With a procession of pescetarian bites, freshly muddled Moscow Mules, live accordion serenades, and a coral sun sinking into the horizon, Elites happily dropped anchor at Skates on the Bay for Yelp's Nautical by Nature event on Thursday, May 24th, with sailor stripes, captains hats, and naval uniforms to boot!
After 30 years of eliciting ooohs and aaahs for their stunning views of the San Francisco bay, Skates wowed this crew of 75 Yelp Elites with their major interior redesign, freshened up with beachy whitewashed beams, a glassed-in private dining room, a brand new Raw Bar serving dainty bites of edible art, and an innovative craft cocktail menu to compliment "the good life" atmosphere Skates exudes.
Taking in the revamped setting, Wanugee N commends Skates for the "excellent Raw Bar serving nigiri sushi bites, crab cakes and other delectable goodies," noting the preservation of their best asset, "the million dollar views of the bay" making the "perfect setting for friends, families, or that special someone to enjoy a fine meal." Wendy N gave herself a virtual slap on the wrist, exclaiming "I can't believe I haven't been to Skates on the Bay before! It's so great to find a place to take visiting friends to get a fantastic dining experience of the East Bay."
The Raw Bar trays emerged, and Elites giddily grabbed at the chance to sample house cured Wild Alaskan Salmon Carpaccio with capers, pickled fennel and bacon, Applewood perfumed Scallop Crudo, and Pacific Sashimi Grade Ahi Tartare with shitake confit, yuzu, and avocado oil…the fresh flavors "still lovingly dance" on John Z's tastebuds. Stephanie M wasn't the only yelper with an affinity for the Bloody Mary oyster shooters spiked with Absolute Peppar vodka, "so hot delicious" she "kept sucking them back without hesitation." No shame in that.
While the fresh seafood was a defintite highlight, Skates' service also glowed with a seemingly endless array of samples and smiles. "The folks at Stakes slipped on the host glove on like they owned it," John Z notes, while Stephanie M was impressed by how "graciously" the staff kept "hookin' up the nibs, while taking soiled appetizer plates and dishes under their arms." A five starfish performance, no doubt.
It wouldn't be a nautical-themed event without some fortified bevvies to enliven the crew, and Skates provided a table full of Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel for Elites to help themselves to, while skilled bartenders evoked squeals of delight, pouring pink lemonade cocktails through a 'salmon luge' ice sculpture. Zu Vodka also climbed aboard to mix up buoyant Moscow Mules with a ginger kick, a classic seafarer's fave.
Adding more than a splash of pirate spirit to the mix was JD Limelight, weaving through the crowd playing sea shanty tunes on his vintage accordion, then his ukelele. "It was like he was a super hero with instruments," Stephanie M marvels. Sweet endings were in order, and Rachel G dubbed Skate's house made chocolate toffee "orgasmic…a blend of milky chocolate and sweet toffee" that "just melts in your mouth, making you beg for more!"
The indulgent evening ended with a vibrant sunset shimmering across the waves just outside, leaving Eric B with a plan to "come back to Skates for a romantic dinner date," while Karen Z confirmed it was "one whale of a time," indeed.