozen and poured over vanilla ice cream. (There was suggestion that we ought to have had ice cream at this point, so as to test it out... ) Having delighted everyone with his generosity, it was then time to taste the final cocktail of the evening: Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Daquiri. (Ingredients below!)

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As everyone took in their last tipple, a wonderfully zesty and freshly flavoured cocktail, there was time to thank the fantastic bar staff who had tirelessly made each drink from scratch for each guest, and say a few goodbyes to those who had to head off. For the remainder of the group, the order of the evening was to indulge in some more rum – namely that of The Maven's famous rum punch, whose ingredients are well guarded, but come combined with plenty of ice in a humungous punch bowl. (Complete with ladel.) To top it all off, the fruit that adorned the punch were blazed by a blow torch, caramelising the sugars, in a fantastic finalé to the night.

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This was another unbelievably fabulous evening, every detail redefining finesse, from the fantastic products, to the opulent venue, and the expert staff. A huge thanks goes to Nino, T.C., Mark Cato, Fabrice and all of the awesome staff at The Maven for their welcome, generosity and wisdom, without which we wouldn't have had such a fabulous evening. But, as ever, don't just take my word for it – you can see what went down, straight from the horses' mouths right here, and see the pictoral evidence here! And finally, as ever, a HUGE thanks to Matthew Kitchen the photographer – check him out!

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Rob W: "The event itself was one of the best tasting sessions I've attended (and not just because the drinks were free!) - the guys presenting the rum clearly knew their stuff, and actually seemed to know the answers when questioned outside of the presentation."

Hannah J: "Each cocktail was more delicious than the last, and thanks to them and the neat rum and orange liqeur passed round I was quite frankly rather sozzled by the end of the night. Well, it would've been rude not to taste everything, right?

Combine all this with the awesomely cool surroundings of The Maven, with an owner who seems to take real pride in serving quality prohibition (or was it pre-prohibition?) era drinks and maintaining the exclusive atmosphere of the venue... and you have a pretty perfect night. The company was awesome too."

April K: "Nino is one of the most chilled out bar owners that I have ever come across and I think that I may spend an awful lot of money in this place.

The cheese and bread was a lovely touch and the honey was delicious!"

Laura J: "Regrettably I have only just sobered up sufficiently to review. I had a super time and I really enjoyed all the little history bits behind the rum. I'm sorry to say I can't remember a lot of the third talk, but learning more about Jamaica, particularly that it rains at 2pm everyday apparently, and ye olden day sailing voyages to the new world was right up my street. For the actual rums though, I think the fact that I went to Gerry's on the way home for a bottle of the Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Liqueur (only £17.95 people) speaks volumes. In fact, I may have a little tipple this evening... "

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Until next time, folks. See you on Yelp! Rowena H

Maven13Goslings Black Seal Dark 'n Stormy

A jar of ginger beer, topped with 50ml Goslings Black Seal, and a few slices of lime, and ice.

 

 

Appleton 8 Year Old Cinnamon Treacle:

50ml Appleton Estate 8 Year Old, 60ml pressed apple Juice, 10ml cinnamon syrup, dash angostura bitters, stir in a rocks glass over ice, serve with an apple slice.

 

 

Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Daiquiri:

25ml Santa Teresa Grand Reserva, 25ml Santa Teresa Rhum Orange, 25ml lime juice, 10ml sugar syrup, shake and strain into a martini glass.

All That Glitters is Yelp in Manchester!

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After all the excitement of Yelp's N4 Passport in Manchester, we weren't about to leave the funky Northern Quarter alone. When gorgeous Tib Street café Sparkles opened their spangly doors to a gathering of Mancunian yelpers, offering up hot sandwiches, cakes and a place to unwind on a Thursday evening, how could we say no?

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And what an evening it was. Those who braved the newsworthy football crowds to make it to the little café were greeted with warm hospitality and classic Manchester generosity. Munching on mini versions of almost all of their gorgeous available sandwiches (including ciabattas and their signature piadana flatbreads) as well as puddings aplenty, attendees were welcome to order up soft drinks, coffee, hot chocolate or tea... Tea-mendous.

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'The plates of sandwiches just kept coming!' marvelled Clare G. 'I particularly liked the brie and grape (and possibly cranberry?) flatbread, and the spinach and stilton is rather special. The desserts are also top-notch. I can vouch for the incredible brownies, the rocky road, and yummy carrot cake. I was impressed with Sparkles before but after tasting their delectables last night, I'm a fully-fledged fan!'

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After all those savoury delights, we were welcomed to a whole selection of desserts – anybody full to bursting yet? 'An impressive array of cakes,' said Chris M; 'rocky road, carrot cake, mini cupcakes, chocolate brownies all put in an impressive showing, but it was the tiffin that really won the day for me – delicious!' He's not wrong.

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It was essential to leave room for a frothy little number; some alcoholic libation. This came in the form of Mark Cato's rum masterpiece, put together for us by the lovely Lewis L from Épernay – the Koko Phwoar, or Yelp Sparkle if you will. Shaken up together ice cold were Koko Kanu rum, fresh pineapple juice, Barefoot Merlot and egg white, garnished with edible pink sparkles. Who could resist? They were utterly delicious, as Jessica H agreed: 'The cocktails were yummy, the thing that topped them off for me was that they had sparkles on top. I do love a bit of glitter.'

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Praise for the Sparkles staff was neverending. 'The Sparkles team are super-friendly and clearly love what they do. It's a family-run business; everything is fair trade and very, very fresh. The prices are really reasonable,' gushed Clare G. Jessica H thought them 'really chatty and welcoming,' providing 'a really good vibe. I find that a lot of new places sometimes have an elitist feel about them, but they were so friendly and eager to talk to everyone who came. I had a nice chat with two of the ladies outside who told me they were just looking to provide somewhere nice for people to come for a bite to eat, without the massive price tag.'

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Chris M always finds 'that a massive swaying factor in my enjoyment of an Elite Event comes down to the participation of the business owners; after all the events are as much a chance to get to know them, their wares and what they're all about as they are an excuse to stuff my face and spend an evening off the couch. In this regard the team at Sparkles didn't let themselves down and were all too happy to talk about themselves as well as their food.'

Talk about a food coma: Adam C said, 'The beef and sweet onion flatbread was my favourite, and their Rocky Road cake nearly killed me (in a good way).'

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Huge thanks to all the team at Sparkles for the amazing food and lovely chat, Lewis and Mark for the cocktail expertise, the fabulous Jody Hartley for the photos and the Yelpers for popping out to see us.

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Not enough deliciousness for you? Then read the reviews, scope out the pics and chat things up on the forum. Meanwhile, SYOY...

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Kisses and brownies,

Emma-Lou H, Yelp Manchester Community Manager

Yelp Cincinnati Parties After-Dark (Mardi Gras Style) at FB's

Posted by Alex Shebar

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We may be far from New Orleans, but Yelp certainly brought a bit of the Mardi Gras spirit to The Queen City this last week.

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Yelp Cincy held a private event in FB’s, one of downtown Cincinnati’s most unique bars. Giant furniture, headless mannequins, black and white patterned wallpaper. It’s a trip just to walk in … but add in an after-dark masquerade theme and it all becomes one hell of a party.

Great atmosphere for this private event. The walls were interesting, stimulating, and a bit exotic in places - the angled mirrors kept catching my eye,” Christine M commented.

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Equallly great as the amazing atmosphere was the amazing food.  “Wings with Cajun bourbon sauce, smoked BBQ meatballs, truffled tuna tartar on wonton crisps with wasabi caviar, mini pork shanks with fresh herbs and mushroom demi glacé! Great stuff,” John B said between bites.

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Setting the mood for the evening was DJ Jake the Ripper, sponsored by Red Bull who also provided cans (and wings!) to keep the guests going into the night. Additionally, samples of Cruzan Rum cocktails made their way through the party, allowing guests to sample all different types of flavors.

 

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The night's highlight was a photo booth set up by Digital Hype Group on FB’s legendary giant yellow couch! Alcohol, masks and massive furniture makes for a winning (and photogenic) combination every time. Check out all the pics here.

Ending the event was a costume contest for sweet prizes as well as a few surprises to come...

“We were all handed a playing card as we walked in the door, for what I assumed would be for a raffle. It was! And I won. Yes! Two tickets to the opening night of Cirque du Soleil!” Alycia B excitedly pointed out.

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I loved it all: the special drink shots, hot wings, great sounds by the DJ (my kind of beat), yelp swag and masks if you needed one, contests to win prizes , Red Bull, and the photo booth,” Ann L declared. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

But don’t just take our word on the night’s awesomeness, you can read all the reviews right here. You can also check out the other awesome pics by the amazing Christian Todd on the Official Yelp Flickr page.  

Party on, my friends.

AlexCindy

Alex S, Yelp Cincy Community Manager

February 26, 2012

Melbourne Elite Event: Yelp Hits The Road!

Posted by Tresna

What better way to celebrate the last moments of summer than with an Elite Event at a vineyard?

25 yelpers met in the quiet back streets of South Melbourne on Saturday morning, ready to board the bus to an extravagant afternoon created by Brandy Creek Wines and Vine Cafe. The journey there was a great opportunity for yelpers to chat, play eye-spy and rummage through their goodie bags. (Inside: sunscreen samples from Eshu, Yelp sunglasses and a bottle of water to pre-hydrate. All fitting items given that it was 38-degree day!) A few lucky yelpers also scored tickets in their bags for The Harvest Picnic, so needless to say, everyone was very excited even before arriving at the destination.

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What followed may go down in history as one of the greatest Yelp feasts of all time. Rick, the owner of Brandy Creek Wines, greeted yelpers and then indulged them for the next few hours. A wine tasting kicked things off before antipasto hit the tables. The tortilla, beef croquettes and assorted dips and pickles were delicious and some yelpers made the rookie mistake of filling up on the delicious bread before the main attraction - the paella - was ready.

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This wasn't just any paella, but six (SIX!) gigantic pans that were lovingly prepared and cooked in front of the crowds that were forming. The chefs were incredible, working over the hot pans to prepare the delicious feast.  Each pan had epic proportions of ingredients - one 15kg of pork and another 130 quail eggs on top.

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After about 45 minutes and a glass or two of wine, the paella was ready. A steady stream of yelpers filled their plates with an assortment of rice, vegetables and meats. Some even went back for a second round. There was serious debate about which was the best, but in the end the Pork Belly with Baked Apples and the Chicken and Chorizo Cazuella (with the unusual feature of the saffron rice being put on top of the other ingredients) were voted as yelper favourites.

Just when they thought their stomachs couldn't hold anymore, dessert was served and miraculously everyone found the space to fit in Dulce de Leche Ice cream, Vanilla and Saffron Panna Cotta and Churros.

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After lunch, yelpers stocked up on their favourtie wines and Rick spoiled everyone further by giving out free goodie bags filled with wine. His generosity and wonderful nature were what yelpers spoke about the most as they boarded the bus, bellies heavy with rice and wine. 

Thank you to Brandy Creek Wines for a wonderful day out and to all the yelpers who helped make this an event to remember.

- Read the REVIEWS

- Check out the PHOTOS from Michael Carew and Busra Copurogla

- TALK all about it

Melbourne Says Hey Joe

Posted by Tresna

Well weren't Melbourne Elites, yelpers and guests a lucky bunch last night? Over 100 guests indulged in a night of yelpy fun on the sunny side of the river in St Kilda. Joe's (formerly known as Greasy Joe's) also had reason to celebrate as they showed-off their in-progress renovation, new menu and spectacular bar. Sure you can still get a great burger there, but now you can pair it with a classy cocktail and nibble on a wide range of share plates beforehand!

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Yelpers were treated to a glass of bubbles from Shelmerdine upon arrival, and this was just the warm-up easing them in to an evening that included three incredible cocktails, samples from Joe's new menu and funky tunes from DJ RJ.

