The weekend run-up to Valentine's Day smells of love in the air — or at least chocolate. Before you and your sweetie sit down for a prix-fixe meal this Tuesday, really cut loose with beards and brews or brunch and burlesque. Take your significant other along to shop for artisan chocolate or sexy lingerie, or fly solo for black-metal ramen. Here are fourteen of the most delicious events happening around town this week.
Friday, February 10
Romano's Pizzeria at 5666 South Windermere Street in Littleton will turn fifty this year, and from now through February 14, it's offering a fiftieth-anniversary heart-shaped pizza. Prices start at $14 for a cheese pie (large only); add an additional $1.50 per topping. Then hashtag your photos with #PizzaMyHeart for a chance to be shared on Romano's Instagram and Facebook pages.
Chocolate: not just for the Whitman's sampler anymore. Today, Uncorked Kitchen is demonstrating how chocolate as an ingredient can create the food of love — or at least a nice dinner. Try out dishes like cocoa chipotle salsa and chips, chili-cocoa-rubbed wings and chocolate beer BBQ ribs and fries. Dessert will not be ignored, with chocolate meringue bites to finish it all off. Educate yourself, enjoy yourself and take home a few recipes. The event starts at 6 p.m., and admission is $210 per pair; sign up online at the Uncorked Kitchen site.
Few cinematic classics pair better with a martini than Casablanca. This year's Movie & Martinis series at the Wildlife Experience at CU South Denver begins tonight at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and ballroom dancing with help from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. The 7:30 p.m. screening will be accompanied by drinks and a Moroccan-inspired menu, with spiced chicken wraps, samosas, lavender-infused chocolate fondue and more. Tickets are $36, or $26 without alcohol; CU students, alumni, staff, faculty and pass-holders get 20 percent off. Buy tickets online at the CU South Denver site.
Frasca's latest tastemaker from the world of wine is Richard Betts, master sommelier, mezcal distiller and winemaker. Starting at 7 p.m. tonight, guests will share the kinds of wines and cocktails that Betts might be found drinking on a regular Saturday night, plus a hearty dinner. Admission is $220 per person, all-inclusive; seating is extremely limited, so call 303-442-6966 to check availibility.
Saturday, February 11
Chocolate in mid-February is a bit of a cliché, but the Craft Cacao and Chocolate Market this weekend at the Source hopes to elevate the sweet stuff in time for Valentine's Day. The market showcases a number of chocolatiers and makers offering unique, ethically sourced, handcrafted treats. Local makers like Cultura, WKND, Victoria’s Chocolates and more will be displaying their wares. And in the spirit of the season of love, Source vendors will be offering special promotions, like chocolate-and-booze pairings at RiNo Yacht Club. The market is open today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.
Lucky Pie in LoDo is pairing beers with beards tonight, partnering up with Proper Barber Shop for the third annual Beerds & Barrels event. It's beard versus beard in the facial-hair contest, with the winner going home with great prizes and bragging rights for a lifetime. For everyone else, Lucky Pie will be pouring eight unique barrel-aged beers from breweries like Denver Beer Co., Funkwerks and River North — old favorites and new selections alike. The party begins at 4 p.m. and goes until close, with free beard trimmings happening all night. RSVP at Lucky Pie's Facebook event page.
Up in Frisco, the annual Gold Rush celebrates Nordic skiing, and now you can ski for your supper. The Eat, Ski and Be Merry progressive ski dinner offers food, drinks around the bonfire, and a 2K ski and snowshoe course on a fire-lit route on the Frisco peninsula. The evening will end with a party and silent auction at the Frisco Adventure Park Day Lodge. The fun goes from 6 to 9 p.m.; get your tickets online for $30 per person, $10 for kids and $75 for two adults and two kids.
Cyclebar, Southwest Plaza's indoor cycling sensation, and 38 State Brewery are teaming up today for a Sip ’n' Cycle spin class and happy hour. Cyclebar's instructors will take you through a 25-minute course at the brewery starting at 10:30 a.m., followed by BOGO beers. Registration runs $25 per person, with all proceeds going to benefit Rachel's Challenge. Sign up online at the Cyclebar site.
An open flame, a frosty beer and some lacy underwear: Can you think of a better combination? A yearly tradition, SOL Lingerie's Beers, Brats and Bras event is the pre-V-Day event where everyone can find the undergarments of their dreams — or at least have a sausage and a Paulaner beer. Enjoy the festivities, win some swag and sign up for a fitting from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. today and tomorrow.
The Westminster Art District's Second Saturday Art Walk features a chocolate tasting at galleries and shops all along West 73rd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. Stop into local businesses from 1 to 6 p.m. for treats, and check out the Aar River Gallery to make a custom valentine for your sweetheart.
Cops, Socks and Sandwiches is a way to show some love to the homeless community from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Palazzo Verdi, 6363 South Fiddler's Green Circle in Greenwood Village. Police officers and other area leaders will be making sandwiches to hand out later; although we hear the event is full, donations of socks are still being accepted; find out more here.
Keep reading for more events on Sunday.
Sunday, February 12
Before Valentine's Day, warm your cold, cold heart with a bowl of ramen. The Ramen Mafia — Colorado Creative Andrew Novick, former Laws Whiskey distiller Jacob Norris, Westword contributor Chelsea Keeney and crew — returns with Black Hearts, Black Ramen, absorbing the obsidian-and-leather aesthetic of TRVE Brewing. The bowls this time around will be intensely flavored and black as squid ink, with meaty and full vegan options available and a black heart cookie. Metal music will be on the stereo, and brews from TRVE will drown any sorrows that Tuesday may bring. Seatings are scheduled for 12:30, 1:15 and 2 p.m. and have limited space, so grab your tickets online for $20 at the Ramen Mafia site.
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Breakfast, booze and brassieres are in store with a Striptease Burlesk Brunch at Brik on York. Sofia Soubrette hosts this Valentine's Day weekend celebration of retro glamour, along with sashaying starlets Champage Shuga Nova, Stilletta Maraschino and more. The show will be accompanied by brunch pizzas, breakfast skillets, a Bloody Mary bar and bottomless mimosas. Admission is $10, or $20 for a VIP ticket with "special attention" and a drink included. The festivities begin at noon today; call Brik at 303-284-6754 for more info.
The Virginia Village/Ellis Community Association’s Community Hops Program will tap its second annual community beer, the Cherry Creek Stingo, at Resolute Brewing, 7286 South Yosemite Street in Centennial, at noon today. The proceeds will benefit Denver’s Ellis Elementary by purchasing new technology for students. This beer is a followup to the first community-brewed, publicly available beer in Colorado, 2015’s Carnation Cream Ale.
For more Food & Drink events, go to our online calendar. If you know of an event that should be included in that calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.