The sun's been out this week, and we can pretend for a few minutes that winter is drawing to a close. Celebrate with a pair of restaurant anniversary parties, a trio of early St. Patrick's Day festivities, a seed swap to jump-start your summer garden and more. Here are the fifteen best culinary events for March 10, 11 and 12. Now, go green or go home!
Friday, March 10
Cambodian food is tough to find in Denver, but you can learn to make your own at the Cooks for Books cooking class tonight. All proceeds go to support social and educational services for marginalized Cambodian kids — and in addition to the warm and fuzzy feelings you'll get from doing good, you'll also receive a hands-on cooking class, a three-course dinner and drinks, all for just $35 (or $60 per couple). Class starts tonight at 6 p.m. at the Posner Center for International Development, 1031 East 33rd Street. For more information and registration, head over to the event website.
The White Whale Room, 415 South Cherokee Street, was one of our early contenders for most promising bars of 2016, and thankfully, they've made it to their first anniversary. Help celebrate by heading over today to take advantage of the Whale's Melvin Brewing tap takeover. Boilermakers, other beer cocktails and food trucks will be on hand, as well as kung fu movies and Wu-Tang tunes for your entertainment. Doors open at 11 a.m.; see the event Facebook page for details.
What do you think you'd eat in March if you couldn't buy pasta, oranges or avocados at the grocery store? Find out at the End of Winter Harvest dinner tonight at 7:30 p.m. Make a reservation for a farm-to-table dinner by catering company TBD Foods at 1410 Gilpin Street for a casual, family-style dinner highlighting hearty winter vegetables and traditional preservation techniques, with dishes such as bruschetta with kale pesto, apples and pickled shallots; and pork-belly buns with beet hoisin and grilled onions. See the event Facebook page for the full menu; tickets are just $35 (no booze, but you can BYOB) and are available on eventbrite.com.
Saturday, March 11
Join the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project for an evening of Middle Eastern culture from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight at the Oddfellows Hall, 1543 Pearl Street in Boulder. Middle Eastern food and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. There will also be belly dancing and lesser-known Sufi dance performances from several local troupes; a dance party helmed by DJs; short films by Iraqi-American filmmaker Usama Alshaibi; and a storyteller. Proceeds will fund a delegation from Boulder visiting its sister city, Nablus, Palestine; more information can be found on the event's Facebook page. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at generosity.com.
Denver Deep Dish has made it to the terrible twos — which is great news for pizza-loving families. Round up your own little terrors and head over to the free, family-friendly second-anniversary party at 1200 West 38th Avenue, which kicks off at 10 a.m. with a kids' DIY pizza party. Family Feud-style trivia follows at 4 p.m., with live music, a raffle, free cake and BOGO specials thrown into the mix throughout the day. Beers will be poured for parents and the child-free alike; festivities go until 9 p.m. (if that's not past your bedtime).
Get a jump on celebrating St. Paddy's Day at the Thunderbird Imperial Lounge, 3759 Lipan Street, today at noon. Take the little ones over to check out the kid-friendly attractions like face painting, sidewalk chalk art and a bouncy castle. After they've had their fill, send them home with the nanny and head inside for adult-friendly beer and whiskey specials to celebrate your inner leprechaun. There's no cover; you can find more details at the Thunderbird's Facebook page.
Ballpark party palace ViewHouse, at 2015 Market Street, is rolling out its St. Patrick's Day menu today as well. The fun starts at 8 a.m. with corned beef and sauerkraut turnovers, shepherd's pie stuffed with corned beef and cabbage and topped with Guinness gravy, and drink specials on Jameson, Guinness and Irish car bombs. Head over after the parade to hear live Irish music and stay all day; the fun continues until 2 a.m.
The fifth annual Hops + Handrails event returns to Roosevelt Park in Longmont, 700 Longs Peak Avenue, from noon to 6 p.m. today. At this hybrid beer festival, rail jam and concert, you can sample over sixty craft beers (keep an eye on your watch, because beer tasting only runs until 4 p.m.), watch (or participate in) the rail jam, and listen to music headliner Chris Robinson Brotherhood. More information and tickets are available at the event website; general admission tix are $40, but our vote for best deal of the year goes to the VIP tix for $75, which provide access to exclusive beer and food, private restrooms and, most important, hot tubs.