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Dishes included beer-battered fish and triple cooked chips in handmade paper cones and gigantic on-the-bone snapper served alongside fresh salad - mixed to order right in front of drooling yelpers. Both were delicious and went very well with the Mojito Bodequita - a mix of house made spiced rum, mint, candied peel and lime juice.

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But the winning dish of the night according to yelpers was the Berkshire Pork Roll – slow cooked pork served with housemade BBQ sauce and chutney inside a delicious brioche-style roll. The chefs stood at the ready, explaining the cooking method and provenance of the pork for the die-hard foodies amongst us.

Joe's staff absoultely delighted yelpers with their service, from the boys behind the bar whipping up individual cocktails with style to the staff on the floor serving decadent brownies with a smile.

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Thank you to the Elites, yelpers and guests who came out for Yelp's very first Elite event in Melbourne. And a big thank you to the rad crew at Joe's who made the evening lots of fun, Shelmerdine who got the night off to a great start and DJ RJ who kept things going well after the official 8pm finishing time.

Want more?

  • Read the REVIEWS 
  • Check out the PHOTOS 
  • TALK all about it 
  • (You can even read, see and watch more about it here!)

See you at the next one and SYOY until then! 

Tresna L

Tucson Elites Know La Vita è Buona a Zona 78!

Posted by Corey Dane

Tucson Elites know life is good and now they know how to say it in Italian... Zona 78! James, Tavel, Matt, Rick and the team at Zona 78 played tour guide, taking a yelpy crew yearnin' for learnin' on a wine tour and tasting of some of Italy's most popular culinary regions.

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There's nothing like some bubbles to say, "partaaaaaaaay"  so glasses of Valdo, Pressecco made their way around while Matt talked about our first foray into Italian eating, the region of Veneto, where he served up a prosciutto and brie flat-bread and apple chutney that went over so well, he darted to the pizza oven and busted out some more! Over in Piedmont folks feasted on handmade vegetable ash agnolotti with caprino filling and sipped Paitin, Barbera. Although not a mainstay, enough people proposed that this dish get on the menu stat, maybe the boys will feature this incredibly divine pasta more than once a week! It was easily a favorite, and the fact that folks had the opportunity to see it dropped in the water and come out all warm and melty good... this is what good eats are made of. 

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Over in Tuscany it was a grilled flank steak with roasted potatoes and rosemary oil that got people pleased, along with glasses of Remole, Sangiovese. And Abruzzo didn't dissapoint, the salsiccia pizza with house-made ricotta, spinach, sausage and cherry tomatoes was tops, and will beat Brooklyn's any day! Glass four on our walking feast was Montepulciano, D'Abruzzo, a rad red that had most folks foraging for more. Tasting shmasting! Eats in Emilia Romagna consisted of a rigatoni bolognese with house-made ricotta, mozzarella and traditional ragu. Can you say cheeeeeeese! The Tenuta Red Blend helped wash down the rich dish with a zippy sauce and served as an incredible conclusion to our Italian tour. In addition to an amazing array of food and wine, folks learned a bit of background about these signature dishes. Some Elites even cooked up crave-worthy costumes to to fit the very foodie feel with handmade aprons, hats and chef whites!

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Before folks left we announced the most exciting thing to hit the Tucson culinary scene since Yelp... YELP COOKS! This month we're working with the team at Zona 78 to propose divine dishes to add to their menu. To read more and propose your own menu addition, check out the event listing here

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Thanks to the entire Zona 78 team for letting our excited Elites take over the bar and patio, giving them the opportunity to experience so many complex flavors and regions under one roof. The food kept roaming, wine kept flowing and lucky Jennifer D was on hand to capture the trip for everyone with perfect pics.

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Read the reviews here, see JD's photos here, read more about Zona 78 here and here, and participate in Yelp Cooks

Corey D

Us

Tucson Community Manager &

Ready for another Italian getaway! 

February 25, 2012

Break Out Your Lederhosen, Yelp Pittsburgh's Going to Germany @ Penn Brewery!

Posted by Rachel Carlson

No need to shell out the mola for a trip to Germany because we brought one heck of a shindig to the Burgh for Yelp's Fo Schnitzel My Nitzel Elite Event at Penn Brewery. The brewery has roots in the city since the 1800's and Elites were treated to a behind the scenes brewery tour, scrumptious German fare and, of course, delicious craft beers!

As Linda W recalls "Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, HOI HOI HO! The strains of that drinking song are still echoing through happy memories of Saturday night's Yelp Elite Event. Penn Brewery sure knows how to throw a Yelp Elite Party!" Those lyrics were sung courtesy of a lively duo who kept the German tunes going all night long! But so did our fellow Elite's and guests...

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Lets not forget about the copeous amounts of food offered up, which Teresa T dove into. "I'm glad I came hungry cause I certainly didn't leave that way. I enjoyed all of the food, but the mac n cheese with bacon and meatballs were my favorite." Other incredible German favorites were served up including Kaese spaetzle, pierogies, three types of wurst with grain mustard and sauerkraut, beer cheese with crackers, made-to-order potato pancakes and brownies made with Penn Chocolate Meltdown Stout. Yum-O!

Mel U also found time to "stuff my pie hole. It provided a great base to enjoy a couple of Penn Brew's fantastic German beers!" There were four beers on tap: Penn Pilsner, Penn Gold, Penn Dark, and fan favorite, Penn Chocolate Meltdown Stout, made from Betsy Ann Chocolates located right here in the Burgh! But the brew offerings didn't stop there... They also had an assortment of bottles to sample including Penn Marzen, Penn Kaiser Pils, Penn Rye IPA and Allegheny Pale Ale. This brewery sure knows how to be the host with the most... brews!

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Yelpers were also treated to an exclusive tour of the brewery with co-owner Linda Nyman. "She was extremely knowledgable and gave some great history about the brewery" Jarrett H recounts. "Did you know that Penn Brewery was Pittsburgh Brewing company before Prohibition and that was actually the culmination of over 10 area breweries?" While some were touring the brewery others were getting the inside scoop on the best way to pair Penn Brews with some of the delectable fare provided.

The culmination was a contest were guests were blindfolded and had to guess the Penn Brew. Two lucky winners walked away with a $25 gift card to Penn Brewrey, a growler to fill up with a beer of their choice and a swanky new Yelp T-shirt! The evening can best be summed up by Elite Nick C: "The event definitely gave me new appreciation for Penn Brewery and their ties with the history of Pittsburgh. I left with a belly full of pilsner hugging schnitzel and a head full of Penn Brewery history via the tour." Oi! Oi! Oi!

A big thank you to Penn Brewery Co-Owners Linda Nyman and Tom Pastorius, Restaurant Manager Rhiannon Holmes and the amazing staff at Penn Brewery for treating Yelpers just like family! Also, thanks to Ray Miles Photography for the fab photo's that you can check out here.

If you want to catch more of the event buzz, hop over to the event listing to read all about the excitement from your fellow yelpers.

Schnitzel Out Yo!

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Rachel C

Pittsburgh Community Manager

Yelp Vancouver's Night At The Museum!

Posted by Robin

In what’s sure to go down in history as the event of 2012, Vancouver Yelpers imbibed in Yelp’s Night At The Museum on Wednesday, February 22. This cultural curation was a true local's collection that celebrated all that is Vancouver – and, really, what a better way than in TOMS shoes with ten local restaurants, two food trucks, two wineries, two breweries, two DJs, one Thai massage station, one burlesque dancer, one East Van and a whole lot of Whistler Water?

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As the doors to the Museum of Vancouver opened at 7pm, over 500 Yelpers entered one of city’s most iconic spaces and “were blown away by all of the food and drink options.” After checking their coats at FrogBox, guests discovered plenty o’ swiggin' libations on exhibit to unlock their inner artist. Vincci L exclaims, “On the Rocks ice spheres in a Havana rum punch, courtesy of Clough Club? I'm in! Maker's Mark & rhubarb Dry Sodas were such a great combination!” Yelpers sipped on Shot in the Dark and Barefoot wines and quaffed a couple frosty ones from local favourites, Whistler Beer and R & B Brewing. If all of that weren’t enough, the Whistler Water guys “were some pretty cute tall glasses of water themselves.” Keep it together, Yelpers.

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If all of that drinking has you seeing in high-def neon, don't worry – some of Vancity’s best restaurants showed off with a seriously fine selection of edibles. The soft tacos from La Taqueria had David L’s “mouth dancing and taste buds happy;” while Zero One offered up “a perfectly sweet, crunchy, savory, filling sushi salad;” Hapa Izakaya enticed guests with negitoro crostinis; Notturno was “a special treat in the back room,” offering Black Truffle and Goat Cheese canapés; while the scotch and deviled eggs from Bitter had folks going back until they were “all egged out.” Atithi’s “chana dal lentil cakes kept celiacs, vegetarians, vegans, and even meat eaters happy,” while “the sounded-like-it-was-free-of-everything-must-be-made-by-wizards banana bread” from Quejo’s was a clear winner. Emma L claims, “I ate my weight in French Made Baking macarons. And the guys from Scoop made me more than one caramel apple with chocolate chips.” And finally, mobile Vancouver was well repped by two of the city’s finest food trucks: Roaming Dragon’s Tuna Sliders were such a hit that they’ve added them to their regular menu, and The Juice Truck’s “avocado pineapple smoothie was a perfect drink to end the night.” Success! 

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But this wasn’t all about food and drink. DJs Dustin Bromley and Neil Hillbrandt rocked the museum, while The East Van brought more than just t-shirts and condoms to the party – “give these kind, funny dudes a call if you're moving.” Steph M discovered local artists creating custom-designed TOMS “where a $40 donation got you a pair of shoes PLUS donated a pair to a child in need!” And the traditional “Thai massages from Smile was much needed. Talk about the most relaxing night ever!” But “who can forget the sex-ilicious burlesque show” from Little Miss Risk? Not us! And “who gets a sneak peak private tour of the upcoming Art Deco exhibit? Yelpers do! The venue was amazing. The Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver exhibit really added to the ambiance!” And “Pixelbooth were ever-patient with the goofy antics of hyperactive people drooling over a table of props and looking for a chance to ham it up.” Phew!

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A new Yelper said it best, “I had an AMAZING time. I felt special, got things for free, laughed up a storm, and even flirted with real life actual boys. Best. First Impression. Ever. Yelp (Robin)… you dun good, real good.” We couldn’t have done it without Amanda and the fabulous staff at the MOV; Lon Hamada and Concord keeping us secure; Londsdale Event Rentals for the ultra high quality linens and ice bins; Crystal H, Misti Y, Peter S, Brent F, and Maghan C, our crazy hard working crew; “the absolutely adorable photographer for the evening,” Tyler McGowan; and of course the Vancouver Yelp community – the absolute best group of people a Community Manager could ever hope for.

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Read the glowing reviews here (and add your review of the event, too!) and check out the photos as they roll in here!

Until next time, I’ll SYOY! (busting 'Humpty Dance' on the mic nowhere near as well as Aaron S does)

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/ robin m
Yelp Vancouver "I'm with the DJ" Community Manager

 

Charlotte Elites Jam Out at FABO!

Posted by Nicole W

It's Friday night in Charlotte and while some are out getting their club on, the Yelp Elites were snacking and sipping away while pajama-clad...at FABO! What a comfortable way to kick off the weekend! With walls filled with fantastic local art and an entire part of the shop dedicated to hard-to-find brews and wine, The Glass House, FABO provided a backdrop for tons of fun to be had.

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For the snacking types, guests noshed on an array of salads and delicious wraps from newbie Crunch Salads. Overheard: "That cilantro ranch dressing is so good, I would drink it straight out of the bowl." Beyond the healthy eats, FABO provided cheese plates filled with the likes of drunken goat, shards of habanero cheddar, and hunks of blue cheese. To finish it off, Secret Chocolatier was on hand to delight palates with Violet Drinking Chocolate. How sweet!

