Indulge in the unexpected this weekend with brunch at night, beer for breakfast and dinner in an art gallery. Here are six of the best food and drink events in town from Friday, January 17, through Sunday, January 19, plus ten more through mid-March.
Friday, January 17
Though it boggles the mind, we've heard from reliable sources (okay, that one Lyft driver) that Sunday Funday is actually a bigger day for drinking than Friday or Saturday nights. On Friday, January 17, you can see whether that's true at Denver Milk Market's Bingo Brunch at Night. All of the Sunday mid-morning classics — bacon, Bloodies, Benedicts — will be available from 5 to 11 p.m., with bingo starting at 9 p.m., well after you're buzzed. So find out firsthand whether the bar(s) at 1800 Wazee Street are as busy at the beginning of the weekend as they are at the end of it; details are up on the Market's website.
The dinner-and-movie doubleheader isn't a new concept, but rarely do cinematic and culinary themes line up as perfectly as they do at the Fort's screening of classic Western Shane on Friday, January 17. The Morrison restaurant (19192 Highway 8) modeled after early-nineteenth-century Bent's Fort is the perfect setting for the tale of Alan Ladd's mysterious gunslinger whose attempt to settle down as a farmhand in 1889 Wyoming results in nothing but blood and tears. The accompanying four-course meal harks back to Colorado's culinary history, with touches like pepitas and buffalo sirloin. Tickets for the 6 p.m. show are just $49 and include one drink; visit the Fort's website for details and to purchase tickets.
Denver Distillery has been holding down its spot at 244 South Broadway for a couple of years now, and on Friday, January 17, it will be celebrating its terrible twos with a bourbon launch and anniversary party. From 6 to 11 p.m., the Paddy Hooligans will provide live music, and just over 350 bottles of bourbon (aged in new American oak and finished in French cabernet sauvignon barrels) will be available, with $5 of each purchase going to the Morgan Adams Foundation, a nonprofit organization funding children's cancer research. There's no cover, but you're required to RSVP for the 6 p.m. bash on Eventbrite or the distillery's Facebook page — and as everyone knows, any toddler is much more palatable with a good amount of whiskey in them (or in you), so don't delay snagging your spot at the bar.
Saturday, January 18
Denver Beer Co. knows how to lure your sorry ass out of bed bright and early on a weekend morning; its annual two-day Beer, Bacon and Coffee Fest at the taproom's Arvada outpost (5768 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard) sells out every year. Starting at the unholy hour of 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, and Sunday, January 19, the fest features all the salty, porky, bitter, black, boozy goodness that you can fit in your belly until 11 a.m. So whether you're hitting the taproom after a restful night's sleep or just wrapped up a graveyard shift, this fest is sure to start the day off right. Tickets are $45 on the brewery's website and include a breakfast burrito (veggie option available), bottomless brews (coffee and beer) and bacon and a commemorative mug (because everyone knows you're not really an alcoholic if you're drinking beer out of a coffee cup before 9 a.m.).
Sunday, January 19
Now that the holidays are behind us and your mind is unclouded by merriment, cheer or the desire to chug as many drinks as quickly as possible to mitigate the awkwardness of family gatherings and work parties, you'll recall that you drank some very regrettable champagne during December (or maybe you don't remember, but trust us — you did). Bubbly may be celebratory, but that doesn't mean it's all good. Luckily, you can start honing your champagne-tasting skills now so you know what to serve, order and avoid like the plague in eleven months' time. Hotel Teatro, 1100 14th Street, is hosting a tasting class on Sunday, January 19, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., with a pair of the Nickel's sommeliers guiding you through tastings of capital "C" champagne and other sparkling wines and giving advice on pairings. Tickets, $45 on Eventbrite, include a charcuterie plate with nuts and fruit, and invaluable knowledge that will help you avoid a bad bubbly hangover the next time someone decides to pop a cork. NOTE: This event has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 1 at 2 p.m.
Nonprofit art gallery Leon, 1112 East 17th Avenue, is combining the visual and 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 email@example.com or call 303-832-1599 to claim your spot.
Keep reading for future food and drink fun...
Tuesday, January 21
The tiny kitchen at Fruition, 1313 East Sixth Avenue, has never limited the creativity or quality of the dishes emerging from it, and on Tuesday, January 21, the restaurant's chef, Jon Lavelle, is teaming up with Stem Ciders' chef, Eric Lee, for a three-course pairing menu that showcases the best of both local producers. At 6:30 p.m., guests will be treated to passed apps (including lamb tartare and brandade fritters) before sitting down to plates of Carolina gold fried rice with crispy shallots and Stem's farmhouse brew; duck roulade, preserved blueberries, duck liver and crème fraîche with Cascara cider; and peach crisp with sheepskyr gelato and hopped cider. The entire menu and all drink pairings are gluten-free; make your reservation on Resy or by calling Fruition at 303-831-1962.
Wednesday, January 22
Turns out diversity tastes great, too. On Wednesday, January 22, the Village Exchange Center (VEC), a local organization dedicated to creating a safe space of belonging while celebrating religious and cultural diversity, is hosting an international bazaar-themed benefit in celebration of the nonprofit’s third anniversary. The event takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Stanley Marketplace (2501 Dallas Street, Aurora) and costs $81 per person if you purchase tickets by January 15, or $100 between January 15 and 22. Food vendors include Jasmine Syrian Food, Taste of Sudan, Nepali Mountain Kitchen and others, and there will also be crafts for sale, live music and special guests, including Congressman Jason Crow and Reverend Dr. Timothy E. Tyler. Purchase tickets on the VEC website.
