What's better than dining al fresco with friends while enjoying the sunshine, sipping on cold sodas and playing silly games all afternoon? This is the image we had in mind when we planned Yelp's Picnic on the Patio. But of course, we had to kick things up a notch for our beloved B-lo Elites!
Our Elite destination: Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, a gourmet shop with local goods lovingingly curated by owners Jill and Burke Forster. With their help, Yelp showcased some of Buffalo's hardworking food artisans, some of whom helped co-host the party. Our Elite feast featured "locally grown ingredients, chef-prepared delicious rare finds, gourmet dipping vinegars, Meyer lemon & blood orange olive oils, and creamy brie," to name just a few of Smita C's favorite things.
Our event also allowed Elites to sneak into one of Buffalo's prettiest hidden spaces: the shop's secret garden. After slipping through the storefront, our Elites gatherered here under twinkling lights. Brian W summed up their reaction with a quick tip: "This place is amazing."
On the patio, Elites encountered a wide array of dishes on display, including:
- Buttery shortbread cookies, vollkornbrot bites, and locally-roasted beans from Elm Street Bakery
- Vanilla olive oil and raspberry vinegar from Tuscany on Main
- Melt-in-your-mouth cured meats and mini-bánh mì from Coppa
- A rainbow of delicious and dainty macarons from indie baker Sarah Walley
And of course, triple-cream brie and watermelon-feta salad from Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile itself, washed down Orange Crush (in vintage glass bottles)!
After binging on so much "gastronomical goodness," Yelp intern Rebecca D confessed, "I think I dreamed of cured meat and soft cheese and macarons allllll night."
Elites also had the opportunity to try something new in the virtual Yelp world, checking in to receive a super-cool deck of Yelp playing cards, suitable for future picnics!
Buffalo's Elites are sure to be buzzing about this one on Yelp Talk and around the water cooler … especially since we surprised all our guests with a gourmet brown-bag lunch to enjoy the next day.
We also left our Yelpers with a lasting impression of our love with an afterparty at nearby Trattoria Aroma. Featuring cocktails made with locally-grown plums and rosemary foam and "delish" arancini apps, it had new Yelper Heather B raving (and community manager Ryan W going back for seconds).
We were heartened to hear that it seemed "easier to mingle at this event" for Elites like Bethany M (perhaps our water-balloon picnic games helped break the ice?). After all, as Rebecca D points out, "Of course I loved the food at this event, but mingling and chatting with Yelpers is really where the fun is at!"
While you're popping macarons at your desk in remembrance of things past, you can peep the five-star reviews on our official Elite Event page, tag yourself (and your +1s) on Facebook, and snag our photos from Flickr for posterity.
Until next time, dear Elites…