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When it comes to sipping, this Elite event was certainly not short of libation stations. Brews flowed freely from Victory Brewing, Lost Coast Brewery, and 21st Amendment. For the vinophiles, thanks to Mutual Distributing and The Glass House, folks indulged in in a variety of vino including Biltmore Wines, Gotham Cabernet Sauvignon, Villa San Juliette Petite Sirah, and Conundrum!

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But the fun didn't stop there. When you didn't hear the crash of Jenga or Apples to Apples outbursts, The Brow Bar fixed up any misbehaving bedhead brows! Even the guys were looking groomed. And with all the sweet pj's floating about, the top six were more than happy to celebrate their prize for best dressed...a free ride on The Party Pedaler next weekend! This is a whole new kind of Queen City tour! Congrats to David A, Danielle G, Kat C, Faith D, Chad E and Citron A.

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Thanks to Tonya P of Poprock Photography all this action was captured behind the lense and can be seen on our Flickr page! Don't forget to weigh in on your favorite part of the evening and check out the review page to Yelp it! Jam on, yelpers.

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-Nicole W.

Yelp Charlotte Community Manager & Onesie Wearer

February 24, 2012

Yelp's Funny Valentines at Skinny's Ballroom

Posted by kelly stocker

Valentine's Schmalentines. You love it, you hate it and/or it sends you into a spiral of depression, vodka and Celine Dion. So this year, we decided to skip the mushy stuff and go straight to the endorphin rush of some of Austin's most hilarious comedians. 

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Before Brian Gaar & Chris Cubas made our abs hurt from laughing, we featured the top five funniest Yelp austin reviews. Elites Keri B, Dej M, Errol M, Alex B and Jenny L all got up to read their winning writing on Skinny's Stage. Budding comedians? Methinks so! Read all of the nominated reviews here. 

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Thanks to Deep Eddy Sweet TeaTecate and Fireball Whisky for adding the social lube. "That sweet tea stuff is like elixir from the gods!" swoons Shannon B. The inimitable Fireball Whiskey (free with check in!) taught Ali B that not every whiskey "will make her cough incessantly (mmm, cinnamon.)"

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A big ol' sombrero tip to the inimitable Coreanos for providing us with gorgeous fusion tacos (how about that Australian beef?!). They were among the top 10 food purveyors in 2011 on Yelp in Austin and they certainly proved it! Says Alicia K: "Tecate beer to wash down the most delicious Korean tacos. Thanks Coreanos, I like your meat between my fingers anytime." Yelpers also brought homemade cookies to show off their baking skillz. People who can write AND bake?

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We rounded out the evening with a giveaway of VIVA Once Upon a Time Event tickets and spots in the new Austin Eats Food Tour bike tour. Take a mo to read all the great reviews and eyeball the pics. Until the next one y'all, SYOY!
Kelly S

It's Hard To Beat A Meat & Greet For Sacramento Elite!

Posted by Alex L

Meat never tastes better than when it's grilled over an open flame just the way you like it. That's the philosophy that made the family-owned Oz Korean BBQ the success it is today. On Wednesday, elites from far and wide came down to this bastion off Bradshaw for a night filled with ridiculous amounts of tasty food, a plethora of free drinks and, yes, Korean costumes! Picnik collageThe evening started innocently enough. Elites and their guests gathered in line outside the restaurant with only the smell of grilling goodies and the bump of dance tunes to titillate their senses. In no time, they entered to find three spacious room collectively filled with 34 table top grills, and another 12 table top grills outdoor under heat lamps in their enclosed dining patio.
Picnik collage5Oz had all their wonderful staff on hand to make sure yelpers got the full experience. Courteous costumed beauties greeted guests at the door while wait staff brought out tray after tray of authentic eats like Kimchi, Pot Stickers, Shredded Beef, Glass Noodles and Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings, as well as a cornucopia of marinated meats. Drinks kept flowing in the form of multiple beers, wine, and various Vodka concoctions enhanced by delicious Zu Vodka.
Picnik collage2Guests were provided with raffle tickets and five lucky winners got a chance to spin the restaurant's wheel for prizes including free food and drinks. Better yet, every guest received a $10 off coupon to be used on any return visit! Four stellar yelpers received Yelp "Star" awards for their contributions both on and offline, and for being useful, funny AND cool! After our bellies were full and we had a drink in each hand, the dance floor got started to the beats of DJ Micro. Believe us, this man knows how to spin. He pumped out booty-shaking Top 40 all night long to assist in easing the digestive process.
Picnik collage4Of course, you can also check out the the phenomenal (as always) pictures from Melissa Uroff Photography, or the 5-star reviews for more tasty details. Here's one from Christy M: "This was by far my favorite Elite event yet!! Oz was amazing, so friendly and accommodating!  The food was glorious, rivaled only by the awesomeness of the dining companions!  It was so fun to see familiar faces, old friends, and meet new great people! Delicious meats and great company put this event over the top. Thanks to the owners and staff at Oz for an amazing night!!  We will be back to visit very soon!!"

As they say in Korea, 작별 인사
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Alex L
Yelp Sacramento Community Manager

The Capital of Yelp Elite Party at The Capital Grille in Minneapolis!

Posted by Annie D

Not only was Monday a great day to celebrate our founding fathers, but it was also a great day to be an Elite in the Twin Cities! Why? The Capital Grille invited the Minneapolis-St. Paul Elite Squad for an unforgettable event.

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Yelpers noshed on bites from The Capital Grille's new Plates lunch menu—as well as a few tasty surprises. The spread included tenderloin sliders, lobster rolls, lamb lollipops, truffle fries, roasted red pepper bisque and spicy calamari. Amanda W says, "Those sliders? The absolute tops. I had to limit myself to one, but I couldn't believe all the flavor that was packed in the mushroom sauce. I want them all day, e'ry day."

As if that weren't enough, the chef offered up an incredible chilled seafood bar of lobster, crab claws, shrimp and oysters... ON A YELP ICE SCULPTURE! Oh, did we mention they brought out trays of fresh-baked cookies at the end? Well, they did and they were amazing.

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The Capital Grille's sommelier and beverage manager were both on hand to educate guests about the Spanish red and white wines being served, as well as the Stoli Doli signature cocktail (made with infused pineapple vodka) and the fizzy housemade grapefruit soda. Megan W learned that "there are four different levels of sommelier-ship you can achieve and The Capital Grille employs one of only 170 Master Sommeliers in the world." In the world.

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Executive Chef Jeff Ansorge also treated the yelpers to a meat and grilling workshop, where he shared tips on choosing cuts at the grocery store or butcher shop and his expertise on cooking the perfect steak. Mariel L says, "I felt like we were watching an episode of Good Eats live; I'm glad to know the difference between a Delmonico and a ribeye without having to go to Wikipedia."

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From the free valet to the parting gift bags full of porcini spice rub and lunch gift certificates for two, The Capital Grille pulled out all the stops and we can't thank them enough for their generosity. The service put the icing on the cake for Ryan P: "Each employee was like an ambassador for the restaurant and did everything possible to make the evening amazing."

George Washington couldn't tell a lie, and neither can the Yelp Elites, so if you wanna read more, check out their five-star reviews of the event and learn more about the Elite Squad. The photos by the talented Emmerlee Photography are all up on Flickr now too!

Until next time,
Annie D.

Twin Cities Yelp Community Manager 

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Soirée Yelp Elite à Lyon : Bar à Gourmandises @ Nail Design Up

Posted by Camille L

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21 février 2012, il est déjà l'heure de fêter la deuxième soirée Yelp de 2012 à Lyon. Cette fois-ci, il fait beau, plus aussi froid, et les Yelpeurs arrivent en masse et bien à l'heure chez Nail Design Up, nail bar d'un genre nouveau à Lyon. Certains connaissent, d'autres découvrent avec émerveillement la centaine de couleurs de vernis à ongles différents... et que la fête commence : le thème du soir, "Bar à Gourmandises" ! Un bar à ongles pour se faire de jolies mains, un bar à bonbons pour une touche sucrée, un bar à cocktails pour une savoureuse boisson alcoolisée ou non !

Il est à peine 19h30 et les premières Yelpeuses sont déjà assises au bar ou en train de choisir leur couleur de vernis. S'en suivront ensuite deux heures de comparaison d'ongles, de poses et de couleurs, dans une ambiance légère et détendue, comme d'habitude. Elsa E est définitivement convaincue par ses nouvelles mains : "Voilà bientôt 24h... et je ne cesse d'admirer mes petits doigts danser sur le clavier de mon ordinateur ! Et oui, même au travail, entre deux emails envoyés, je repense à cette super soirée Yelp entre cocktails à se damner, gourmandises 100% girly et très nature, sans oublier les spécialistes de la manucure qui ont eu la patience de toutes nous peinturlurer les ongles !"

Quant à Fanny U, elle confirme : "Moi qui était une étrangère au monde de la manucure jusqu'à hier soir, je sens que je vais devenir addict ! La gentillesse de Caroline, de son associé Fabien et de son équipe m'ont vraiment donné envie de revenir mes faire papouiller les ongles !"

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En bout de salle, Anaïs, la barmaid du Fantôme de l'Opéra s'affaire et prépare à la chaîne cocktails avec ou sans alcool. Star de la soirée, le cocktail à la vodka "black" et aux fruits rouges, intitulé... "Mademoiselle Camille" (non, non, votre CM refuse toute responsabilité dans ce choix de nom !) remporte un franc succès.

Ainsi les quelques invités masculins présents ne sont pas en reste dans cette ambiance féminine et ont trouvé de quoi s'occuper, au bar ou auprès des bonbons ! Mathieu F confirme, lui qui réalise sa première soirée dans cette ambiance si "girly" : "Je me suis frayé un chemin au milieu de cette foule féminine et j'ai finalement pu atteindre le saint graal rempli d'un nectar à base de Vodka Russe, de Vodka Noire agrémentées de jus fruits de framboise et de fraise (si mes souvenirs sont bons). Rafraîchissant et suffisamment alcoolisé pour me détendre et me permettre de sonder l'ambiance et peut être engager la conversation avec des êtres humains !"

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Une guimauve, une fraisette, une poignée de froufrous ou une patience, miam, les bonbons colorés de Violette et Berlingot ont vite trouvé preneurs et si on s'écoutait, on les dévorerait par poignées ! Heureusement que les Yelpeurs sont bien élevés, et pas encore trop affamés ! Comme quoi vernis ultra modernes et bonbons d'antan peuvent tout à fait s'accorder le temps d'une soirée, c'est ça l'esprit Yelp !

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Et voici comment en une soirée, les Yelpeuses ont réussi à convaincre les Yelpeurs des bienfaits de la manucure, et vice et versa ! Une soirée riche en rencontres, en fous rires et en bonne humeur, vivement la prochaine, non ?!

Si vous étiez là mardi soir et avez envie de partager votre expérience, vous pouvez laisser votre avis en cliquant ici. Pour plus de photos de l'évènement par Emilie Stora (merci !), allez faire un tour sur notre page Flickr. 

ABSY* !
Camille L
Lyon  Community Manager
* A bientôt sur Yelp

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February 21st 2012, it's already time for the second Yelp Elite Event of 2012 in Lyon. This time the weather's more beautiful and it isn't as cold. As usual, yelpers arrive on time at Nail Design Up, a fancy new nail bar in Lyon. Some yelpers already know this hotspot, others are discovering the place and already starting to try and pick a color in between the hundred or so different nail polishes. Let the party begin! The theme for the night: "Bar à Gourmandises"! A nail bar to take care of one's hands, a candy bar for a sugary note and a cocktail bar for a sweet cocktail! 

