Well guys, I pulled it off – I successfully surprised Scott with an entire birthday evening that he never saw coming. Last Thursday Scott turned 33, and I prepared what I hope was a memorable birthday celebration for the books.
Now what makes me sad is this: I spent the whole day capturing my birthday surprises on Instagram Stories. And though I love that the posts delete after 24 hours, I had every intention of saving the couple dozen videos I made for him to watch later. I’m not a selfie kind of girl, so putting myself on in selfie mode was truly a departure from our typical routine. But when I went to save all the videos, for whatever reason they wouldn’t save and then disappeared. So they’re gone. Instagram fail. They are gone and lost forever. But! I do have pictures. Lots. So here we go…
After secretly decorating our hotel room for the evening and making the cake we would have later, I told Scott to be ready by 4PM – he was, I wasn’t. I had reservations at 5:45 for Marble + Rye in Buffalo, and thought we would swing by another one of our favorite spots for a cocktail before. However, pulling out of the driveway at 4:30 was not quite what I planned, so straight to Marble we went.
Scott had no idea, and was SO thrilled to finally cross this restaurant off of our Buffalo Bucket List. I’ll say that the food, the ambiance, and the service (our trifecta of perfection) was indeed on point that night. I loved the interior brick, the simple wood tables, and the beautiful bar area that was truly flirting with us as we sat in the main dining area. Scott and I are usually bar sitters, even for meals, as it lends to more casual conversation with the bartender and other patrons. We’re social. That pretty much sums it up.
But the food?? Delicious. We ordered cocktails to start (that Scott finished for me since I was driving – the theme of the entire night…) but it was the appetizers that we went nuts about. $5 for a huge mound of Pickled Onion Rings wins the bargain menu item in my book – I scarfed em’ down and then was embarrassed that I fed my face that much fried food in front of my hot fiancé. Oh well. Won’t be the last time, I’m sure. We also ordered the Beets with Roquefort cheese, which seems to be a thing in Buffalo as we had a similar dish at Black Sheep. Delicious, but my heart was with the onions.
We make it a point to never order the same main dish – 1) I think it is better to experience more when reviewing a restaurant 2) I like different food options to keep working on my photography game, and 3) I’m always jealous of what Scott gets and figure I can try it if I don’t like what I ordered. In this case, we both wanted the burger, which is what everyone has been telling us about – I relented and the birthday boy got the burger, and I ordered the chicken. No offense to the chicken (which was perfectly executed), but it truly is about the burger at Marble + Rye. I will go back many times and always order the burger.
We hadn’t planned on dessert, but our server took it upon himself to surprise Scott with a special birthday treat, and so we lingered and enjoyed the lovely gesture. Little did Scott know we were on a time crunch to run over to Vera in Elmwood Village to meet my sister and her boyfriend for a birthday toast. But when people go out of their way to create a special moment, you always stop and enjoy that moment to its fullest.
Vera was great, though we didn’t stay long, and Scott had his favorite drink, the Old Fashioned, while I ordered the Home Wrecker. Indeed it would have been, so Scott finished that drink too. Very strong, but fabulous flavor profile. Their menu has since changed, so I think it only fair to go back and order some plates to go with our cocktails.
Last but certainly not least, we stopped by Aro Bar de Tapas on our way home. Before Scott turned to bourbon as his liquor of choice, he was a Gin and Tonic man all the way. And truly, you can’t get better G&Ts in Western New York than at Aro. So in we went to perch at the bar and order a Barrel over Niagara for Scott and a Moniato for me. Another birthday surprise happened when Chef Robert Mahoney came out with a new savory plate, the Pork Belly Chicharrónes (confit pork belly, scallion, cabbage, cider reduction, puffed pork rinds) which Scott devoured. Knowing there was cake back home, we left without dessert, which is a cardinal sin if you know dessert at Aro. Lesson learned, won’t happen again.
But the big moment of the evening was the detour I made on the way home to surprise Scott with a night at the Hart House Hotel in Medina. This was like, that epic grand finale at the end of a fabulous fireworks display. I arranged for an evening in Scott’s favorite room, the Microloft, which comes complete with a beautiful fireplace and romantic decor. I snagged a bottle of Leonard Oakes Sparkling Apple Rosé that Scott has wanted to try, and had balloons waiting in the room. He was dumbfounded when we pulled into the parking lot and I grabbed the cake. It took him halfway up the stairs to the room to understand what was happening, but it was lovely.
We toasted my guy to 33 wonderful years complete, and the next 33 which will most likely hold some of the biggest and most important events in our lives.What an adventure we are on, and it felt only right to celebrate it in a big way for lucky #33.
Ok, so 1000 words later and I could still go on. But I’ll leave it at that and say it was my favorite way to spend his first birthday back in Western New York. Oh, and I love balloons. But you already knew that. ;)