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Euphoria’s Tapas & Tinis, held July 14 at The Rutherford, was an evening full of surprises for the hosts and guests, beginning with the venue itself.

Yasha Patel, owner of The Rutherford, says completing construction and renovations in the former Gypsy G’s bar came down to the wire, as the space received its certificate of occupancy the afternoon before the event.

But she and the Euphoria team pulled it off and hosted 350 attendees between the two floors and outdoor courtyard.

According to an unofficial survey of guests, the surprise star of the menu created by chef Tony Schmidt of Performance Food Service was the red beans and rice with smoked chicken, andouille sausage, crawfish, and pork rinds.

Other favorites were the buffalo shrimp roll with smoked blue cheese, chipotle, micro celery, duck fat toasted roll, and pickled okra and the beef slider with bacon onion jam, jalapeño cheese, and arugula.

Signature cocktails by Liquid Catering were flowing. Favorites included the peach bourbon smash made with Larceny Bourbon, peach simple syrup, club soda, and fresh mint and the strawberry Tito’s tart-tini with Tito’s Handmade vodka, strawberry simple syrup, house-made sour mix, and strawberry garnish. And desserts kept with the summer theme: a pound cake martini, chipotle chocolate pudding, a key lime shooter, and mango cheesecake.

A torrential downpour, which seemed to materialize out of nowhere, forced guests inside, shut down the outdoor grilling station, and eventually knocked the power out for a split second after dark. When power returned, cover band Java, who was cranking out everything from party favorite “Wobble Baby” to “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, picked right back up downstairs, seemingly unfazed by the interruption.

euphoria’s Annual Tapas & Tinis