It's only 7.30pm and the first yelpers are already sitting at the bar and choosing the future color for their nails. During the next two hours, they will chitchat and compare their nails and their color, in a fun and light atmosphere, as usual! Elsa E is already in love with her new hands: "It's been almost 24 hours... and I can't stop admiring my little fingers as they dance on my keyboard! Yes, even at work, in between 2 emails, I think about this great Yelp Elite Event with its great cocktails, 100% girly sweets and of course its mani-pedi specialists and how patient they were with all of our yelpy hands!"

Fanny U confirms the feeling: "I was a total stranger to the world of manicure until yesterday night and now I feel I may become addicted to it! Caroline was so nice, as well as her partner Fabien and their team, and they really made me spend more time taking care of my hands!"

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At the bar, Anaïs, the barmaid from Fantôme de l'Opéra is busy preparing tons of virgin or alcohol drinks for the party. Star of the night, a black vodka and red fruits cocktail called... "Mademoiselle Camille" (no, your CM doesn't bear any responsibility at all in that choice of a name!), a real success.

Thanks to the sweets bar and sweet cocktails, the few male guests are not bored despite all of this manicure and girliness! Mathieu F, whose first Elite Event it is, confirms: "I had to go through a crowd of girls and eventually found the Holly Grail, a Russian Vodka, Black Vodka and cranberries and strawberry juice. Fresh and with just enough alcohol to make me relax a but and dare talk to all of these new faces!"

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Guimauve, fraisette, froufrous or patience, these vintage sweets' names may not ring a bell to you, but they did to the Lyon yelpers and were highly appreciated, thanks to the two lovely guests from Violette et Berlingot! If there was any need to prove it, yelpers made sure that modern nail polishes and vintage sweets definitely were a perfect fit, that's the Yelpy spirit!

To give Monique V the parting words: "Thank you for this wonderful event! Probably my favorite yet... Some of my favorite yelpers, sweets and fruit juices (yes, we could indeed take cocktails without vodka!), some real quality time with the other girls and of course a few sweet boys too! Thank youuu!"

Read what party-goers have to say about this event by reading the reviews here. For more fabulous images of the evening by Emilie Stora (thank you!), don't miss our Flickr page.

SYOY*,
Camille L
Lyon Community Manager

* See you on Yelp !

Soirée Elite Yelp recharge les batteries chez WATT !

Posted by Julie M

Il ne fallait pas moins qu'un merveilleux magasin de luminaires pour redonner de l'énergie à la quarantaine de Yelpeurs Marseillais présents. Ben oui, qu'est-ce qu'un Marseillais sans soleil, sans lumière ? Et là attention ce n'était pas qu'une histoire de puissance électrique, l'énergie était partout dans cette soirée du 21 février 2012. "Super soirée électrique... Bref, j'ai été à une soirée Élite Yelp" nous raconte Barbara E !

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Xavier S, Yelpeur et photographe de la soirée a apprécié : "le lieu est magnifique et j'avais envie de prendre toutes les lampes. Finalement je suis reparti sans rien... mais avec une excellente idée de cadeau.... pour moi." Ils ne perdent pas le nord ces Yelpeurs ! Il faut dire que Pierrick, Charlot, Jean-Pierre et Bob, les 4 fantastiques de WATT, ont du talent. Ce sont des facteurs de lumières qui bricolent, assemblent, sculptent, forment et donnent vie à des objets, à du papier, à du bois, du métal pour en faire des lampes uniques. C'est dans ce décor sublimé par la nuit que les Yelpeurs sont venus boire un petit coup car c'est bien agréable !

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"Comme à l'habitude un apéro qui sort de l'ordinaire avec des choses que je ne m'explique pas, mais bonnes et très colorées." Il a fallu du temps à François M et aux autres Yelpeurs pour découvrir ce qui se cachait derrière ces petites boules colorées tout droit venue de l'Univers Alimentaire… "mais non ce n'était pas des petites cervelles grillées dans ce bol !" assure Christine F, c'était en fait des pois chiches !! L'énergie on en trouvait également dans les bananes séchées, et les noix du Brésil proposées par cette épicerie au sens premier du terme, la vraie caverne d'Ali (du nom de son propriétaire).

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Venus en voisin Céline et Régis de AD Café (aka Archi Déco Café) ont préparé de délicieux carrot cake "J'ai vraiment adoré le succulent cake à la cannelle, alors qu'il y avait des carottes dedans ! Yelp aura encore réussi à me faire manger des légumes. Merci donc à Archi Déco Café qui nous a régalé ". C'est Aurélia D qui décidément aime faire des découvertes avec Yelp ! Les cakes étaient encore tièdes à leur arrivée, l'odeur a embaumé l'espace… Mais avec ça qu'est-ce qu'on boit ? Un "grand saladier de jus d'oranges pressées. On a pu admirer le courage de Julie M et Séverine M pour avoir pressé tout ca" grâce aux bons fruits de la Clé des Champs (et aux presse agrume de Boudiou) !

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Et puis surtout ce qu'il fallait noter, et ce n'est pas une plaisanterie, ce sont les gobelets en plastiques… Des gobelets en plastiques ?? Oui mais pas n'importe lesquels ! Les gobelets de la Boutique Ecologique qui sont en amidon de maïs en donc 100% compostables et biodégradables, et ça les Yelpeurs ont adoré !

Tous les avis sont et les photos c'est ici

Rendez-vous très bientôt pour de nouvelles aventures…

ABSY !

Julie M

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"Oh yeaah !! What a party at Watt's !!" That's Alexandra T's voice right after the Yelp Elite Party that took place this 21st of february in this light studio shop ! About 40 yelpers were here to recharge their batteries at WATT

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WATT is a recently opened shop created by Pierrick, Charlot, Jean-Pierre and Bob (the fantastic 4). They all are artists with different artistic sensitivity. Xavier S thinks that "this place is magic ! I wanted to buy it all ! But instead I have now an idea for a great gift… for me". The night outside created a delightful atmosphere.

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Marseille is a pretty shiny city but this month has been so cold and grey that everyone needed to find a new energy. Done thanks to AD Café that made awesome carrot cakes Aurelia D loved it "once again Yelp made me eat vegetables! Amazing!". Not only vegetables thanks to La Clé des Champs which provided some delicious oranges "that Julie M and Severine M had the heart to squeeze… very good orange juice" !

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And what else than plastic glasses to drink? Corn glasses, 100% biodegradable, exactly like plastic but good in compost! And this very cool idea comes from La Boutique Ecologique! And what is it? "No it's not a mini-monkey brain!" reassure Christine F. L'Univers Alimentaire made the Yelpeurs speechless in front of these little colored balls which were sweet chickpeas…Only one Yelper found it at the first taste : Bravo Corine B! "There are always eccentric but very good and tasty new things to discover at the Yelp Elite Event" says François M who had also dried bananas and macadamia nuts.

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To read the reviews click here and for the pictures there !

SYSOY !

Julie M

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February 23, 2012

Yelp's Elite Meat & Greet @ Kenny & Zuke's Deli!

Posted by Don Bourassa

"Holy Hangover! Everyone knows that Yeeps, booze and fantastic food is the trifecta of perfecta." Preach it Tamara C! Truth be told, over 100 of Portland's Elite cavorted at Yelp's Elite Meat & Greet on 2/22/12 at the world famous Kenny & Zuke's Deli in SW Portland. It was two hours of old-school hobnobbery the likes of which 2012 has rarely seen. 

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Always prompt, P-town's finest gathered at 7pm on the nose outside of Kenny & Zukes. The Prince of Pastrami himself, Ken Gordon, was on hand to welcome the masses inside for a buffet of delish knishes (or as Jen T calls them: "wonderknish"), perfect pastrami sandwiches (which, according to Deanna N "tops any NYC deli"), bangin' bagel dogs, schmeared-up bagels and some chopped liver. Talk about down-home comfort food, Jessica K's "four favorite food groups of meat, bread, potatoes and beer were well represented." But the never-ending supply of savories was not the end of things, after bellies were full, dessert was served. House-baked cookies, lemon bars and brownie bites! Yes, there's always room for dessert. 

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Beer? Oh yeah! Yelpers enjoyed a selection of local brews including NInkasi Otis Oatmeal Stout, Widmer's W'12 Saison and Drifter Pale. For fiends of the fruit of the vine, some fine Cava was on pour. Chris L summed it up succinctly: "Amazing food, excellent beer and bubbles and of course the Elites. Ah, the Elites. So great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, even if you guys did keep your clothes on. And Like an old-school Yelp Elite Event, this here fiesta was all about enjoying local food and drink, but most of all, getting to know each other. It truly was the meatiest of meet & greets!

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Huge thanks to Ken Gordon and the fine folks at Kenny & Zuke's for pushing out plate after plate of deliciousness; HIlary B for taking photos (and being awesome), Matt W (my surrogate-Matt) for working the door; and of course the Portland Yelp Elite Squad, without whom none of this would be possible. I hope you met some new folks last night or at very least, became reacquainted with K&Z's incredible food! 

But you don't have to take my word for it. Check the reviews and photos. Some of them are posted on our Facebook page too! 

Until next time, SYOY!

Don "Call Your Mother" B. 

SM

Honolulu Yelpers Hit The Road For Yelp's Polynesian Field Trip

Posted by Emi H

Dressed in their tackiest aloha wear, 175+ Yelp Elites (& their +1s) played tourist during Yelp's Polynesian Field Trip at the Polynesian Cultural Center! Guests started off their journey in the lap of luxury via VIP Tour buses which came complete with a local narrator who gave insights on interesting historical facts and landmarks.  

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Famished from their bus ride, yelpers were escorted in the newly renovated Gateway Restaurant. They were treated to the Island Buffet which featured multiple stations of authentic dishes from throughout the Pacific such as Fijian chicken curry and koko alaisa, along with a variety of kamaaina favorites. Winning dish of the night? Faye M shares, "mini gummy bears and M&Ms at the salad bar! Everybody was tripping out, I've never seen any type of candy at the salad bar! 

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Yeeps got to know one another over all-you-can-eat plates piled high with food from all around the world. Leimalani F questions: "Was it just me or was this the longest buffet line on the planet? Seriously, this was 50 feet of food at least!" 

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Stuffed to the brim, guests were awoken by the HA: Breathe of Life show which has entertained more than a million guests and Lynvi S states was "beautiful, mesmerizing, entertaining, and executed very tastefully.  There wasn't a dull moment in the show and" she "was especially impressed with the fire show towards the end. It was insane!" To cool off from the heat of the show Jody S imbibed on the "free pineapple delight dessert during the intermission. Those portion sizes looked like they were meant for a large Polynesian man, not a small Japanese girl!" Word!

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Read the stellar 5-star reviews, check out the sweeeet pics courtesy of cameras from Hawaii Photo Rental & give your the heartfelt praise on Talk!

Aloha & SYOY!

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Emi H & Thomas O

Senior Community Manager & Awesome Yelp Intern

Yelp Honolulu

 

Yelp Denver's February Secret Supper Club at Olivéa

The second edition of Yelp Denver's Secret Supper Club saw almost 100 Denver food-lovers gather for two seatings at yelper-favorite restaurant Olivéa on Tuesday night. Attendees of the supper made new friends amid sharing a starting trio of arugula with pistachios, goat cheese, red onions, and beets; trout escabeche; and asparagus with meyer lemon vinaigrette for the first course.

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Next up, was a choice for the second course that included shrimp and calamari cioppino with yukon gold potatoes; house made cavatelli pasta: asparagus almond pesto, roasted tomatoes and pecorino; or braised berkshire pork cheeks with hazelnut picada and sweet pea puree. And the highlight of many meals was dessert of either chocolate and fleur de sel caramel tart with milk chocolate gelato and nougatine crunch or a lemon almond praline dacquoise from Pasty Chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom, who was recently named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's Oustanding Pastry Chef Award.

