Anniversary Dinner at Café Cortina

Hello! Today is Thursday, right? After traveling, working, and trying my best to unplug and enjoy a day with my husband yesterday, my week is all out of whack.

Summer sure is a crazy time! We have been traveling, hosting guests, and spending every weekend away from home for over a month. I’m really looking forward to catching up on life and taking advantage of a slow couple of days at home this weekend.

Living up one last hoorah for a while, Scott and I took the day to celebrate something special yesterday. We have been married for exactly four years!

heather and scott celebrating 4 years of marriage

After working at home throughout the morning, I joined Scott for a quick lunch before a matinee movie. I hurried off to work directly after, then trained a couple of clients before he picked me back up to get ready for a nice dinner out.

I wasn’t sure where we were going, but I knew it had to be pretty spectacular for the forty minute drive across town. And yes, it was that good, so I am dedicating an entire post to it.


Café Cortina

Tucked away in the middle of Farmington Hills, Michigan, Café Cortina is one of the “best kept secrets” of dining in the Metro Detroit area. With entrée orders ranging anywhere from $31 – $62+, this restaurant would be a great spot to celebrate a special occasion, host a private party, or even treat a very lucky out of town guest.

Scott and I had been saving a couple of Visa gift cards to use for something special, so our fourth wedding anniversary was the perfect excuse to splurge.

Cafe Cortina Farmington, MI

Located in an Italian countryside vineyard setting, the restaurant has turned into a foodie destination that has been running strong for close to forty years!

While food is delicious, the setting (both inside and out) is extremely majestic and memorable. Café Cortina is voted the third most romantic restaurant in Detroit, and the reason is obvious.

We felt incredibly welcomed and taken care of as soon as we pulled up, left our car at valet, and walked up to the main entrance.

cafe cortina entrance

We were unable to make reservations for dinner, but that didn’t seem to be a problem. We arrived around 7:45 p.m., and were ushered straight to a cozy table for two on the patio, per our request. It was so beautiful!

cafe cortina patio dining

Lines of bushes naturally created a few different seating areas, and the brick walkways and trees were lined with sparkly white lights and wild flowers. It felt like we were in the middle of a movie set!

The wait staff was extremely attentive the entire time. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone following me, assisting me where to go, or meeting me back at my chair to help scoot me in. I’m not quite used to receiving that level of service, so it was nice for the night.

We started with two glasses of wine, an Italian specialty for Scott and a Pinot Noir for me while we looked over the menu.

wine at dinner - cafe cortina

We put in an appetizer order, then asked our waitress to take a photo of us. She graciously led us to a couple of different spots on the patio, and insisted on taking more than a one or two. She was so sweet!

heather and scott on anniversary dinner

We took a short walk around the grounds and made it back to our seats with plenty of time before our appetizer arrived.

squash risotto with lamb lollipop

Saffron Risotto w/Colorado Free Range Lollipop Lambchop (seasoned, chargrilled)

There wasn’t any kind of rush to ordering, and the wait staff encouraged us to take our time and enjoy the environment outside while we dined. We eventually picked two dinner entrées, both of which came with their specialty house salad drizzled in light, creamy dressing.

cafe cortina side salad

We were served warm and fluffy bread that was almost impossible to turn down, even after each of us ate a few pieces.

Scott’s filet also came with a side of homemade pasta that came out before the main dishes. We were certainly getting treated like kings!

scott's dinner side at cafe cortina

The house-made sauce was so tasty and flavorful, and we picked up on the fact that you can purchase jars of it to take home on the way out.

Wanting pasta myself, I ordered another house favorite after our waitress suggested it. I can’t find the official name on the menu, but it was some kind of house-made ribbon pasta with a veal “bolognese”.

cafe cortina veal bolognese dinner

I very rarely order or even eat veal, but it looked like a popular dish I wanted to try. I felt horrible eating it, but it was incredibly tasty, and will get me through at least two more meals of leftovers.

Scott ordered a filet that came with the pasta (pictured above mine), a side of scalloped potatoes and zucchini fries.

filet dinner at cafe cortina farmington, mi

Everything I tried off of his plate was incredible. The meat was extremely tender, and the veggies were soft and flavorful.

Still encouraged to take our time, we asked to see a dessert menu. Before we had the chance to look over anything, we were brought two small glasses of homemade ice cream with a side of sparkle and fire.

celebrating 4 years at cafe cortina

A small group of servers came over to wish us a happy anniversary, and one asked if she could take a couple of pictures for us.

anniversary surprise after dinner - cafe cortina

Like I mentioned before, the service was impeccable!

celebrating 4 years of marriage at cafe cortina

Needless to say, Scott and I had a wonderful anniversary dinner and celebration. He did a fantastic job choosing a restaurant that left us both feeling highly satisfied and spoiled. It was such a treat!

If you’re ever in the Detroit-ish area and are looking for a fancy dinner out, we would highly recommend a trip over to Café Cortina.

Thanks for stopping by to read about our anniversary celebration, and I hope you have a great rest of your Thursday!

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