Get in the swing of things this summer at Little Man.
Get in the swing of things this summer at Little Man.
Courtesy Little Man Ice Cream

The Eight Best Events on the Culinary Calendar for Memorial Day Weekend

It's Friday, summer weather is here, and it's the start of a three-day weekend — we've  hit the trifecta. If you don't already have plans this Memorial Day weekend, choose from eight great deals and events over the next three days. If you do have plans, cancel them and go to one (or more) of these instead.

The crowds will show up to Vesta for 50 percent off fifty bottles of wine.
The crowds will show up to Vesta for 50 percent off fifty bottles of wine.
Courtesy of Vesta

Friday, May 25
Conveniently, National Wine Day falls on Friday, May 25, this year — the beginning of a three-day weekend. Obviously, the universe is telling you to inbibe reds, whites, rosés and bubblies for the next three days. Not one to stand in the way of destiny, Vesta, 1822 Blake Street, is helping out pawns of fate with half off fifty bottles of wine through Sunday, May 27. Drop in to the bar on short notice, or make dinner reservations at vestadenver.com; doors open at 5 p.m. nightly.

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar in Glendale is throwing its annual Rooftop Summer Kickoff Party that runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on May 25. There will be plenty of summertime food and drink specials, and local music legend Biff Gore — aka the "Ambassador of Soul," who competed on the sixth season of The Voice — will perform live, recording footage for his upcoming music video. Jax is located at 650 South Colorado Boulevard; to reserve a spot, call 303- 756-6449.

Who is that masked man?EXPAND
Who is that masked man?
Jake Holschuh

Saturday, May 26
If you're looking for an out-of-town excursion weekend, hop on I-70 and go east, young man. That's right — skip the westbound chaos and instead take a relaxing road trip to Bennett for its Spring Farm Festival on Saturday, May 26. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the doors of Caramel Apple Farm, 5690 South Tom Bay Court, will be open to the public; guests can milk a goat, watch blacksmithing and fiber-spinning demos, see a bee colony and chat with the beekeepers, and do some goat yoga. Vendors selling local eggs, honey, sweets and canned veggies will also be on hand. See the details of this free fest and register for goat yoga at the Colorado High Plains Adventure website.

It's not often that a restaurant gets excited about being voted second-best taco, but Pica's Mexican Taqueria, 901 Front Street in Louisville, is taking the results of a recent Boulder poll with a shaker of salt. The taqueria is celebrating its not-quite-win by setting up a wrestling ring in front of the restaurant and hosting luchadores Zeven, El Guerrero Azteka, Delta Jr., Red Viper and more for an evening of spine-busting and piledriving from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free; find out more on Pica's Facebook page. Also of note is that the lucha libre coincides with Louisville Live, a free music event in downtown Louisville, so bring your dancing shoes in addition to your máscara.

There are plenty of great restaurant patios in town, but one of our favorites doesn't show up on many lists; that's because it's at MCA Denver, which isn't known as a dining destination. But on Saturday, May 26, the warm wooden rooftop patio decorated with succulents at 1485 Delgany Street will host Block & Larder and Colorado Cider Company for MCA Dinner Society at 7 p.m. For $125, guests will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of Cleon Peterson's Shadow of Men exhibit, as well as a four-course menu with cider pairings and a snack to take home (or eat in the car on the way there). These events always sell out, so snap up your ticket at eventbrite.com while you still can.

If you fancy yourself an extra in La La Land but can't walk to your mailbox without tripping over your own feet, take heart. Little Man Ice Cream, 2620 16th Street, is teaming up with Swingin' Denver to offer free dance lessons every Saturday from May 26 through September 1. Just show up — no reservation, partner or moves required — at 7:30 p.m. for the class, then stay and work your newfound groove until the bands turn in at 10 p.m. Dinosaurchestra opens the season this weekend.

Japanese oak binchotan coals will figure heavily at the Wolf's Tailor, Kelly Whitaker's soon-to-open spot.EXPAND
Japanese oak binchotan coals will figure heavily at the Wolf's Tailor, Kelly Whitaker's soon-to-open spot.
Mark Antonation

Sunday, May 27
Chef Kelly Whitaker's eagerly awaited Sunnyside restaurant, the Wolf's Tailor, still isn't open — but on Sunday, May 27, you can taste the charcoal-fired food that the joint will be turning out. Stem Ciders, 2811 Walnut Street, is hosting a pop-up starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. Food will be served until it runs out, so we recommend you get to the taproom early (doors open at noon) to stake out your spot, because it's going to be a busy afternoon. Find out more on Stem's Facebook page.