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If you'd like to join us for the next event keep your eyes on Yelp Events for the announcement and save the date for March 27th. In the meantime check out the reviews for the recent Supper and the rest of the photos to see what everyone enjoyed and just what kind of fun eating out with strangers can be.

Hope to see you at the communal table some time in 2012!

Tiffany N

Denver Yelp Community Director

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February 22, 2012

Fresh-Faced Elites Get Initiated @ Origen!

Posted by Nique!

The East Bay Elite Squad has been blossoming with fresh badges this year, so we got to thinking...how could we give our brand new 2012 Elites a proper yelpy welcome, and introduce them to the wonderful world of Eliteness? Their very own soiree with scrumptious small bites, local wine tastings, craft cocktails, and live music? Yeah, that sounds about right. Origencollage2

Berkeley's new farm-to-fork restaurant, Origen, was wall-to-wall Elites on Monday night, with newbies wearing red, and veteran Elites in white and gold. This color-coated scenario made for easy mingling, and by the end of the night the crowd was united as a red, white, and gold posse of new and old friends alike. "Everywhere you looked, you would meet a new person, from first timers to old farts, as well as all the +1s," reports Jeffrey S. "I met more people at this event that at the last few YEE's combined." What a pro!

Any first-timer shyness was expertly abated by the "gloriously bubbly and citrus-y sweet" Hendrick's Gin and Solerno Blood Orange cocktails, which also "helped keep the sexy in the room," confirms Savier M. The gentle sour, and sweet harshness played games with me but I never learned and went back for part deux." We don't blame you! Also enhancing the mingly mood were local Alameda wineries Carica (pouring a Sauv Blanc and Rhone Blend called The Siren) and R&B Cellars with a line-up of robust reds and a chilled white blend. "The R&B pourers were exceptional, they knew their varietals and were so kind to let me and my friend purchase a bottle on the spot," raves Stephanie M. "And Carica had this bomb-a$$ blend as well--SIREN. Man, I cannot wait to go to their spot and sip on that!" Save us a seat, girl.
Origencollage1Between sips and chatter, Elites indulged in Origen's special menu of locally-sourced bites, finalized just hours before the event, to ensure every recipe incorporated the freshest farmer's market finds. A parade of platters emerged from the kitchen, boasting crispy roasted Fulton Valley chicken & Devoto Gardens apple fritters with peppered hoisin, Happy Boy farms rapini & feta cheese pastries, and Far West mushroom & Capay Valley green garlic dumplings with caper brown butter, which Diana V dubbed "rich, creamy, and heavenly." The melt-in-your-mouth Peruvian Lantern Scallop and Churchill Orchard avocado and coconut ceviche was another win, and no one could forget the "ludicrously delicious" spicy, garlicky, langoustine paella cake with padron pepper allioli. Despite the inevitably garlic breath, Anne M says she's "definitely coming back here for date night!" and Anne N praised Origen's service as "super accommodating, very friendly, and memorable."

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The Cello Street Quartet stunned the audience with their dramatic pop covers like Poker Face, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Sweet Dreams, proving to Anne M that "Lady Gaga sounds best when played on a cello." Amy J was similarly smitten, and "hopes a music scout is reading this because they are going to blow up and we'll say, 'remember them, way back when?'" Indeed, we will.

Read all the stories of strangers turned yelpmigos, taste buds delighted, and inhibitions deliciously lost on the review page, scope the photos by Basil Glew-Galloway on our Flickr page, and tag yourselves on Facebook.

Elite Class of 2012, here's to the start of a beautiful thing...

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Nique F

East Bay Community Manager

 

 

 

Il Grosso Grasso Carnevale Yelp di Milano

Posted by Claudia R

Martedì grasso spagnolo all'insegna della seduzione, ieri sera, per la community Elite milanese, che si è data appuntamento allo storico Maison Espana, noto per le sue serate danzanti e per il magnifico buffet, per festeggiare l'ultima sfrenata notte di Carnevale! La Maison ha aperto le porte alle 20, accogliendo gli ospiti con luce soffusa, musica lounge e un aperitivo sfizioso, in cui sangria e preziosi spiedini di gamberi e lardo si sono mescolati ai brindisi e ai coriandoli, culminando nella presentazione di Pierluisa Negri, marketing manager del locale.

D80e12fc-ea2a-4ab4-8087-103497e1c80awallpaperMaschere scherzose, pin up in corsetto e ombrosi dogi si sono poi accomodati al grande buffet di Tapas, vera specialità del locale: la selezione del migliori "boccincini" ha incantato i presenti, deliziando il palato con sorprese gastronomiche accattivanti, dolci e salate cui proprio non si poteva dire di no, nemmeno al bis! Intanto, sul palcoscenico hanno fatto il loro ingresso Vanille Plaisir e Alan Debevoise, della School of Burlesque di Milano, e tutta l'atmosfera si è accesa dei colori e della malizia del burlesque, tra piume, erotismo e seduzione raffinata, secondo i dettami della mitica Mitzi Von Wolfgang.

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In sottofondo la musica di Mattia Rossi, deejay di Virgin Radio, che ha sottolineato chiacchiere, assaggi, spettacoli e consigli, fino a quando Pierluisa ha decretato i vincitori del titolo di Re e Regina del Carnevale di Yelp. Squilli di trombe e rullo di tamburi, quindi, per Juliet T e Fabio P che sono saliti sul palco per l'incoronazione, tra stelle filanti e applausi! A sopresa, 10 fortunati hanno vinto anche altrettanti buoni per una cena completamente gratuita offerta dalla Maison.

094c96f1-1ba8-4643-8c84-96b8ec42f122wallpaper Poteva finire qui la serata, senza un'ultima sorpresa da parte di Yelp? Ovviamente no, e allora via al finale di serata sognante e fiammeggiante di Emanuela Suanno, regina della notte e del fuoco, che dopo essersi esibita con lampade e ali in una sequenza mozzafiato di danze orientali ha coinvolto Arcangelo G, Fabiano R e Estefania C in una lezione di ballo super. State morendo d'invidia perchè non eravate con noi? Leggete qui i messaggi dei partecipanti o guardate le foto! Se invece eravate con noi, raccontate la vostra notte sul forum, e non perdete il prossimo evento!

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Burlesque mardi gras at Maison Espana, historical place of special Milan nights! Pierluisa, marketing manager of the place, welcomed us grandly with a full aperitivo and the night opened with sangria and snacks in the main hall, a mix of baroque and spanish art which shone with lights and masks! While we were tasting a delicious Tapas dinner, both sweet and sour, Vanille Plaisir and Alan Debevoise, stars of the Milan School of Burlesque, entertained us with feathers, corsets and seduction!

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Masks and plumes invaded the dance floor and crowned Juliet T and Fabio P Queen and King of Yelp Carnival! Ten lucy guests received a special yelpy gift for their presence, a full free dinner at the Maison, then, our last surprise: a marvellous performance of the oriental dance star Emanuela Suanno, dancing with fire! Want to know something more? Come on the talk thread,see our wonderful photos and... read the reviews!!

Claudia R

Community Manager Yelp Milano

February 21, 2012

Yelpers Only Live Once, That's the Motto

Posted by Monica

Ft. Lauderdale's Las Olas lit up last night after 100 South Florida Yelp elites sauntered into the sleek Yolo. Invited guests arrived to find a VIP lounge filled with foodie delights and a full open bar (that's right, full open bar) expertly stocked with all the finest potions.

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As Talia G can attest, "The food was delicious and proved a wonderful mix of traditional (hello, meatballs) and exotic (yum, beet salad, couscous) along with copious amounts of hors d'oeuvres (did you try the beef tartare, spicy shrimp, conch fritters and king crab mac & chese?). Everything I ate was delicious. I'm definitely going back for a nice, big dinner." Indeed, Yolo didn't spare any punches in really bowling over Yelp Elites with their generous portions and never-ending spread.

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Likewise, action behind the bar was equally as hard-hitting. The fantastic femmes shaking up cocktails impressed all the party-goers with their perfect execution of Yolo's clever cocktails and full open bar. The Cucumber Cooler was a particular favorite of yours truly. Catch all the fab reviews here and scope out the rest of the photos (thanks to Photobokeh) on Flickr!

Before long,

Monica S

A Golden Elite Affair at The Capital Grille

While the rest of America was busy celebrating our great US Presidents of yore, the LA Yelp Community tipped their top hats to the most OG of yelpers, our mighty fine Gold Badgers! These devoted handful of stellar Elites have been contributing content, mentoring newbs, and raising the bar for 5+ plus consecutive years and it was fine time they had their moment of glory, and The Capital Grille definitely showed them the VIP treatment.

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Guests grubbed on well-executed tray passed apps of tenderloin sliders, lobster rolls, truffle parmesean fries, tomato bisque, and freshly-sliced steak strips. And the star of the afternoon was the Yelp ice sculpture housing sizable shrimps with cocktail sauce! The staff did a phenomenal job of making sure no one went home hungry. They also featured two signature cocktails, The Bohemian (aka, "summer in a glass"), a refreshing champagne cocktail, and Stoli Doli, Dole pineapple-infused vodka, in addition to two top tier beers, Chimay and Delirium.

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The Capital Grille went the extra mile by offering complimentary valet, taking guests on a tour of the restaurant and wine locker, showcasing Exceutive Chef Ben's talents with a live "Meat 101" demonstration, and providing all guests with the utlimate gift bag that included a Porcini steak rub, chocolate truffles, and an invitation for 2 to return to try their new lunch "Plates" menu. Hazow! The terrace was the perfect setting for the sophisticated gathering and thanks to Unboxed Images we can remember the time fondly all year long with the set of pictures on the Yelp LA Flickr page. Catch the sexy video from The Wafal below! Think we're bluffing? Read more on the review page.

 

 

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Katie B

LA East CM

Yelp Atlanta Gets Local at Sprig!

On February 19th, Yelp Atlanta Elites and their guests got the opportunity to check out Sprig in Decatur for a locals-only feast. From complimentary house made sangria to the Yelp 14 cocktails with Hanger 14 vodkag, ginger and lime, everyone had the opportunity to mix and mingle in the beautiful space. 

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From fried pickles and spicy pork rillet to pimento cheese and smoked trout dip, everyone got a healthy serving from Sprig's locally-focused menu. While yelpers dipped and dined, the lovely Wesley Cook kept everyone entertained with his music. If you'd like to peep the pics, check them here and read everyone's reviews here

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See you next time!

Kathleen M

February 20, 2012

Speakeasy to me Baby...Peux-tu garder un secret? Yelp Montreal Elite Event at Le Lab

Posted by Risa D

On a sunny, swinging Saturday in Montreal Yelp Elites found their way to Le Lab, home of one of the most innovative cocktail makers in the city (National Post) for an afternoon of delight. 

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The crowd warmed up with Hornitos 100% Agave Tequila punch, cheered for the gorgeous inventive canapés and apps by CUT Chef, revelled in the platters of all local baguette, duck rillette, and fresh goat cheese by Tabelée Terre, and gleefully investigated all the historically-accurate Speakeasy cocktails featuring Maker's Mark. As Laura D recalls, "The Horni Grapefruit and Sunshine cocktails were delicious and served with flair by our two wonderful and gorgeous barkeeps... If I could have snuck out with a tray of the dates, my afternoon would have ended there... freakin' delicious." 

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The stars of Acme Burlesque, a new Montreal company combining live music with burlesque, were on hand to greet guests and share their passion for Head and Hands: a non-profit which has provided medical, legal and social services to Montreal youth since 1970. Overcome by the music these talented, funny vixens took the stage to share their burlesque skills, and inspired the mustachioed barmen and women of Le Lab to new heights of flaming bar flair.

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Read the reviews and flip through all of the pictures taken by the talented Douglas Hollingworth on our official Flickr Page.


