The first evening of our wonderful anniversary weekend, started with an amazing evening on the town! We checked into the same hotel we were married at and stayed at our wedding night. We were married at Ventanas which was packed with great new exciting wedding events which others will be celebrating for years to come. And connected to Ventanas is the great hotel, HGI Downtown. We were lucky enough to get the Presidential Suite for our anniversary, and it is definitely worth the stay!

Following check-in we got ready for our evening out. Paul reserved our favorite limo driver/service James with …. and we were on our way, limo, champagne and now onto aria.

This was one of several dinner options Paul had thought would be great for our anniversary dinner. We made a reservation for 9:15, and got there in plenty of time to hang out at the cool bar and lounge. It was a very cool experience and moving from the bar area to our dinner table was like transitioning from one very cool space to another even cooler space. It was quite the experience!

aria’s menu changes on a daily basis, so you never know for sure what you may be in store for, but every bit of the menu that we experience was extraordinary!

We started with several appetizers, the Thin Sliced Smoked Atlantic Salmon (with red onion, capers crème fraîche, and crispy potatoes), Lemon Ricotta Ravioli (chanterelle, shiitake, sage brown butter and parmesan), and finally the Pan Seared New Bedford Jumbo Sea Scallops (with white corn, bacon, and parmesan risotto). It was all AMAZING! We were absolutely blown away especially by the first two, the smoked salmon just melted in our mouth, and the Lemon Ricotta Ravioli was such a unique and amazing mixture of flavors with the lemon, ricotta and sage butter. You would think this could not be topped, but the entrees were even better!

Paul ordered the Slow Braised Colorado Lamb Shank (with soft polenta, swiss chard, garlic parsley crumbs, and natural lamb jus) and I ordered the Painted Hills Ranch Natural Beef Short Rib (with shiitake mushroom risotto, pea shoots, sugar snap peas, and tender carrots). AMAZING! The Lamb Shank was so tender and moist and HUGE! We needed a to-go box for that, and I cleaned my plate, with a little help from Paul. The Short Rib was absolutely delicious, and accompanied by the unbelievably amazing risotto, I was in heaven! FYI the Short Rib is something they have chosen to keep on the menu for a long time now, so if you aren’t keen on change, it’s still a restaurant you should check out if not only to try that Short Rib!!!

Before leaving this amazing establishment, we inquired about the very interesting chandelier and apparently it was a piece that was commission specific for the restaurant and has been inquired about by many. I don’t know that I need to describe is so much as just show you…

Following that amazing mean, we hopped back into the limo for more champagne and limo photo fun!

And finally, back to the hotel for a fun little toast of the evening and our anniversary! SO MUCH LOVE!