When the posh little city of Walnut Creek announced their first-ever Restaurant Week, with over 30 local eateries offering prix fixe meals for $10 and up, there was one group of local tastemakers we knew we could count on to kick things off in fashionable foodie style: the East Bay Elite Squad, of course.
Over one hundred Elites, dressed to impress, flocked to Cypress in Walnut Creek on a luminous Sunday afternoon for Yelp's Walnut Creek Restaurant Week Kick-Off Party, where Chef Rick Delamain had prepared a procession of hors d’ouvres, bartenders shook up exquisite amber-hued Hennessy Sidecars, and Wente poured zesty sips of their latest launch, entwine, developed for the Food Network.
"If the food & fun at Cypress's Yelp Elite Event is any indication of Walnut Creek Restaurant Week, there's seven days of fine food and fun ahead," John Z delares. Petite spoonfuls of couscous with braised leeks, dates, and mushrooms were devoured with delight, along with savory olive tapenade toasts. Lorrayne L had a special affinity for one particular delicacy, crying "oh sweet steak tartare, I miss you so much already! It's not possible to OD on raw steak, is it? I don't believe it." Trishia P agrees, these adventurous bites made for the "tastiest little morsels!"
Hennessy made a splash with their classic quaff, the Hennessy Sidecar. Anne Marie M "looooved" it (yes, with four o's), lamenting the fact that "unfortunately, I had my own car to drive so I had a couple sips before I passed it along to boyfriend. Definitely coming back for one of those when it's his turn to drive or BART!" Eugene L had to pinch himself when he spotted Hennessy on the bar, his favorite spirit of all time. "I would love to see a Hennessy Cognac tasting event with XO, Privilege, Select and Louis 13," he muses. But until then, the smooth and stiff Sidecars were enough to put a collective smile on these Elite faces.
And what better wine pairing for Walnut Creek Restaurant Week than Wente's entwine developed specifically for the Food Network chefs? John B was so eager to try entwine that he "read an article about it before the event," and reports, "it was everything I had hoped it to be." The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio varietals were "crisp and refreshing; perfect for the lovely weather in Walnut Creek," Vanessa S notes.
Throughout the sunny soiree, piano maestro Bob Falstein serenaded the group with a melange of top 40 hits and golden oldies, all crowd pleasers, though Carolen M admits, "hearing him sing Dynamite by Taio Cruz just made my night." Walnut Creek Restaurant Week and Ruth's Chris Steak House enticed yelpers with a chance to win a $100 gift certificate for the best tweet of the day. Egan B hit the filet mignon jackpot with his twitter announcement, of "be quiet everybody. I like steak and the lady is speaking #wcrw #ruthschris". Lesson learned, it pays to listen up when 'the lady' has the floor.
When the kick-off buzz wound down, the bar remained full of yelpers taking advantage of Cypress's legendary happy hour deals: $5 mojito pitchers and 99 cent oysters were the cherry on top of this lavish Sunday. Lorrayne L's take away? "This resto is divine! The drinks, the cute 'tenders, the food, the decor, the super friendly and helpful host…you really can't get a sweeter deal in the Creek," she raves. Just another excuse to dive deep into Walnut Creek Restaurant Week!
Explore more accolades and exaltation on the event review page, and contented smiles captured by Paul Vu on Flickr or Facebook!
Cheers to the start of a delicious week,
Community Manager – Yelp East Bay