Risadfeb18    And now we're on to the next one, until then, see you on Yelp!

    Risa D.

 

 

 

oxoxoxoxo En Francais SVP! oxoxoxoxo

Lors d’un samedi ensoleillé à Montréal, les Éites Yelp ont trouvés leur chemin vers la maison d'un des créateurs de cocktails les plus innovateur de la ville (National Post) pour un après-midi d’extravagance gourmet.


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La foule a été réchauffée avec du punch à la Tequila Hornitos 100% Agave, elle a accalmée les  canapés et hors d’œuvres magnifique de CUT Chef, elle s’est gavée de plats de rillette de canards et de fromage de chèvre frais de Tabelée Terre et elle a investiguée joyeusement les cocktails mettant en vedette Maker’s Mark. Alia H a tout adoré : "Superbes drinks, des canapés très origaux et délicieux et des Yelpers plus en forme que jamais! "


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Les stars de Acme Burlesque, une nouvelle troupe montréalaise qui combine de la musique « live » avec la danse burlesque, ont été de la partie pour accueillir les invités et partager leur passion pour Head and Hands, une organisation à but non lucratif du NDG qui offre des services médicaux, légaux et sociaux aux jeunes de Montréal depuis 1970. Dominés par la musique des ces habiles renardes qui ont pris place sur la scène pour partager leurs talents burlesques inspirés des barmans moustachus de Le Lab qui ont emmené le flairbartending à de nouvelles hauteurs!


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Risadfeb18

D'ici la prochaine fois, on se verra sur Yelp! Risa D.

Yelp Elites Cut A Rug At Hallandale's Martini Bar

Posted by Monica

On Friday night, Yelp Elite from all over South Florida convened at The Village at Gulfstream Park's swankiest dance respite, Martini Bar. Over 150 guests arrived donning their Friday night best and the bartenders made sure the Absolut Miami cocktails got them primed for the dance floor!

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As Elites imbibed the featured cocktails (like the Miami Mojito!), they circled the room in search of their perfect match. Elizabeth R reckons: "'Build it and they will come.' This seems to have been the philosophy behind the massive and splendiferous Village at Gulfstream Park. It's huge and grand in a very Vegas-esque way. Martini Bar is on the second level occupying a large space with an open air bar outside and a spacious club inside. There's music and club lighting and was that a fog machine?" Indeed! Yelpers made no haste in reporting to the dance floor and as Nicole K can attest, "Night clubs are not my thing but holy cow by the end of the night I was a dancing fool. Great drinks, quick bartenders, super friendly and welcoming people. What more can one want on a Friday night?"

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Curious to dive into the rest of the reviews? Make sure you peep them here and don't miss the festive fotos on Flickr courtesy of Photobokeh (aka Alex H)!

Until Monday night!

Monica S

Orlando Yelp Elites Are All-Stars

Posted by Colleen Burns

All-Star weekend kicks off here in Orlando this Thursday. In honor of this momentous occasion, Yelp Elites celebrated what makes Orlando an All-Star in a yelpy way!

We hit up a gleaming five star location: Downtown Credo Coffee and if they don't scream amazing Orlando community then the sky is green. Downtown Credo is the open door to make an impact for good. They are a donations only coffee shop in College Park where the community comes to work, connect and share. You won't find a better tasting coffee or one that makes a stronger impact for good.

"The concept of Credo coffee is amazing and honestly, not only does Orlando need more businesses like this but so does the rest of our nation. They do offer a menu complete with suggested donation prices." - Susan R

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While we were sipping on various coffee, tea and hot chocolate creations provided by Credo Coffee, yelpers were sharing what parts of Orlando stand out and truly make our city "The City Beautiful". Check out all the various shouts to our local community:

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Check them all out here

We also checked out Florida inspired cocktails thanks to premium, 10 time distilled, all-natural CooranBong vodka. Arnold Palmers, Mango OJ and Grapefruit Lemonade were flowing freely. "What to drink when you want to think!", Nawgan were also feeding us delicious, credible products to optimize brain function. We enjyoed Berry, Red Berries and Tarocco Orange. 

We also got our relax on with free chair massages provided by Balance Massage and Structural Bodywork. They speacialize in ROLFing, theraputic massages and acupuncture. They make sure Orlando is relaxed and feeling well! 

"Tony gave complimentary massages and was simply our hero.  He worked non-stop working on one Yelper after another!  Not only did he explain what he was doing but he took everyone's individual needs & concerns to heart, personalized each treatment and was pleasant to talk with." - Susan R

We induldged on munchies provided by Virgin Olive Market. A nice spread of fresh gourmet cheeses, fruit, and olives with a variety of flat breads and crackers as well as pasta salad and a baby spinach salad. Baked Goodies is the resident baker for Credo and she provided some sweets for the dessert lovers in us all! 

"Great food - the offerings from Virgin Olive Market were simple but phe-NOM-enally fresh and delicious.  I'll single out something they call "The Olive Oyl" for praise (baby spinach, with cut up turkey roulades, fruits and nuts)  I especially appreciated the pear slices being off of ripe pears, which are more fragrant and sweet." - Paul L

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"The baked goodies that they have at Credo were phenomenal. A lady named Maya Strang provides them. The Blondies were seriously the best thing I've ever tasted." - Dana H

Fabulous, Elite Yelper, Jeff K was mixin' and minglin' around to grab some fab photos and rockin' the Yelp wall so check them out here. If you want to catch more of the event buzz, hop over to the event listing to read all about the excitement from your fellow yelpers. 

Until next time,SYOY,
Colleen B.

CBYelp

February 19, 2012

Prima Ristorante Gets Sweet On Yelp Denver

In celebration of the holiday of love, Kevin Taylor's Restaurant Group invited Denver yelpers and guests to the mezzanine of Prima Ristorante to enjoy glasses of red or white wine, special Yelper-tinis, and bites that represent a tour through Kevin Taylor-land, including selections from all of his restaurants: Prima, Palettes, Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House, Limelight and Restaurant Kevin Taylor.

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Amid the delectable treats, yelpers were able to ham it up on the Yelp photo love seat - a red couch with a pink heart pillow, and several signs that provided plenty of insight into what exactly the relationship between the people on the settee was...

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Don't forget to check out the photos and reviews for the rest of the details and until next time, SYOY! (See You On Yelp!)

Tiffany N

Your Denver Yelp Community Director

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February 18, 2012

Edinburgh Elite's Crazy In Love Vin-Valentine @ Hotel Du Vin!

Posted by Jenny Lovatt

There were no scattered rose petals or naked winged babies, but that didn't stop Edinburgh Yelp Elite from falling head-over-heels in Vin-Valentine love at Yelp Edinburgh's February Elite Event: a Hotel Du Vin wine tasting. As 30 Edinburgh yelpers made there way through the gorgeous enclosed courtyard and into the whisky snug, admiring the decadent building that was once the city's Asylum, the wines were being poured next door and canapés prepped in the Bistro.Blog1But not before a welcome glass of Prosecco and a tour around the hotel. Du Vin by name and Du Vin by nature, from the wine-glass chandelier on-high above reception, to the exclusive wine-tasting room, air-pressured and cooled wine cellars and deliciously-scented Bistro, we couldn't agree more with Lou V who, whilst wandering the building, mused 'you forget that you're in the middle of the city when you're inside of it. You could just as easily be in an incredibly luxurious chateau in the middle of the mountains.'
Blog2Led into the aptly named Burke and Hare room, named after the notorious Edinburgh body-snatchers who are immortalised on a wall of the room with their own mural, and surrounded by paintings of the macabre, the yelpers were treated to some of life's finest luxuries: a tasting of three phenomenal wines led by the head Du Vin Sommelier: Seb.
Blog3 It was love at first sip for many the yelpers. Led through the Limoux Vanel Chardonnay (which absolutely did not taste like vanilla), the Pinot Rosé "Croix d'Or" and the Limoux Vanel Merlot the yelpers learnt about carbonic maturation, what the size of bubbles in champagne means, the perfect temperature for serving wine and where to find the most up-and-coming wines (South America, if you must know). Catriona C was 'smiling for most of the time' and in the remainder was 'staring through a wine glass looking at the naze. Yeah, that's right, the naze... cause I learned me some good stuff about wine.'
Blog4If the yelpers liked the wine, then they loved Seb more. Steph D has only one request of him: 'Please, please, please take me all around the wine regions of France on your motorbike and help me sniff and taste all of the fantastic wines! I will notice the tears and the colour all the other stuff that you told me about... if you just talk about wine to me for-ever!'

And it wasn't just the ladies who were charmed. Luke D thinks that 'Seb was the real star of the evening. Anyone with a passing interest in wine-food pairings absolutely should have a meal at Hotel Du Vin, request assistance from this walking explosion of wine knowledge, actually listen to what he has to say and not just order the second cheapest red (I'm looking at you, Luke D), then sink blissfully into sensory heaven.'
Blog5After all the sniffing, sipping, swirling and swallowing of good wines, there may well have been romance in the air especially for Jurgen D: 'The red - aaah the red - hello red - I like you - will you be my friend? So good in fact I promptly went upstairs and ordered a couple bottles for drinking!' And so to the bar everyone went, infused with Seb's knowledge, passion and advice on wine imbibing.
Blog6The yelpy banter continued into the wee hours of the night, and after a few more glasses of Du Vin wine in the bar upstairs, Emily V left the event saying what everyone else was thinking: 'Hotel Du Vin is one of those places you walk by a million times, each time saying "man that place looks cool, I really have to go there some day" and you you just never get around to it. Until, of course, your CM arranges an awesome Elite event there. I’m definitely going to have to come back, and hopefully Seb will be there to help me pick the perfect wine to accompany the gorgeous food.'
Blog7And so the most gracious of thank yous to Hotel Du Vin, and Seb, for the best Vin-Valentine a yelper could ask for; the Hotel Bistro for the delectable canapés; Robin for the photies; and, of course, the yelpers for bringing the banter and making it the party that it was, and always is!

For all the vin-vin-voom reviews, have a wee look here; have a peek at the rest of the photies here; find out all the yelpy buzz on the Hotel du Vin here; and if you're curious to know more about Yelp, Elites and events have a read here or just get in touch with Jenny L!

 

Until next time!

Jennyblog2
Jenny L
Yelp Edinburgh Community Manager

February 16, 2012

Yelp Baltimore Elites Are Spoiled Rotten!

Posted by Elsa M.

Yelp Baltimore laid on the lovin' something thick this Valentine's Day with a special elite event full of wining, dining, and pampering by some of the best hands in Baltimore.

Whether they were boo'ed up this Valentine's Day or keepin' their sexy selves single, "Yelp Spoils You Rotten" at the Four Seasons Hotel Spa was all the "significant other" they needed.

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"The staff of the Four Seasons was so friendly and welcoming," says Rebecca G. "We all felt like we belonged, not that we were guests at an event, and that created such a comfortable atmosphere! We may be back soon for a stay-cation!"

The newest hotel in Harbor East offered each elite one sample complimentary spa service (a mini massage, mini manicure, or mini facial), while lite bites from Four Season's Wit & Wisdom, smooth sips, soothing music, and live painting (from Yelp Baltimore Intern and talented artist April S.) kept the calm and relaxation flowing in our "Sweet Surprises" tranquil room. The room also catered to those with an affection for confections thanks to Best of Luck's candy spread, which Julia R couldn't help but gush about: "I loved trying some of those treats. The sleeper hit were those little hearts - the chewy ones. So yummy."

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Phil B's own heart turned to mush the second he stepped into the spa: "The massage from Diane was really relaxing. I picked up a book with services right afterwards, and I am already planning a return visit." 

