There are plenty of great food and drink events in April, from an oyster-shucking good time to a posh charity event to combat childhood hunger. Sip beers from 100 breweries at a neighborhood bar, get your grilled cheese on, or help chefs choose new dishes for a seasonal menu. Eat, drink and be merry this April — no fooling!
Tuesday, April 4
High West Oyster Fest
2032 14th Street
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar gets in the shell game tonight from 6 to 11 p.m. with its fifth annual High West Oyster Fest, celebrating the magnificent mollusk with an oyster-eating competition (now in its seventeenth year), a separate oyster-shucking contest, Jax food and drinks and live music from Guerilla Fanfare. Appropriately, Oyster Bay wines will be poured to accompany the seafood, and there will be a collaboration beer from the Post Brewing Company and Odell Brewing Company: Emersum Oyster Stout. Dig into raw oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, spicy tuna, smoked trout & quinoa salad, and a live crawfish boil. All proceeds and donations will go YWCA of Boulder County. High West Oyster Fest 2017 is sponsored by Jax partners Northeast Seafood, Rappahannock River Oyster Company and the Daily Camera. Tickets can be purchased at ticketfly.com for $35 each.
Saturday, April 8
Eighth Annual Govnr's Park Beer Festival
Govnr's Park Tavern
672 Logan Street
Govnr's Park has been serving the neighborhood with good cheer and lots of beer for more than forty years. And for the past seven years, even more brews have flowed during the annual Govnr's Park Beer Fest. Now in its eighth year, the festival welcomes guests to the tavern from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. More than 100 different beers will be poured for only $20 per person; proceeds will be donated to Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN). Call the restaurant at 303-831-8605 for more information; tickets can be purchased by visiting Govnr's Park Tavern in person.
Tuesday, April 11
Test Table Tuesday
The Way Back
4132 West 38th Avenue
Way Back chefs Samuel Charles and Marcus Eng welcome guests to the April installment of the Test Table Tuesday dinner series from 5 to 10 p.m. The monthly event offers a prix fixe menu of market-driven dishes that could eventually make it to the restaurant's regular menu. The interactive dinner gives guests the opportunity to get a sneak peek at future menu items and share in the chefs' creative process. The three-course dinner comes in at $45 per person, or dishes can also be purchase à la carte. For an additional cost, "new school" and "old school" beverage pairings will also be offered, which could include wine, beer or cocktails, depending on the dish and your preference. Call the Way Back for reservations and additional information.
Wednesday, April 12
Denver Grilled Cheese Festival
McNichols Civic Center Building
144 West Colfax Avenue
Any time you eat a grilled cheese sandwich is a cause for celebration, but if you want a real sandwich party, head to the Denver Grilled Cheese Festival tonight. The cheesiest event in town comes courtesy of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which provides free books to children under five. Tickets sales and a silent auction will raise money for the Denver branch of Imagination Library, and an award for Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich in Denver will be given to the Denver chef who can wow the judges. The fun starts at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. for VIPs) with passed appetizers before the sandwich grilling gets under way; tickets are going fast, so get yours soon — $45 for general admission or $175 for VIP — on the Denver Grilled Cheese Festival website.
Thursday, April 13
Nosh and Posh
Civic Center Park
Broadway and Colfax Avenue
Food-truck season will be upon us sooner than you think; Civic Center Eats will return in May for weekly food-truck rallies, but once a month throughout the winter, the Civic Center Conservancy satisfies your street-food urges while providing a little shopping, too. Shop for boutique clothes and accessories while choosing from a range of food-truck options from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pray for sun!
Monday, April 17, through Saturday, April 22
Colorado Natural Wine Week
Brought to you by a consortium of dedicated wine distributors, Colorado Natural Wine Week kicks off with a wine-and-movie night on Monday, April 17, at Proof Wine & Spirits (3360 Larimer Street), with Italian wines and the documentary Senza Trucco – Le Donne del Vino Naturale, which tells the stories of four women making natural wines in Italy. Throughout the week, multiple wine-pairing dinners, bar takeovers and tasting sessions are planned at Denver and Boulder restaurants, bars and liquor stores. The Grand Showcase, in partnership with Slow Food Denver, takes place on Wednesday, April 19, at Space Gallery (400 Santa Fe Drive), from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $39 each or $75 per couple. For a complete list of events with reservation and ticket information, see the Colorado Natural Wine Week website.
Wednesday, April 19
Lola Coastal Mexican, 1575 Boulder Street
Chef/owner Jamey Fader presents the tenth annual Dos Casas at Lola, a benefit benefiting Brent's Place. Some of Denver's best chefs will join Fader in this fundraiser to help a home that houses cancer patients and their families. Tickets are $200; get them here.
Sunday, April 23
Taste of Pearl
Pearl Street Mall, Boulder
Stroll the Boulder's Pearl Street mall from 2 to 6 p.m. and sample the city's finest food along with Colorado spirits and wines, all while perusing wares from the mall's many vendors. Stations will be set up at 15 shops, serving food from 15 chefs and booze from 15 distilleries and wineries. Tickets are $65 each for general admission or $75 for VIP, which includes a pre-party on April 20 and early admission at 12:45 p.m. Purchase tickets on the Taste of Pearl website.
Thursday, April 27
Dining Out for Life
Project Angel Heart is a nonprofit organization that delivers meals to those coping with life-threatening illnesses at home. Each year, Dining Out for Life raises funds to help keep the food rolling to those in need. This is the 22nd annual Dining Out for Life, and you can contribute simply by going out to dinner. At more than 250 participating food and drink establishment, 25 percent of your bill will be donated to Project Angel Heart. Citywide, the total can add up to more than $300,000. Take a look at the organization's list of participating restaurants and breweries, then book a table at one of your favorites.
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Sunday, April 30
Chefs Up Front
Colorado Convention Center Mile High Ballroom
700 14th Street
Denver's top chefs converge on the Colorado Convention Center to help raise money for Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry program, which is dedicated to ending childhood hunger. Admission to this posh event comes in the form of sponsorships, ranging from $500 (for individuals) to $15,000 for larger sponsorships — making this an ideal event for corporate groups who love great food. A cocktail reception and auction begins at 5 p.m., with dinner starting at 7 p.m. More than 25 Denver restaurants will be represented, and there will also be craft cocktails, a seafood raw bar and a charcuterie station. When you register on the website, you'll be asked to pick your three favorite chefs, and then your table will enjoy a four-course dinner from one of those chefs. See the Chefs Up Front website for additional information and to purchase sponsorship tickets.