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Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Just got off the horn with Michael Long, exec chef and partner at Aria, Long's New American restaurant at 250 Josephine Street, and the news is good: After months of getting the dining room, kitchen and bar in tip-top shape, Aria will open tomorrow at 5 p.m.

"My stress level is a ten on the Richter Scale, but I'm ready," Long assures me, adding that his goal is to turn out irresistible, pure-pleasure dishes in a space that's a haven for the Cherry Creek crowds and everyone else who begged him to unleash a restaurant in Denver, eight years after he opened Opus in Littleton. "For years, I've been cooking in Littleton, and while we've had a lot of success there, everyone kept asking me to open a restaurant in Denver, so here we are," he says. "Here, I want to do artistic food, but not in a special-occasion setting, and ultimately, I just want to feed people and make them happy."

Long did exactly that last night, giving us a sneak peek into the culinary artistry he's orchestrating at Aria.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Roasted bone marrow sprinkled with red sea salt accompanied by an Italian parsley salad dressed with sherry vinaigrette, grilled bread and a trio of mustards.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Executive chef Michael Long in the kitchen of Aria, which will open on Thursday in the former Juicy Lucy space in Cherry Creek.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

The whimsically named "Duck Duck Goose" struts foie gras, goose confit and cured duck breast sided with cranberries.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Pan-seared sea scallops drizzled with bacon drippings -- straight from a candle jar -- and served with red chard and caramelized cipollini onions.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Long amassed a collection of candle jars and wicks, which are lit and used to melt the bacon drippings.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Onion-crusted grouper with tomato confit, buttermilk mashed potatoes and a warm bourbon-pecan pepper sauce.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Michael Long and his kitchen commanders preparing for dinner.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Long's Italian take on ramen: Housemade tagliatelle, roasted chicken and a yolky poached egg bobbing in a chicken, pancetta and escarole broth floating with scallions and fresh herbs.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Black- and white-sesame seed spotted tuna tartare "PB&J" with gingered coconut milk jelly, spicy Thai curry peanut sauce and capers.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Crisp yellowfin tuna rolls with Asian succotash, ginger sauce and tamarind jus.

Food porn from Michael Long's Aria, opening Thursday in Cherry Creek
Lori Midson

Wonton-wrapped chocolate chip cookie spring rolls with Chinese Five Spice-powdered chocolate mousse, vanilla bean ice cream and ginger-scented anglaise.

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Aria

250 Josephine St.
Denver, CO 80206

303-377-4012


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