Wellington Partners Opens Palo Alto Office (and Runs Out of Food at Accompanying Party)

I just read Valleywag’s glowing report about a party thrown in San Francisco last night by pan-European venture firm Wellington Partners, to celebrate its new Palo Alto office. Apparently on the menu: “cheese gougères, tiny lamb chops, mushroom napoleons, Kobe beef sliders, croutons with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and caviar and a bite-sized tuna tartar, all washed down with French wine which topped $300 a bottle.”

Now, I’m furious — not because I missed the party, which was held at the city’s new Contemporary Jewish Museum. I’m furious because when I arrived at the affair, not more than an hour after it had begun, there wasn’t a morsel of food in sight. No gougères, whatever those might be. No Kobe beef. Smoked salmon? Heh. Good luck.

Surely, I thought with increasing panic as the minutes ticked by, there is an hors d’oeuvres table somewhere across the room; if I can just get away from Hubert Nguyen, the delightful cofounder of Ubergizmo, one of Europe’s most popular gadget sites, and Michael Copeland, a friend and writer for Fortune — both were starting to look like lamb chops to me — then I will find that table. But Nguyen and Copeland found other conversations and I discovered that there was no table. And no waiter passed by holding a tray of food. And eventually, like everyone else who missed the maddeningly short window during which the hors d’oeuvres were served, I had a glass of fine French wine, then headed into the darkness, starving and slightly buzzed.

On the bright side, at the party, I did speak briefly with Eric Ly, who cofounded LinkedIn and is now CEO of the scheduling startup he founded two years ago, Presdo. Ly is one of nine venture partners now working with Wellington in the U.S. to both help its European entrepreneurs get a foothold here, and to help Silicon Valley entrepreneurs forge stronger connections in Europe.

Wellington will be a very part-time, “two to three days a month” commitment for Ly, who already has his hands full with Presdo. But the firm was smart to sign him up. Ly is very well-regarded by the entrepreneurial community out here, and nice to boot.