My husband, Ryan, and I really whoop it up on our birthdays. Usually it involves a weekend away and lots of secrecy. In October, Ryan took me on a surprise birthday trip to Central City, but first we had dinner at the Chart House in Genesee. This is where we had our wedding rehearsal dinner over 11 years ago, but we’d never been back, so it was an extra special place to have a meal.
If you’ve never been, Chart House is a chain of high-end restaurants with a beautiful selection of seafood and steaks. Our table was next to the restaurant’s signature window that looks down on Denver. We sipped cocktails as the sun went down and the lights of the city started to glitter.
I ordered the autumn spiced scallops that came perched atop a ginger kabocha squash puree. They were heavenly. Ryan started with a lobster bisque, and it was simply divine. He followed that up with a surf and turf style dinner fit for a king.
After dinner, we were off to Central City, Colorado and the Reserve Casino & Hotel where Ryan had booked a room for the night. We’d stayed at this casino before when it was Fortune Valley. They have done some major remodeling and our room was quite modern. We changed out of our fancy clothes and into more comfy gambling attire.
The entire Reserve has been updated. There’s even a new, separate bar area that features bands on the weekends. In the elevator we spied an advertisement for our friend Steve’s band, Rush Archives. They are playing a free show at the Reserve on November 16.
In a moment of pure madness I decided to leave my cell phone in our room. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I’m inseparable from social media, but on this evening I decided to free myself, and I was happy that I did so.
We gambled the night away, first at the Reserve and then later at a few other Central City casinos. When the last call for alcohol was announced at 2 a.m. we were at the Bonanza, and I was shocked. Without my phone I’d had no way of tracking the time and the night had literally flown by. We headed back to the Reserve, got a late night pizza from Market Street, the casino’s cafÃ© (something we regretted as it tasted like cardboard), and called it a night.
The next morning we had the breakfast buffet at Market Street. It’s $14.99 with your Reserve player’s card, and it’s a pretty good spread, although they didn’t have toast due to a broken toaster, which was disappointing. I needed some bread to soak up the booze from the previous night/morning. The freshly made omelet station made up for it, along with the mimosa (free with the buffet).
We spent the morning gambling in Black Hawk, ending up at the brand new Saratoga Casino. The staff member who signed us up for player’s cards noticed that it was just a few days past my birthday and put a 1,000 extra points on my card.
We had a great time gambling at Saratoga and won enough there so that we’d nearly broken even on the weekend by the time we left that afternoon. I like the layout of Saragota; it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as some of the other casinos. Plus, if I win, like I did at Saratago, then that particular casino instantly becomes a favorite.
We’d earned enough points for a free lunch buffet, so before heading home we helped ourselves to Saratoga’s massive buffet. The spread rivals those I’ve seen in Las Vegas and we were definitely impressed, and will be back.
As we pulled out of town we were already checking our calendar to figure out when we could return.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for any of this trip, and all opinions are my own.