It's your last chance this year to drink like a Spaniard, sprout some ’shrooms and dig into Hanukkah delicacies. Keep reading for four foodie festivities from Friday, December 27, through Sunday, December 29, then start marking your calendars for further fun during the month of January.
Friday, December 27
On Friday, December 27, LoDo nightclub-cum-restaurant Rose & Thorn, 1433 17th Street, is deviating from its mission of serving cocktails with "artisan infused ices" (popsicles, to the less pompous) and hosting a Spanish wine dinner to benefit the nonprofit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The five-course menu includes such offerings as wasabi-cured trout with beet and lime gelée, venison tenderloin accompanied by a yuca galette, and dulce de leche cheesecake; tickets for the 6 p.m. dinner ($120) are on sale now on Eventbrite.
Saturday, December 28
You make your own sourdough bread from a starter you've lovingly fed and babied, you brew your own kombucha, you grow your own weed. What's the next step for a devoted DIYer when you've mostly mastered the art of self-reliance (and definitely have the humblebrag down pat)? On Saturday, December 28, you can wrap up 2019 by learning how to cultivate your own mushrooms. From noon until 3 p.m., Mushroom Cult will teach you how to get started on your quest to sprout non-psychedelic ’shrooms in agar plates at Four Seasons Farmers & Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge. You'll head home with spore cultures and a new hobby for the new year; visit the market's Facebook page to sign up for the $43 class.
Sunday, December 29
Christmas dinner is over: The goose is devoured, the cookies are long gone, the fruitcake has been rewrapped in foil and shoved to the back of the deep freeze for another year. But that doesn't mean the holidays and their accompanying deliciousness are done: On Sunday, December 29, a pair of tasty and festive Hanukkah events celebrate the eighth night of the Festival of Lights. From 4 to 5 p.m., it will be raining money at Glendale's Infinity Park, 4599 East Tennessee Avenue, as a helicopter flies overhead dropping gelt (chocolate coins) on the crowd below. Latkes and doughnuts will also be on hand, and there will also be singing and menorah lighting. Admission is free when you RSVP on the WCRJ Community Center website; visit the event Facebook page for more details. Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, is also throwing a sweet party with its Chanukah Candyland from 4 to 6 p.m. that includes a giant candy menorah, doughnut decorating, latkes with applesauce, and edible menorahs and dreidels; take a look at the Facebook page for more info and to RSVP for the free event.
And if you're planning ahead...
Tuesday, December 31
A new year, a new slate of boozified and potentially appropriated "holidays" to celebrate: New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo. But of all the drunken ways to end 2019, you could do way, way worse than Lost in Japan at Colorado Sake Co. The taproom at 3559 Larimer Street is hosting a party that pays homage to the Land of the Rising Sun with bottomless sake, sushi, traditional Japanese New Year activities, games and a midnight cherry blossom drop. The bash runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and tickets, $70, are available now on Eventbrite.
Sunday, January 5
Your New Year's Eve hangover has gone the way of 2019, and now it's time to make good on your resolution to learn a new hobby. And while YouTube is great for makeup tutorials and movie trailers, it leaves something to be desired when you're trying to learn to make fried Brussels sprouts and the pot of oil on your stove suddenly boils over and catches fire. What next? Will your entire apartment go up in flames before you can Google "How to put out an oil fire"? That's why Cook Street, 43 West Ninth Avenue, offers its Classic Techniques Essentials I class with real, live instructors who are able to give you a hand before you chop your finger off trying to execute a chiffonade. The series of four classes begins Sunday, January 5, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., then runs weekly through Sunday, January 26. Tuition is $476 on Cook Street's website, where you can also find future class dates if you're still regrowing that finger you lost in a Thanksgiving cooking mishap.
Wednesday, January 8
While it's been decades since Denver could legitimately be called a cowtown, it's still a little big city — so the restaurant scene (while growing rapidly) remains significantly more intimate than in other American cities (transplants, here's your chance to chime in — we know you just can't help yourselves). So when it comes to homegrown kitchen talent, it's not surprising that a handful of Denver stalwarts have nurtured a significant number of Denver chefs and restaurateurs. Starting on Wednesday, January 8, one of those incubators, Rioja (1431 Larimer Street) is kicking off a quartet of alumni dinners with prodigal daughters and sons returning to the Larimer Square roost. Carrie Baird (Top Chef, Bar Dough) joins forces with chef Jen Jasinski to re-create her favorite menu items from her time at the Spanish restaurant, including dishes she developed. The throwback feast begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $95 (exclusive of wine pairings) or $135 (inclusive); the remaining meals in the series welcome back Dana Rodriguez (Work & Class, Super Mega Bien), Merlin Verrier (Street Feud) and Jorel Pierce (TAG Restaurant Group). Reserve your seat and get details on future dinners on Rioja's website.
Saturday, January 11
Is it too early to start planning your New Year's resolutions? Not if yours is to eat more oatmeal. On Saturday, January 11, the City of Lafayette is holding its 24th annual oatmeal festival. That's right: In the realm of quirky agricultural festivals around Colorado, this one celebrates neither peaches nor Pueblo chiles, but porridge. A massive breakfast of 200 gallons of oatmeal with 100 different toppings, 4,000 oatmeal pancakes and 1,200 oatmeal muffins will be served from 7:30 a.m. to noon, At 9:30 a.m., you can take to the streets in a 5K run (and walk, if you're not looking to exceed the speed of an ocean of oatmeal oozing down the course). Breakfast runs $8, or $20 with race registration; find out more on the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce website.
Sunday, January 19
Nonprofit art gallery Leon, 1112 East 17th Avenue, is combining the visual and the culinary arts on Sunday, January 19, with the launch of its Fine Mess Supper Club. From 5 to 8 p.m., an intimate group of just twenty lucky souls will be treated to a five-course meal from chefs Luke McDonald (Coohills) and Anthony Urbany (Devil's Food) in the gallery, where the current exhibition Beasts of Burden by street artist bunny M. will be the conversational catalyst. Tickets, $85, include tax and tip; visit Leon's Facebook page for details and info on future installments of the monthly series, then email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-832-1599 to claim your spot.
Sunday, February 9
Accio pint glass! On Sunday, February 9, all you have to do is swish your wand about to summon good times and cheer at the generically named Wizard's Beer Festival (the wizarding world has become significantly more litigious, it seems). Diebolt Brewing Co., 3855 Mariposa Street, is the site of the shenanigans, with four two-hour sessions throughout the day, beginning at 11 a.m. and 1:30, 4 and 6:30 p.m. There will be tarot card readers, DJs and wand-making classes; your $45 ticket will get you a welcome beer and tickets for five further potions. Just remember: You can't evanesco your hangover the next day. Pick up your tickets at Eventbrite before those sneaky Slytherins find a way to steal them all.
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