This must be the season of the witch; bars and restaurants all over town are getting spooky with Halloween dinners, parties and specials. So break out the zombie makeup and dust off last year's sexy Bernie Sanders costume; it's time to celebrate Halloween, the holiday that seems to start earlier and earlier every year.
Wednesday, October 25
Spaghetti isn't necessarily spooky, but Sarto's, 2900 West 25th Avenue, is hosting a spine-tingling night of Italian food, wine and spirits — and not just the boozy kind. Join in for a four-course dinner with dessert accompanied by readings from psychic medium Heather Hunter. She may reveal that your grandma is safe and happy in another place, or she may just predict that you'll go home with a full belly. The dinner runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and costs $65 per person. Get your tickets at eventbrite.com. We see red sauce in your near future.
Friday, October 27
Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, is filled with the ghosts of Denver's past, but on Friday, October 27, you can haunt the Terminal Bar's Spooky Speakeasy party in your own ghastly garb. Beginning at 9 p.m., the bar will be screening horror movies while a DJ plays creepy music and the bar pours Halloween cocktails and beer specials. But the main draw is a costume contest where prizes will be awarded — including a one-night stay at the Crawford Hotel and a $100 gift card to Denver Union Station for the winner (so take our advice on the sexy Bernie Sanders getup for the win).
Wine is fine and candy is dandy, but wine and candy together? Infinite Monkey Theorem calls the combo just freaky good. The trained palates at Denver's urban winery have been sampling Halloween goodies to come up with pairings that will please every pixie and poltergeist (or whatever you choose to dress as). From Friday, October 27, through Sunday, October 29, get two pairings for $5; choose from Nerds and moscato, Jolly Ranchers and rosé, dark chocolate and petit verdot, and Reese’s with cabernet franc. The tastings are available at the RiNo winery, 3200 Larimer Street, and the Stanley Marketplace taproom, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora.
Saturday, October 28
A visit to Beatrice & Woodsley, 38 South Broadway, feels a little otherworldly even when it's not haunting season. But on Saturday, October 28, a descent into the restaurant's subterranean wine cellar will feel positively sepulchral. A four-course prix fixe dinner with a cocktail reception will be served with a "Masquerade of the Red Death" theme, drawing inspiration from the chilling works of Edgar Allan Poe. B&W suggest classy "masquerade attire" (not required), so skip the plushy outfit in favor of something a little more upscale, then enjoy chilled pear and ginger soup; slow-stewed eggplant risotto; osso bucco; and panettone with vanilla and preserved figs for $65 per person, with drink pairings available for an additional $25. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m., with dinner seating at 7. Call the restaurant at 303-777-3505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation (required).
If you dig monster pics, slashers and other forms of horror movies, Punch Bowl Social, 65 Broadway, is the gathering place on Saturday night. This year's PBS Halloween Bash has a horror-film theme, so come dressed as your favorite movie character, starting at 9 p.m. A Halloween punch called the Wolfsbane Bowl will be the featured punch. There's no cover, but there will be a DJ, food specials and best-costume prizes. Call 303-765-2695 for questions and to make reservations.
Tuesday, October 31
Voodoo dolls are pretty creepy, unless they're made out of deep-fried dough and covered with sprinkles — and then they go from demonic to delicious. Chicken Rebel (at Finn's Manor, 2927 Larimer Street) knows this, so the chicken-sandwich food truck is teaming up with Voodoo Doughnut for two chicken-and-doughnut combos that will be offered on Halloween night only. The first will come with Nashville-style hot chicken, and the second will be more dessert-like (Chicken Rebel is keeping exact details under wraps for a real trick-or-treat surprise). Come by from 5 to 9 p.m. and enjoy other Halloween festivities put on by Finn's Manor.
Sushi is one of the specialties of the house at Mister Tuna, 3033 Brighton Boulevard — but have you ever eaten raw fish off a zombie corpse? Come to chef Troy Guard's RiNo eatery between 8 p.m. and midnight on Halloween night to find out what it's like. Wear a costume and enjoy late-night food and drink specials, music from DJ TonTon, and sushi strategically placed on a prone model (called nyotaimori in Japan) dressed as the undead. Call the restaurant at 303-831-8862 for details.
Mici Handcrafted Italian has four Denver locations, all of which will be making Halloween a family-friendly event. Show up with your costumed kiddos (twelve and under), who can eat free from Mici’s Bambini menu as long as you purchase an adult entree. The menu includes kid-sized pizzas, bowtie pasta with marinara or Alfredo sauce, or simple butter-and-Parmesan pasta. Miniature masked marauders will also get a ball of pizza dough to play with while they wait. The deal is good for dine-in dinners only starting at 4 p.m. See Mici's website for locations and menus.
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Tuesday, October 31, through Thursday, November 2
One of Boulder's best Mexican restaurants is getting in the spirit with a Día de los Muertos dinner special that spans three nights. Centro Mexican Kitchen, 950 Pearl Street, is running a special prix fixe dinner for two for $55 per person. Enjoy a prickly-pear mojito or blackberry margarita; braised short ribs with spiced pumpkin purée and an amaranth salad; and pan de muertos (Day of the Dead bread) with ice cream for dessert. Come as early as 4 p.m. for the special; reservations are recommended, so call 303-442-7771 to book a table.
Thursday, November 2
Leave it to Rebel Restaurant, 3763 Wynkoop Street, to buck the Halloween trend and instead offer a Día de los Muertos dinner in conjunction with Suerte tequila. This will be the RiNo restaurant's third year in a row for the Mexican-themed dinner, so expect good things. The house lights will be off, and the party will be illuminated only by candlelight, including two traditional alters to the dead; bring photos or mementos of loved ones who have passed to add to the altars. Come in costume or have your face painted by two on-site makeup artists. A full menu of creative ceviche, tostadas, cazuelitas, tamales, salsas and other takes on traditional fare will be served from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Call 303-297-3902 or email email@example.com for reservations.