So you've sown your seed, but you have plenty left over to share with other budding backyard gardeners. The GrowHaus, 4751 York Street, has just the event for you. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, the neighborhood greenhouse and market dedicated to improving the food landscape in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea is hosting its Annual Seed Swap, complete with live music, food vendors, gardening and beekeeping workshops, tours of the space and face painting (we call dibs on the Jolly Green Giant). Tickets are $12 in advance at nightout.com or $15 at the door. For more information, visit thegrowhaus.org. And if you bring seeds to swap, you'll be entered for a chance to win a GrowHaus prize. It's the seediest event all weekend!
The BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street, is hosting Serena Wolf, author of The Dude Diet: Clean(ish) Food for People Who Like to Eat Dirty, for a cooking demonstration and book signing at 7 p.m. tonight. The cookbook focuses on easy recipes for cooking novices looking for manly ways to help clean up their diet without sacrificing taste. Wolf will offer samples of her basil-and-tofu lettuce wraps and Sriracha hummus; buy the book and you'll get a free draft beer. But what if you're not a man? Don't worry: This cookbook isn't just geared toward guys with a fragile sense of masculinity. Word on the street is that the recipes will work for women, too.
Sunday, March 12
ViewHouse Centennial, 7101 South Clinton Street in Centennial, continues the fun started by its downtown sibling yesterday, kicking off with an expansive all-you-can-eat Irish brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; for $28.95 (adults) and $9.95 (kids ages six to twelve), you can indulge in all manner of Irish-ish fare. For reservations, call 303-945-3123.
Eating is fun. We all like to do it. And it goes hand in hand with sex, as documented by the foodie-cinema classic Tampopo, Juzo Itami’s wild comedy about a woman obsessed with making the perfect bowl of ramen, whose story is juxtaposed with several hilarious — and disturbing — food-inspired subplots. To celebrate the film’s thirtieth anniversary, the Flatirons Food Film Festival and the University of Colorado Boulder’s International Film Series have teamed up for Ramen! Ramen! Ramen!, a screening and after-party to satisfy the senses. The event begins at 2 p.m. at Muenzinger Auditorium, 1905 Colorado Avenue in Boulder with a ramen tasting, courtesy of Black Cat Bistro and Rama Ramen. Admission is $10 at the door or at eventbrite.com. Afterward, film-goers are invited to meet up at My Ramen & Izakaya, 3280 28th Street in Boulder, for a full dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost of dining is on you, but you can reserve a spot in advance at eventbrite.com.
CU Denver South, 10035 South Peoria Street in Parker, is hosting The Chocolate Experience today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For just $5, you'll get admission to the marketplace, where you can purchase all manner of decadent goodies from more than twenty vendors, and sample chocolate pairings with both wine and coffee. Admission also includes a pudding-eating contest (no hands!) and entry to the Wildlife Experience. Another $10 entitles you to twelve samples from vendors. Check out the full list of vendors and purchase tickets at the event website. There's no sweeter way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
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If you're Colorado-born and -bred, chances are you haven't had much practice shucking oysters or clams, making any attempt to prepare the tasty little bivalves at home daunting, at best. Get ready for that to change; Blue Island Oyster Bar, 2625 2nd Avenue, is offering a Chef and Shucker class today at 3 p.m. For $45, you'll learn about the history of oysters; how to wash, store and prepare shellfish; how to pair them with wine and beer; and, of course, how to shuck the little...er...suckers. Practice on live mollusks while enjoying a glass of wine, lobster bisque and a meat-and-cheese board. You'll take home your own oyster-shucking knife for future shucking endeavors. Call 303-333-2462 to reserve your space.
Frasca Food and Wine, 1738 Pearl Street, is launching a series of Sunday suppers this week, putting a twist on the typical wine dinner by offering not just glasses of wine with food, but wine flights instead. A reception featuring sparkling wine starts at 6 p.m., followed by a four-course meal paired with flights of Barbera, Nebbliolo and finally Barbaresco. The dinner's not cheap, but if you already got your tax refund, it'll be worth the splurge — and at least the $235 per-person cost includes the tip. See Frasca's website for more information; call 303-442-0608 to purchase your seat.
Chef Leah Eveleigh, winner of the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen, has made it her mission to spread the good word about the cuisine of her home country, the Philippines. Join her and fellow chef Chris Jakubiec, tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a Filipino feast of six courses (an appetizer, a small plate, two entrees and two desserts) for $75 per person. Reserve your seats through Feastly.com and get ready for pork belly adobo; pork and shrimp lumpia; beef short rib kare kare; sisig and more. Feastly withholds the exact address of events until after you purchase your tickets to avoid last-minute drop-ins, but to narrow it down so you can plan your travel time, the dinner will take place at a cooking school in the Montclair neighborhood. Reservations will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 11; guests are free to BYOB.