"The pampering continued with hair and make-up and the opportunity for head shots by Laura Renée Photography," raves Mary M, who thoroughly enjoyed both her shoot and her "2-minute mini-makeover" courtesy of DK Salon stylists, who Katrina W says "were very talented and made everyone oh so glamourous for the evening." (We caught her hubby blushing after beholding his bride's beautiful new look! Love was definitely in the air!)

Beauty and Jewelry

If that weren't enough, "we also had stunning jewelry to look at from Radcliffe Jewelers," says Michelle H. "My husband even found a watch that caught his eye. As it turns out, it runs about $13,500 (d'oh!)." Radcliffe didn't let folks go home empty-handed, though. In addition to allowing elites to try on the sparkles on display, Radcliffe and the Four Seasons' Spa sent elites home with two gift bags a piece! Not too shabby!

Until next time!

SYOY,

Yelp Spoils You Rotten @ Four Season
Elsa "Call me 'Cupid'" M.
Yelp Baltimore CM

 

Yelp's Anti-Valentine's Bash!

Posted by Josephine B

Another entry to the London Elite Hall of Fame! 

Roses are red, violets are blue. London Yelpers don't give two hoots about Valentine's and neither should you! February 2012 saw the introduction of the first London Elite Anti-Valentine's Bash at The Loft.

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There was nothing fluffy, cuties or sweet about the South London Anti-Valentines Bash but we still had a ball! The Loft welcomed the marching black and red Anti-V Day army through its doors, where the music was pumping as the DJ set the pace for the evening!

In true Anti-Valentine's style, there was a little naughty 'treat' for yelpers when they used their check-in offer! Mark S got a sharp surprise from a Seriously Sour Sweet!

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Well... it was ANTI after all, it couldn't all be sweet sailing!

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Cocktails were flowing as Yelp's sexy Bad Cupidettes offered guests a taste of four tomato risotto balls stuffed with baby mozzarella and basil, chunky strips of deep fried halloumi with a spicy roasted red pepper dip, spicy chicken wing, olives, chorizo and roasted garlic served with crusty bread and lots more numminess!

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Each guest was assigned a 'new partner' by means of a Yelp card pin-up! If you were the Queen of Hearts, it was your mingling job to find the other Queen of Hearts in the room. Bea B found her counterpart in quick-time and then just had the pleasure of helping everybody else!

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The lucky Anti-Valentiners could choose any beverage from the menu and it (like magic) was created before their eyes! The bar staff dazzled us with their skill, speed and finesse, whipping up gorgeous drinks infused with homegrown lemongrass liqueur. Would love to tell you more but it's a fiercely guarded family secret and so would have to kill you! 

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A huge thanks you to The Loft's Andrew and James and to all the fantastic Loft bar and catering staff. Thank you to our our Bad Cupidettes - Chelsea and Elinor, Omas A the evening's photography and not forgetting all the gorgeous Anti-Valentiners. You can check out the reviewsphotos and see what else went on by joining in on Talk

Looking forward to the next one already!

SYOY!

Josephine B

B&r

Feb Elite Event: Wine Tasting @ El Toro Bravo

Posted by Annie

We may live on a tiny island in The Atlantic but that didn't stop Dublin's Yelpers from sampling a piece of Spain, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Chile, France and New Zealand. We brought the exoctic into our mouths and onwards to our bellies at El Toro Bravo!

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Fernando led us through several glasses of whites and reds from many continents all of which are on El Toro Bravo's menu. We were encouraged to give our feedback on what the tastes were like... Oak-y came up time and time again!

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To compliment the vino we were given tapas consisting of aceitunas (olives), banderillas (pickled vegetables on a skewer), torreznos (fried pork with mustard on the side), calamares (deep fried squids with alioli) and serrano ham and manchego cheese. It was delicious, everyone went crazy for the fried pork except the vegetarians.

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At the end of the night three yelpers were choosen to do a blind tasting of the wine we tried. All that wine prior had sullied their memories! But after a few tries two out of the three got it right and won a bottle of wine each!

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Last night was wonderful, educational and tasty! Thank you so much to Fernanado and all the team at El Toro Bravo for being so welcoming and treating us to a great night. You can review the event here! Gossip about it on talk here! Check out the great photos by the talented Elisha C here!

February 15, 2012

Yelp Chicago's Tasty Journey To The East

Posted by Johnny Todd

Winter blues filling you with wanderlust? Do you just need to go somewhere? It may not have come with a passport, but Roka Akor gave the Yelp Chicago Elite Squad a trip to remember when they discovered Yelp's Goin' Japanese. Think of it as travel without the jetlag.

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To ensure the event started off on a spicy notes, enamored guests were greeted with Roka's signature cocktail: the Ginger Daiquiri. This drink brought heat and kick to a cold, wintery Chicago afternoon. Sufficiently warmed up, Elites clinked glasses of red and white wine to accompany their rosy cheeks and enticed tastebuds.

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Enticed? Certainly. For as dedicated as the cocktail program is, Roka is known for its fantastic cuisine — and guests got to experience every delectable morsel. Samples of the Hamachi Serrano Roll, Salmon Avocado Roll and Organic Vegetable Roll began the maki lovefest. Lest you think maki was the only example of Roka's culinary mastery, Elites feasted their eyes (and tummies) on Rock Shrimp Tempura, Robata Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Wagyu Beef & Kimchi Dumplings, and Skewers. Without a doubt, this menu knocked some socks off.

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But... there's more. Not content to simply be a restaurant that serves great food and drink, Roka demonstrated what sets it apart from the rest — in two parts. Part 1 involved a stop at the Robata Grill where guests were privy to a demonstration by Executive Chef Ce Bian on preparing Robatayaki-style "open charcoal" cuisine. After that, bar manager Jamie Grenon showcased Roka's Shochu collection, a Japanese distilled spirit that is typically distilled from barley, sweet potatoes or rice. Ramping up the evening, Roka raffled off a $200 return trip to the restaurant to the thrilled Claudia M. Capturing every hot moment and cool experience was foodie photographer par excellence Andres DeLeon. Check out his photos here and read what guests had to say here.

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Eastbound and down,

Johnny T

Yelp Cincinnati's Beer Week!

Posted by Alex Shebar

Title
The secret word of the week was, “Beer!”

Yes, it was Cincinnati’s first ever Beer Week and Yelp Cincy played a major role. From promotions to entertainment to eating and, of course, drinking, it seemed like we were everywhere. Yelp had three giant beer-related events: a beer making-event, a beer-tasting event and a beer dinner event.

Beer Making at Table Top Brewery

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Ever wonder where your beer comes from or how it gets to be so darn delicious? About 30 yelpers were treated to a class in the preparation and creation of a good beer at Table Top Brewing.

In addition to multiple lessons and delicious wings from Wild Mike's, Yelpers helped brew and bottle their own growler and everyone got to take it home for drinking!

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Beermaking2“The staff was very nice despite a packed room and a lot going on, and we were able to sample some of their beer (delicious!!) as well as take our own beer home to finish brewing ourselves. The store carries a lot of different kits and apparently they'll even help you customize one to your liking!” Becky R said.

Check out some more of the amazing pictures here!

Beer Tasting Event at Rock Bottom Brewery

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What is better than a beer tasting? When the beer tasting includes full 20oz beers!

Eight yelpers made their way to a private area of Rock Bottom Brewery, right off Cincy's famous Fountain Square, for a night of nibbles and liquid nourishment at our Beer Tasting Event! Yelpers got to try full glasses of any of Rock Bottom’s beers as well as an amazing sampling of their pub food, from gourmet pizzas to chipotle wings and even giant bowls of salad.

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“What a generous way to kick off beer week - full pints of beer and lots of great food, which I wasn't expecting at all. I also wasn't expecting to get a Yelp pint glass - great swag!” Andi B exclaimed.

There was something for everyone. Stacey L may have put it best: “Gosh, I love Beer Week already. And I don't even drink beer.”

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Check out the reviews and enjoy some more of the awesome pictures here.

Yelp’s Beer Dinner with Mt. Carmel at AmerAsia

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For our last major event, we pulled out all the stops: four courses, three beer pairings and tons of fun.

AmerAsia, a true hidden gem of Greater Cincinnati, boasts it’s menu of “kung food” and will amaze anyone who think they’ve had Chinese cusine before. They’re also known for their incredible craft beer list, making them the perfect spot for a beer dinner.

“If you've ever desired to eat Chinese food in 1990s New York City, you must come to AmerAsia. Located in the heart of Covington, itserves up quality food for all your favorite traditional Chinese dishes. There is also a tremendous bar with endless beer options. With walls lined with graffiti-style murals and eccentric paper lamps, the Amerasia experience is equal parts atmosphere and cuisine," Paige M declares. And we believe her.

Mt. Carmel rep Patrick took us through each course and each beer pairing from this local Cincinnati brewery, including Squirrel Bite, a limited edition brew.

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Enjoy a few more of the amazing photos here.

All photos were taken by the great Anamedia.

It was an amazing week for sure! Cheers!

Alex

Alex S, Senior Cincy Community Manager

February 14, 2012

The Gloves Come Off for Yelp East Bay's Love is a Battlefield @ Prizefighter!

Posted by Nique!

Black eyes, boxing gloves, Gogo with the Crazy 88's from Kill Bill, samurais, a heartbreaker, members of Fight Club, Shaun from Shaun of the Dead, Superhero snuggies and a plethora of other sensational costumes, poured into Emeryville's hottest new bar - The Prizefighter for an epic afternoon with a strong punch this past Sunday for Yelp East Bay's "Love is a Battlefield" anti-V-day celebration!
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Yelpers were able to make their way up to the phenomenally stocked bar to sample three fruity  Plymouth & Beefeater gin punches that definitely left a lasting impression. There was Brass Pineapple, Tropical Honey and Apple Orchard. Lisa I's favorite was the Apple Orchard which she remarked tasted just like Christmas. Grace L swooned over the tropical pineapple mango punch that took her back to her days in Hawaii.
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With bold punches in hand, yelpers were able to explore Phat Matt's BBQ's brisket sliders and bacon wrapped meatballs. Anne M ate so many of Phat Matt's bacon wrapped meatballs that she guilt tripped herself into a 9 pm gym trip later on the evening. Ike's Lair, Oakland dished up an abundance of their famous sandwiches. Amy J couldn't get enough of them, swooning over their well renowned dirty sauce. Jeffrey S applauded Reuschelle's luxurious cheesecake. His wife adored the banana rum, while he couldn't get enough of the caramel apple.  After learning about the illustrious White Chocolate Raspberry Chocolate Chip cheesecake from Victor the owner - he's been pining for it ever since. Vice Chocolates made mouths water with their gorgeous and decadent Cherry Bombs comprised of Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Ganache infused with Organic Espresso, stuffed with a Dried Cherry, slivered Almond and dipped in 65% Dark Chocolate. To round out the impressive array of sugary treats was Angel Cakes with miniature "heavenly" Hazelnut Cupcakes made with real Hazelnuts and Buttermilk and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes. Akvile H gave a big nod to Jen from Angel Cake's baking ability: "tasty, fluffy, and sweet just the right amount!"
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What fighting themed event would be complete without some competitive games? There were colorful Rockem'-Sockem' Robots games at each indoor table, while brave souls battled it out - outside with Bay Area Jump's sumo wrestling matches. Diana V gushed:  "it was exciting to see people fighting, and also seeing their energy afterward. If you have never done this, I totally recommend it. It's an adrenaline rush!" Grace L added that the "sight alone warranted roaring laughter as people belly flopped on top of each other." For a better idea of the Sumo Showdown - check out Jimmy C's video here.
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With festive high energy songs playing in the background, yelpers were able to indulge in the rich spread of food, enjoy one another's creative costumes (Jessica P and Lorrayne L. both walked away with tickets to Dark & Delicious with their wowing warrior get-ups) and even were able to donate and learn about the exceptional non-profit Citizen Schools. Citizen School's East Bay chapter, helps to expand the learning day of children in low-income communities across the country. Both of their friendly volunteers even rocked some prize-winning wear for the occasion!
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Teresa P summed up the event perfectly: "this was a knock out event....a great way to raise money for Citizen Schools and a perfect occasion for me to carry my ninja sword umbrella.  ;)  The Love is a Battlefield YEE is pound for pound in my book! " Check out all of the exciting reviews here and peep pictures, compliments of Bill Bankhead and Basil Glew-Galloway, here.

