This week's culinary calendar brings a pair of Italian feasts, throwback specials all week at a Larimer Square favorite, and a little mountaineering education to go with your beer. Keep reading for the best food and drink events and deals for the week of August 7, plus a few more to plan for in the coming weeks.
Monday, August 7
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen has been around for seven years, and continues to boast one of the best beer lists and most consistently creative menus in town. To celebrate, it's rolling out a greatest-hits menu from Monday, August 7, through Sunday, August 13, with favorites from the last seven years like mini-cheesesteaks, oyster po' boys and Cheez Whiz spaetzle for just $7 each. And to cap off the festivities, a birthday barbecue will take over Larimer Square on Saturday, August 19, when $45 will get you a special menu (drinks not included) from the most geometric kitchen in Denver. Tickets for the street party are on sale now at brownpapertickets.com, but no need to RSVP for the throwback menu. Just show up — and remember: Everything old is new again.
Tuesday, August 8
If you're a wannabe Edmund Hillary who can't yet tell your crampons from your carabiner, consider attending Basics and Brews, a free climbing clinic on Tuesday, August 8, at Crazy Mountain Brewery Tap Room, 471 Kalamath Street. From 6 to 9 p.m., experts from Denver Mountain Guiding will be on hand to teach you how to scale mountains without ending up like the unsuccessful climbers who attempted to summit Sir Hillary's most famous conquest. The best part (other than learning how to survive hypothermia and not die in a crevasse)? The first fifteen students get a free beer from Crazy Mountain, and all students get happy-hour pricing for the night. Just don't take that state-dependent learning too seriously on your first solo expedition. Details are up on the event's Facebook page.
Wednesday, August 9
Sparkling wine is the perfect summer wine — so bubbly and effervescent. Or is rosé, light and served ice-cold, the champion porch-pounder? And let's not forget pinot grigio and its bright acidity, which pairs excellently with light summer meals. Luckily for you, Firenze a Tavola, 4401 Tennyson Street, isn't choosing sides with its wine dinner on Wednesday, August 9. Starting at 6 p.m., diners can enjoy all three varietals (plus a classic Aperol Spritz) with the menu. For $58, expect four courses, including lemon-roasted pork, eggplant cannelloni with raisins and pine nuts, and strawberry-rhubarb tart for dessert. The full menu is up at the restaurant's website; call 303-561-0234 for reservations.
Mountain towns aren't cheap, but if you can swing it, there's nothing like a five-day celebration of wine and wilderness at the Steamboat Wine Festival, which runs from Wednesday, August 9, through Sunday, August 13. Events range from Wine on the Nine (golfing and drinking) to Trails and Tannins (hiking and imbibing) to Warrior and the Wine (yoga and...you get the idea) to Toast of Steamboat (the main tasting event). Tickets for individual events start at $85; steamboatwinefestival.com has a complete schedule and list of participating cellars and restaurants. Treat yourself and enjoy great wines in the great outdoors.
Thursday, August 10
Our neighbors in Stapleton deserve good food, too, even if they have moved to the most suburban of all city ’hoods (for the schools, of course). Now they (and you) can spend the evening of Thursday, August 10, at Salati Italian Street Food, 8270 East Northfield Boulevard, where the menu for the latest in its series of wine-pairing dinners reads like the greatest hits of Italian cuisine: gazpacho, goat's-milk formaggio, sage and brown-butter gnocchi and polenta with Tuscan short ribs. From 6 to 9 p.m., diners will get six courses and four wines for $95; RSVP by calling 303-307-1695. The full menu is up on the ristorante's Facebook page.
Friday, August 11
Everyone spends Fridays counting down the minutes until they can have a drink. Why not double down on your post-cubicle drinking with a beer festival conveniently scheduled right after you get off work? Education on Tap benefits the CU South Denver Community Education Fund; from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, August 11, join Bristol Brewing Co., Grist Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery and thirty other breweries and restaurants for unlimited beer and food, live music and yard games at CU South Denver, 10035 South Peoria Street in Lone Tree. Tickets range from $50 to $100, but if you're a CU alum or student, you're in luck: You get 20 percent off. Find all of the participating vendors and get your tickets at southdenvercu.com.
And if you're planning ahead...
Saturday, August 12
Cherry Creek is going through lots of changes, but the ninth annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine, Saturday, August 12, on Fillmore Plaza, promises to be delicious as always. Seventeen Cherry Creek North restaurants will offer samples of their dishes; the Vineyard, Stranahan's and Wynkoop Brewing Company will be pouring liquid refreshments. And a live band will have attendees dancing on the plaza. Get all the details here.
Thursday, August 17
If you're a regular in Denver bars and breweries, chances are you've seen the governor (formerly Hizzoner) out and about at least once. Now's your chance to get up close and personal with Hick at Brews and Bites with Governor Hickenlooper on Thursday, August 17. The beer pairing event takes place at the Governor's Mansion, 400 8th Avenue, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and allows guests access to the rooms and gardens of the residence while enjoying beer brewed by the man himself (with assistance from Strange Craft Brewing) along with fifteen beer and food pairings. Breweries on hand will include Epic, Strange, Cerebral, Ratio and the underrated Baere. Tickets ($75) are on sale at constantcontact.com.
Sunday, August 20
Tacolandia returns to Denver on August 20, and it will be bigger and better than ever, now in Civic Center Park! For $35 general admission, you get all the tacos you can eat from forty of Denver's best Mexican restaurants and taquerias. And a $75 VIP ticket gets you into the event an hour early, as well as special samplings from Jamey Fader of Lola Coastal Mexican. Find out more at westwordtacolandia.com.
Saturday, September 2
Salida is better known for FIBArk than fermentation, though that's changing with Wood's High Mountain Distillery and the annual Brewer's Rendezvous, now in its 21st year. And on Saturday, September 2, the town rounds out its alcohol portfolio with the 6th Annual Salida Winefest. Eighteen Colorado wineries will set up shop in beautiful Riverside Park from 1 to 6 p.m., where attendees can spread out on the banks of the Arkansas River while sipping their way through unlimited wine samples. If you're a locavore oenophile with early-onset grumpiness (is there any other kind?), we suggest hitting this festival sooner rather than later, so you can spend the next six years complaining about how much better the fest was when nobody knew about it. Tickets are a steal at $20; get them at salidawinefest.com.
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Tuesday, September 5, through Sunday, September 10
Denver Food + Wine Festival is a month away, but if you're considering hitting any of the events this year, it's worth planning ahead. Early-bird tickets are now on sale, promising savings of $10 to $50 dollars, depending on what whets your appetite. And there are happenings for everyone, from the Culinary Cinema Series screening a film about barbecue to the Riedel Wine Glass Seminar (how very bougie of you) to the Grand Tasting and more. Take a look at denverfoodandwine.com for a complete schedule and tickets.
See the Westword calendar for even more food and drink events, and if you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.