This is the week of April 20, and venues and parks will be full of parties. But if smoking a bowl in public isn't your thing, consider these food and drink events — after all, man cannot live on Totino's Party Pizzas alone. Here are the eight best culinary events for April 17 through 21.
Monday, April 17
Start off your week with something different: dim sum at Rebel Restaurant, 3763 Wynkoop Street. One of the most consistently creative joints in town is pairing up with chefs Cindhura Reddy (Spuntino), Tiffany Leong (Duo) and Kyle Foster (formerly of Colt & Gray) to break out the wheeled carts tonight from 6 to 11 p.m. on April 17. Don't expect traditional dim sum dishes, though; while you will pay by the plate, that's where the resemblance to your favorite weekend Chinese indulgence is likely to end. Check out Rebel's Facebook page for more details, and call 303-297-3902 for reservations.
Tuesday, April 18
If you live north of 120th Avenue and are looking for something to do after work that eases the sting of filing that tax return — and doesn't involve a long trek south — check out William Oliver's Publick House at 201 North Public Road in Lafayette on April 18. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Limestone Branch Distillery will be hosting a whiskey class and tasting on the rooftop patio. Get four samples (including rye and bourbon) as well as an education for just $15; tickets are available at eventbrite.com.
Wednesday, April 19
Why is it that we put more thought into selecting our cauliflower than we do our cabernet sauvignon? If eating organic, natural produce is important, then knowing how the grapes that go into each bottle are treated is important, too. The goal of Colorado Natural Wine Week, which runs from April 17 through 22 at venues all over town, is to educate consumers about wines that are made with organic and biodynamic practices and that treat the grape with respect – from the vine to the dinner table. The pinnacle of the series of wine dinners, tastings and bar takeovers is the Grand Showcase on April 19 at Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, featuring more than 200 wines made with traditional old-world techniques, along with guest appearances by vintners from ten wineries around the world, including Colorado's own Demeter-certified Jack Rabbit Hill Winery. Tickets are $39 each or $75 per couple for the Showcase, which runs from 4 to 8:30 p.m. See Natural Wine Week's website for a complete list of the week's events and to purchase tickets. It's the best week to swirl, sip and spit.
Lola Coastal Mexican, 1575 Boulder Street, is pulling out all the stops on April 19 for the Tenth Annual Dos Casas fundraiser event benefiting Brent's Place, a nonprofit foundation providing free, long-term housing for young patients and their families from around the Rocky Mountain region who must travel to Denver for medical treatment. Ten top Denver chefs (including Jamey Fader of Lola, Paul C. Reilly of Beast + Bottle and Coperta, and Alex Seidel of Fruition and Mercantile Dining + Provision) will team up to create a decadent five-course menu boasting smoked goat cheese fritters with hot pickled cherries, spicy lobster broth and posole with fish and chile-verde broth. A silent auction and live music will also be on hand when the event kicks off at 6 p.m. Find the complete menu and roster of chefs at the Dos Casas website, and nab your tickets there ($200 per person) before they sell out.
Thursday, April 20
Rosenberg's Bagels and Deli is celebrating 4/20 with a special one-day-only menu from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or until sold out). Head over to 725 East 26th Avenue for chicken and waffle bagels with cheddar cheese and maple syrup; rugelach filled with Butterfingers, Heath bars, cookie butter and Andes mints (not all at once); and pastrami tacos.
Vesper Lounge is known for its cocktails, not its wine list — in fact, there are only three options on the regular drink menu (red, white or bubbly). That will change on April 20 at 6 p.m., when Vesper, 233 East Seventh Avenue, will pour a range of natural wines from the Centennial State for just $8 per glass. It's a low-key, affordable way to celebrate Colorado Natural Wine week, with all proceeds going to Water for People, an international nonprofit working for safe water and sanitation across the globe. Check out Water for People's website for info on their mission, and Vesper's Facebook page for event details.
Brace yourself: The Moovers and Shakers Cocktail Competition is coming to Boulder on April 20 to benefit the Dairy Arts Center (groan). Head to 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight to try rum-based libations from bartenders from Basta, Blackbelly, Frasca, Mateo, Oak at Fourteenth and River and Woods. Paired apps will also be served, and you'll be able to vote for your favorite combo. Head over to the Dairy Arts Center website to purchase your tickets in advance for $60; they'll be $65 at the door.
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Friday, April 21
Mardi Gras has come and gone, but it's never too late to show your customers some love — in this case, in the form of multi-legged freshwater mudbugs. Cultivate Colorado, an organic and hydroponic garden center at 666 Buchtel Boulevard, is offering something a bit more tangible (and delicious) than the typical 10 percent discount during Cultivate's Crustacean Customer Appreciation day: free crawfish with fixings from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 21. Stop by to get your grub and some inspiration for your garden today; it's a free event, but details are at eventbrite.com.