If you sat through Knives Out rolling your eyes not only at Daniel Craig's delightfully overripe Southern(?) accent, but at the ineptitude of Lakeith Stanfield's police work and the idiocy of the assorted Thrombey clan, here's your chance to do better: On Wednesday, January 22, the Post Brewing Co., 105 West Emma Street in Lafayette, is putting on its own Wild West Mystery Dinner, complete with beer, bites and bloodshed. At 6 p.m., the sleuthing kicks off with the first of three courses and its beer pairing; as you drink and dine your way through the evening, live theatrical performances depict the dastardly deed, and you'll work in teams to determine the culprit. Details are available on the Post's website; purchase tickets ($75, including tax and tip) on Tock.
Friday, January 24
Take afternoon tea with royalty on Friday, January 24. No, we don't mean the Duchess of Sussex; we don't even mean American royalty (as if the Kennedys would deign to leave the East Coast). We mean Denver royalty — the kind with hooves, horns and a fluffy blow-dried coat. For the 75th year, the National Western Stock Show's Grand Champion steer is visiting the Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th Street, to take tea with Denver's finest. The biggest boy in town will be in the Brown's lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where he'll be surrounded by adoring fans, paparazzi and the best-dressed cowpokes around. While anyone can stop by the hotel for a glimpse of the guest of honor, if you want the royal treatment, spring for VIP tickets ($99 on Eventbrite), which include lunch, an open bar and first crack at pro photos with the bovine baron.
Sunday, January 26
Regular readers will know we're skeptical when a right- or left-coast chef sweeps into the Mile High City boasting about bringing the next hot concept to the Wild West — but when that chef is bringing twelve courses of wagyu beef to dinner, we're a little more welcoming. On Sunday, January 26, San Diego chef Steve Brown is bringing his Cosecha SD supper club to Denver's Daughter Thai Kitchen and Bar, 1700 Platte Street, where he'll prepare the delicately marbled Japanese meat with ingredients local to Colorado. (While the final menu isn't yet available, you can find past menus on Cosecha's website that include bites like jerky, wagyu tongue and fermented tomatoes, cornbread with miso-wagyu butter, and even wagyu brownies for dessert.) Reserve your spot on the website; while the pop-up is pricey at $225, it includes beef from a number of Japanese prefectures — including cattle raised on olives and sake mash — as well as wine pairings.
Saturday, February 8
Rats aren't all bad — especially if they're talented and adorable (Remy from Ratatouille), meme-able (Pizza Rat) or the first animal of the zodiac, bringing rebirth and renewal (Lunar New Year). And on Saturday, February 8, you can celebrate the Year of the Rat (which admittedly begins a couple of weeks earlier, on January 25) at the Chinese New Year party put on by the Nathan Yip Foundation. From 5:30 to 11 p.m., ballrooms at the Grand Hyatt Denver, 1750 Welton Street, will be transformed into an expansive night market, with food stations, games, palm readers, calligraphers and traditional clothing; this year, there will also be a formal Chinese banquet where guests can enjoy traditions such as yu sheng, a salad composed of auspicious ingredients that are mixed at the table by diners to ensure a prosperous new year. Tickets ($250, or $150 for young professionals under 36), along with details and colorful pictures of the event, are available now on the foundation's website.
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.
Saturday, February 15
The folks that brought you November's mac and cheese festival are doubling down on dairy with a grilled cheese and beer festival on Saturday, February 15. Yes, after stuffing yourself on ooey, gooey, creamy mac, you can now get your cheese and carb combo in the form of crispy, crunchy sandwiches washed down by craft beer. Show up for unlimited bites from Blake Street Tavern, Maine Shack and Cheese Love Grill, among others; bottomless brews are courtesy of Horse and Dragon, Mockery, Spice Trade and Zuni Street. Tickets are currently on sale on Eventbrite or Facebook for $54 or $89 (the Big Cheese option gets you early entry and full-sized beers instead of samples), though prices are set to increase as the event approaches. Choose from the afternoon (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.) or evening (5 to 8 p.m.) session at the Runway 35 Park, 8863 East 47th Avenue.
Friday, February 21, through Sunday, March 1
For ten days in late February, Denver eateries are going to be crammed with diners seeking great deals. Yes, Denver Restaurant Week returns on Friday, February 21, and runs through Sunday, March 1; both longstanding institutions and trendy hot spots will be serving multi-course prix fixe menus offered at just $25, $35 or $45. And while participating restaurants haven't yet been announced, a visit to the event website provides scrumptious pics of some of 2019's most delectable dishes, past players and the opportunity to sign up for email alerts so you'll be among the first to know when menus are posted online. Then begins the race for reservations, wherein it's you vs. the rest of Denver scrambling to book the best tables in town. Feeling bold? Make your best guesses as to which joints will be joining the fun and start booking your dinners right now.
Thursday, March 12
A wealth of Denver's A-list restaurants are uniting under one roof on Thursday, March 12, to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation at its annual feast, Great Chefs of the West. Starting at 6 p.m., Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, will play host to talent from Death & Co., Mercantile, the Bindery, American Elm, El Five, Woodie Fisher and over fifteen other restaurants and bars serving their most extravagant bites and beverages. And while tickets aren't cheap ($200, though you can save $20 by purchasing before January 6), you'd spend that much on Lyft rides alone trying to navigate from one end of town to another to hit up each and every eatery. Find out more about the event on the NKF website.
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