The Big Blue Bear isn't the only bear in town these days.
The Big Blue Bear isn't the only bear in town these days.
Danielle Lirette

Monday, May 28
While Señor Bear, 3301 Tejon Street, may not be the first place you think of when it comes to a cookout, the classic Memorial Day meal, the joint is open on Monday, May 28, to celebrate its first year in business. Smoked meats are on the menu, and in addition, birthday partiers will also get ceviche, sides and two drinks — all for just $25. Doors open at 1 p.m., and the Bear will welcome guests until the food runs out. Visit Señor Bear's Facebook page for more details on the shindig.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Cho77's winning Vietnamese wings at 2017's Wings and Whiskey.EXPAND
Cho77's winning Vietnamese wings at 2017's Wings and Whiskey.
Mark Antonation

Sunday, June 10
Hot on the heels of Chicken Fight! comes another fowl food event, this time at Ace Eat Serve: Wings and Whiskey. What can we say? People love the bird. Ace Eat Serve, 501 East 17th Avenue, is hosting the event for the fifth year, and after last year's sellout bash, we expect this one to be bigger and birdier than ever. Music by Buffalo Wingmen will set the stage for the wing-eating contest, whiskey cocktails, and of course, unlimited wings from eight Denver chefs. The fun starts at 4 p.m. (3 p.m. if you opt for VIP tickets that also entitle you to an open whiskey bar); snap up your tickets, $55 or $75, at Ace's website.

Heritage Fire Snowmass is the more outdoorsy, less crowded little sibling of Cochon555.EXPAND
Heritage Fire Snowmass is the more outdoorsy, less crowded little sibling of Cochon555.
Heritage Fire by Cochon555

Saturday, June 16
If you're curious about the luxury food festival Cochon555 but the prospect of being packed into a hotel ballroom so tightly your drink spills every time someone next to you takes a deep breath makes you itch, you might fare better at Heritage Fire Snowmass, Cochon's outdoor version of the whole-animal competition. Chefs from all over the country will set up camp at Snowmass Base Village, 120 Carriage Way, to cook more than 3,000 pounds of beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, duck, fish and goat over open fires on Saturday, June 16, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy the fresh air, smell of woodfire and unlimited food and drink. Snag your tickets ($150 to $200) at cochon555.com before they're gone.

Tempting bites of glazed pork from Il Porcellino at 2017's Chochon555.EXPAND
Tempting bites of glazed pork from Il Porcellino at 2017's Chochon555.
Danielle Lirette

Sunday, June 24
Those who don't mind the crowds and revel in seeing and being seen at the summer's hottest food event won't want to delay in buying their ticket for Cochon555, the pork-centric food festival happening on Sunday, June 24. Competitions started in NYC in January and have been popping up in major food cities across the country before wrapping up at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street. Competing chefs Brother Luck (Four by Brother Luck), Adam Brantz (Ultreia), Cindhura Reddy (Spuntino), Kyle Foster (Julep) and Nate Singer (Blackbelly Butcher) will each create the most delectable and luxurious bites using a heritage-breed hog, while winemakers and bartenders keep the booze flowing. Tickets, $130 to $200, are on sale now at Cochon's website.

Chef/owner Toshi Kizaki with ramen chefs.EXPAND
Chef/owner Toshi Kizaki with ramen chefs.
Sushi Den

Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27
If ever there was a culinary power duo that could pull off a bash with an all-star lineup and sellout crowds on a Tuesday, it's Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the chef and owners of Izakaya Den, Ototo and Sushi Den. This year's rooftop party takes place on Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27, on the roof of Sushi Den's parking garage at 1501 Pearl Street. From 6 to 10 p.m., visiting Japanese chefs will be cooking up yatai, street food commonly found at festivals, while Denver chefs Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly and Troy Guard will join the fun by making their own interpretation of those dishes. Find out more about the party at sushiden.net and pick up tickets, $90 or $110, at Eventbrite.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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