Keep fighting the good fight,

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Nique F

East Bay Ringleader

Yelp Columbus Elites Meet-n-Greet @ Claddagh Irish Pub

Posted by Christina C.

What do you call a night full of unmatched Irish hospitality, one-on-one Guinness pouring lessons, team trivia, meat pies, and surprise Irish dancers!? Oh, just another amazing, five-star Eilte event at Claddagh (the second Claddagh Columbus Elite event at its second Columbus location.) 

Columbus Elites got the finest treatment yet again from the folks at Claddagh Irish Pub (Polaris) for a Yelp Elite Meet-n-Greet. Elites brought lucky guests, but also invited some of their non-Elite yelper friends to the party that included a seemingly endless spread of meat & seafood pies, roaming plates of fish bites and Irish meatballs a lesson on how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness (download the perfect pint app here), free-flowing Irish peaches – the drink, not people!, – bonding time over playing Buffalo Trivia with Corey M from Last Call Productions, tunes from Daryl Gatlin, and surprise Irish dancers!   

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"The different types food (chicken pot pie, shepherd's pie, and a salmon variation) were just fantastic. I don't know if I could have eaten the entire salmon pie by myself, but it was so good I would happily die trying," admits Greg W.

This time we mixed it up a bit and added various 'get-to-know-you' elements that made Amy B feel cozy: "On behalf of all kind of shy, awkward people everywhere, I really enjoyed the icebreaker sheets!" 

But wait, "Just when Mindy W thought we were done, out came the bread pudding, which was equally delicious. Games, swag, drinks, and good times were had by all."

We couldn't have said it better ourselves! Check out the reviews here. And don't forget to peep the photos from the talented J Alexander Photography on Flickr.

"All in all, Claddagh really pulled out all the stops," closes Mindy W. Indeed they did and we couldn't be more thankful!


SYOY,

Christina

Yelp-Cladagh-21
Yelp Columbus CM

(with Claddagh Regional, Paul K & Yelp brand ambassador, Kristen R)

Twitter | Facebook | Flickr

February 13, 2012

Yelp Philly Gets Dancey At Yelp's Backstage Pass Party

Posted by Michelle C

The biggest yelper event to ever hit Philly went down on Thursday, February 9, 2012 and nearly 800 yelpers showed up to partake! Yelp's Backstage Pass Party turned Philly's newest music venue, Union Transfer, into a feast for the senses which included thirteen restaurants, nine beverage brands, nine salons and two photo booths – all surrounding a dance floor where yelpers were happy to shake their booties to the sounds of DJ QiCommand. To say it was a fun night out would be an understatement; this shindig took party rockin' to a whole new level!

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Dancing works up an appetite, but there was plenty of bacon grease popcorn, deviled eggs, soup shooters, sandwiches, doughnuts, cupcakes and more to go around. Our amazing array of treats were supplied by local food sponsors Triumph Brewing Company, Cantina Dos Segundos, Khyber Pass Pub, Krispy Kreme, The Trestle Inn, World Cafe Live at the Queen, Sweet Box Cupcakes, The Couch Tomato Café/The Tomato Bistro, The Sweet Life Bakeshop, Cake & The Beanstalk, Rybread, Chabaa Thai Bistro and Kavei Xpress. These businesses brought their A-game, and it showed.

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A party ain't a party without some top-notch libations, and alcohol sponsors Triumph Brewing Company, Sam Adams, Twisted Tea, Magners Irish Cider, Narragansett, Sixpoint Craft Ales, Weyerbacher and Clique Vodka were spreading the love and the sips. Those searching for a fruitier quencher turned to the Bai table for refreshing juices.

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Between all the eats and drinks were complimentary salon and spa services from generous local businesses MOKO Organic Beauty Studio, Tierra Mia Organic Nail Spa, Styledelphia, André Richard Salon, Mellow Massage Therapy Center, Anjuthreads, Laurentius Salon, Skin Palette and Lakshmi Hair Studio. Yelpers were photo-ready when local photog Erika Letitia snapped candids and Skout Media shot video, and they hammed it up for the cameras in photo booths provided by ShutterBooth and Go Festive! A shout out is also in order for Bad Kids Clothing, who provided the tops worn by Yelp staff at the party. 

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But it wasn't all about the complimentary bites, bevvies and beauty. The Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation collected over $3,050 from generous yelpers at the door and at coat check to benefit this wonderful local organization. The money will help "provide important breast health education, direct services and advocacy." Many thanks to all the friendly faces from Linda Creed who were on hand to volunteer at the soiree!

This event gave an opportunity to yelpers new and old to come together and party with a truly amazing group of local businesses. As Yelp Elite Teri R said: "It was like being a part of history." Yelp history, that is! Of course, the night would not have been possible without the help of many, especially: Sean, Toni, Tom and all the staff at Union Transfer, DJ QiCommand, our incredible food, beverage, salon and photo booth sponsors, Skout Media, Image Unlimited Communications, the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation, HughE from Philly Chit Chat, Miami CM Monica S, Chicago CM Johnny T, Manhattan CM Jane K, Yelp Philly Intern Allison B and last but not least, the Yelp Philadelphia Community!

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This was one unforgettable event, but if you need a second opinion, just check out the reviews, Talk thread and photos here, here and here!

Until next time,
Me, backstage pass
Michelle C
Yelp Philadelphia Community Manager

You Betel Believe Manhattan Elites Can Thai One On!

While some say Sundays are a day of rest, Yelp Elites in Manhattan prefer to play all weekend long. And nobody proved it more than the fun-loving group of writers that descended on Betel restaurant in the West Village last night. Monday morning hangovers be damned!

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Betel showcases a menu that is truly unique on the New York dining scene and highly adaptable to suit every palate. Yelp Elites sampled an array of exclusive eclectic tastes by Chef Adam Woodfield: West Coast Oysters with red nahm jim, coriandar & fried shallots, Chicken Betel Leaf with roasted shallot, eggplant relish & coriandar, Duck Sausage Betel Leaf with ginger & green chili scud, Salt & Pepper Cuttlefish with Vietnamese dipping sauce, Spicy Corn Fritters with shiso leaf & lime soy dipping sauce and the crowd favorite for the night, Quail Sin-In-Law Eggs with yellow bean tamarind & shallots. To quote Cole O here, the food was "seriously off the hook!"

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Between hors d'oeuvres guests sipped on a variety of tantalizing cocktails featuring Yelp favorite, Starr African Rum. From the Lychee Gimlet to the Ginger Mojito to the bittersweet Honey Starr, all shaken with fresh ingredients (and a dash of love) there was no better time to "thai one on" than at the beautiful Betel bar. The wine aficionados among us kicked back with glasses of vino courtesy of our friends at Brancott Estate, growers of the original Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, one of the world's favorite New Zealand wine styles.

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Toss in a little yelpy mischief and a DJ that kept the crowd on their toes, and it was truly a Sunday to remember. Were you there? Then be sure to leave your review of the event right here. And for more photo fun, peep the pics by Jaclyn Fidler right here

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Thanks again for hosting us Christopher and Matt, and thanks to you yelpers for causing a buzz! Until next time, see you on Yelp!

- Jane K & Yelp NYC

Sign off

February 12, 2012

'12 Elites Get Back The Blvd at Xio Lounge

Posted by Jando

After two consecutive 450+ person parties to close out 2011, the first Yelp Queens Elite Event of '12 turned the chaos dial down a notch and kept it an intimate affair, as 70 Elites from all corners of NYC / Long Island joined forces on Thursday evening at Xio Lounge, a new nightlife venue along Queens Blvd in Sunnyside, Queens.

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If first impressions are everything, then Xio Lounge had everyone's attention from the get go. Astrid G was thought the place was a great venue and even considers it a "great addition to the Boulevard." Phil H considered the venue a multi-faceted one, from the "lounge like vibe" for the bar area to the large flat screen "sports bar" aura. "Sexy yet cozy" is how Irm M sees the place, claiming "what sets it apart" is how "once you're inside, you forget where you are." The complimentary vodka cocktails surely did not help that notion.

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Some Yelpers admired the decor from afar, like Christina S who loved the venue "for its cozy atmosphere and plush comfy couches that I never sat on since I was warming up the bar all night." It was a chilly evening, but Althea A was "transported straight into summer" as bartenders Jean and Audrey kept the three main vodka cocktails flowing, "more smoothly than at an all-inclusive Caribbean resort!" Meri S was in "Coco Loso heaven," Monique R "drank way too many Xio Extravaganzas, and the "best was the bay breeze" according to Lesie H.

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We'd like to thank Xio Lounge for their hospitality, delicious cocktails, and big ups to the staff (Elvis the owner, Jean / Audrey / Joshua) for taking care of the finest Elites in the city. Congratulations to the '12 Elites, many of whom were first timers like Wahed K, Astrid G, or Asim F. Thanks to those Yelpers who came from way beyond several stops, but made this event a diverse one. Rich W coined it best, "I met some wonderful new Elites from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens AND Long Island!" Staten Island and the Bronx were also well-repped at this event.

As always, for those who weren't able to make it or would like to learn more about the event, check out Talk, the Gallery, and the Reviews for all of the rest!

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SYOY,
Jando S and Yelp Team NYC

Yelp Nashville Elites Mix And Mingle At Two Old Hippies

Posted by Marcia

Many returning members of the Yelp Nashville Elite squad felt like Seniors on campus after enjoying a pretty stellar 2011 full of memorable moments. Did that stop them from welcoming the incoming (and very curious) Freshman Elites at our first Elite Experience at fabulous yet recently opened retailer Two Old Hippies? Of course not! "You just can't go wrong when you combine the smell of leather, hipster T-shirts for children, hilarious greeting cards, Yazoo beer and delicious treats on communion wafers in The Gulch. Loved it!" I'd say that yelper Elizabeth E dug it?

Elites arrived to the tunes of killer band We Have Needs performing on the snazzy TOH stage. Even musically jaded Kim Y had to admit that the entertainment was an "actually rockin' cover band which as we all know as Nashvillian's - we are usually MEAN to cover bands, ha!" Guests mingled, enjoyed refreshing beer and wine provided by our gracious host, and noshed on scrumptious bites from neighboring business The Turnip Truck Urban Fare. Plates were piled with Noble Springs and Kenny's Farmhouse Cheeses, Olli Artisan Salami, samplings of the seasonal organic produce, and hummus, along with pitchers of their top selling recipes from their juice bar. Lyndi S couldn't hide her excitement over the "delicious spread of fruits, cheeses, hummus and other assortments but what about the deliciously nutty Yazoo Dos Perros to wash it all down? And just try to keep me away from the Turnip Truck's juice bar, now!" Add in $10 Turnip Truck gift cards for all attendees and you have a happy bunch....

Brave Elites then took the stage and voted for the most Funny, Useful, and Cool reviews of 2011.
They nominated their own reviews and even read some from fellow yelper's. Highly entertaining. Three victorious winners who were voted the Elite's Choice (we used ballots!) won Two Old Hippies gift certificates valued up to $100 and braggin' rights of course! Sarah P shoots it straight: "The only fight that was picked last night was the throw down of hilarious yelp reviews. Word to the wise for the next yelp review-review contest. To win the hearts of the listeners select the most raunchy and profane because then people will vote for you! F-ing A." Congrats to yelpers Kim Y, Paul K, and Travis A for their theatrical stage presence and much deserved winning reviews.