Go Big or Go Home – Denver, Day 1

Despite the initial shock of landing in one degree weather, Denver has been good to us so far. We are staying at the Curtis – A Doubletree Hotel right in the thick of things … and about two blocks from the main shopping area. Although we miss our little baby dog Bella, we are finding solace in the amazing food here.

We had lunch at the hotel. Our appetizer was a twist on crab ragoon – but with peppers. The tempura was like a cake-y batter and the second bite about burned my entire mouth. It was good though. Brad had the working lunch: pressed cuban sandwich, arugula salad and a cup of tomato basil soup. I had the grilled cheese wtih tomato basil soup – perfect lunch for perfect, chilly weather.

If you are wondering what the drizzle on the soup is, it’s basil infused EVOO – yeah, it was good!

Dinner was an amazing restaurant called Rioja in Larimer Square. It was too dark in the restaurant to take pictures, but here is the street! It was soooo cute.

Now, on to the good stuff – DINNER!

Appetizer: seared sea scallops wtih vanilla brown butter veloute, hazlenut sage pistou and glazed root vegetables.

Me: saffron manchego risotto and seared Liberty duck breast with pisachio pine nut stuffed Medjool dates, saffron almond cracker and spiced citrus jus.

Brad: Colorado lamb, two way: grilled t-bone, house made lamb merguez sausage, crisp couscous pillows, caramelized fennel, tomato coulis and preserved lemon yogurt.

As you can imagine, there was no room for dessert – although they had a buffalo mozarella platter that was too die for. We tried to walk around, but Brad’s frozen hair and my frozen body prohibited these things. The four block walk seemed endless and although it was only 9 o’clock, the dark, cold air was reminiscent of 2 am in the middle of Antartica’s frozen tundra… I’m just sayin’. After warming up at the hotel, we headed back down to the restaurant for some hot chocolate and dessert. Yeah, did I mention “go big or go home”? You’d think we were traveling around Europe eating our way through the towns. Nope, just experiencing what Denver has to offer!

Me: espresso creme brulee with shortbread cookies

Brad: warm apple cinnamon bread pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

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