This week brings cookies, cocktail pop-ups, Catalan wine and Colorado pride — plus movie-inspired bites and anti-hunger activism. Here are our picks for the six best food and drink happenings from Monday, March 2, through Friday, March 6. Then keep reading for events through April that are worth planning ahead for.
Monday, March 2
The Jewish holiday of Purim is rapidly approaching (March 9 and 10), and the celebration of the defeat of a genocidal maniac includes...cookies. Yes, the thwarted massacre of Jews in ancient Persia resulted in delicious, triangular pastries traditionally filled with poppyseeds, though the modern version can be sweet or savory and come stuffed with everything from strawberry jam to shredded beef. Learn how to make the treats at the Jewish Outreach Initiative's Women's Hamantaschen Bake on Monday, March 2; register for the gathering (just $5) on the group's website, then head to 8621 East Grand Avenue (DTC) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for tasty Purim preparation.
Tuesday, March 3
We have it good here in the Centennial State: Year-round sunshine, great outdoor activities, a thriving food and drink scene, world-class craft beer and weed make the constant construction, rising cost of living and unending influx of newcomers (mostly) worthwhile. So on Tuesday, March 3, celebrate 303 Day with a trio of deals. Rhein Haus, 1415 Market Street, is practically giving away cold Coors and giant pretzels for $3.03 each (usually $4 and $6, respectively). Meanwhile, homegrown chain Illegal Pete's is selling $3.03 breakfast burritos until 10:30 a.m. and margs and New Belgium beers all day at all of its locations; visit the Illegal Pete's Facebook page for details. Finally, Factotum Brewhouse, 3845 Lipan Street, is pouring 303 beers for just $3.03 each with a coupon; hit up the taproom's Facebook page to nab your coupon for discounted brews.
Wednesday, March 4
With the presidential administration and USDA currently laying siege to their own citizens by preparing to remove approximately 700,000 people currently receiving Federal SNAP (food stamp) benefits, hungry Colorado citizens (who are already less likely to access benefits they're entitled to than those in 42 other states) are at a huge disadvantage. That's why a coalition of over thirty anti-hunger advocates — including Hunger Free Colorado, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting people to food resources and lobbying for legislative change — has created Hunger Action Day on Wednesday, March 4. At 8 a.m., participants will meet at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 1370 Grant Street, for training before relocating to the State Capitol for meetings with legislators. RSVP to the event on its website, and visit HFC's website for more details about the day, including the organization's legislative goals for the year.
Thursday, March 5
The annual kickoff to the Boulder International Film Festival, CineChef, returns on Thursday, March 5, with a literal battle of the sexes (there are knives involved, after all). It's the men versus the women as the chefs go head to head at Boulder's Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce Street; each team will turn out film-inspired fare, with guests voting on the most scrumptious cinematic bites. Participating chefs include Linda Hampsten Fox (the Bindery), Becca Henry (ChoLon) and Chris Royster (Flagstaff House). Further details and tickets for the 5:30 p.m. event ($100 or $145) are up now on the festival's website.
Swanky RiNo cocktail bar Death & Co. is getting an out-of-town guest who won't be paying for a room at the Ramble Hotel where it's located; on Thursday, March 5, London establishment American Bar — the oldest cocktail bar in Great Britain — is hopping the pond to set up shop inside Death & Co. through Sunday, March 8. Head upstairs to Suite 6A, the mezzanine that overlooks the lobby bar, at 6 p.m. and you'll be able to sip six different creations from the establishment that was named the best bar in the world in 2017 (though it's slipped to number five this year, tsk tsk). On Sunday, the pop-up will take over the entire lobby with a pianist playing the same jazz standards that have entertained British bar-goers for nearly 130 years. No reservations are needed; see Death & Co.'s Facebook page for further details.
Friday, March 6
Start your weekend with a trip to the sun-splashed shores of Spain in the form of Brightmarten's Spanish wine dinner. The Bonnie Brae eatery at 730 South University Boulevard is serving a whopping seven courses (comprising treats like foie gras croquette; paella; braised lamb with pomegranate and goat manchego; and Basque cheesecake with fresh figs) paired with a slew of Spanish sippers: housemade sangria, a pair of sherries and a handful of wines, including two different riojas. Master Sommelier Damon Ornowski and restaurateur Beth Gruitch (Rioja, Ultreia) will be on hand to discuss the food and wine; reserve your spot for the $120, 6:30 p.m. dinner by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep reading for future food and drink events....
Sunday, March 8
Celebrate International Women's Day with some of the baddest broads behind the bar and over the broiler as the Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th Street, hosts a female-forward reception and marketplace on Sunday, March 8. Join just a few of Denver's exceptional chefs, bartenders, artists and entrepreneurs from 4 to 7 p.m.; there will be plenty of passed apps from Dana Rodriguez (Super Mega Bien, Work & Class), Jen Jasinski (Ultreia, Rioja and more), Kodi Simkins (the Wolf's Tailor) and Mel Schmidt (Death & Co.). Alex Jump, head bartender at Death & Co., is also creating a special cocktail for the event. Your ticket, $45 on Two Parts, gets you all you can eat, one cocktail and the opportunity to shop from stylish female-owned businesses. Additional drinks will be available for purchase, with all of the afternoon's profits (excluding marketplace purchases) going to nonprofit girls' development organization Girls, Inc.
Wednesday, March 11
St. Patrick's Day may be approaching, but forget about the Emerald Isle on Wednesday, March 11; it's time to scour the clothes rack for red — don dresses, shoes, shirts, an entire suit — in any shade of scarlet, from blood to fire engine to vermillion, for the Colorado Restaurant Association's Drink Red Wear Red industry party. The Studio Loft at Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, is hosting the shindig, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and also serves as a fundraiser for the Colorado Restaurant Association's Angel Relief Fund, which provides emergency grants to industry employees in crisis. Entry, $45 or $75, includes all-you-can-drink wine, spirits and Odell brews; food from eateries including Woodie Fisher, Bistro Vendôme and Bistro Georgette; music from Hazel Miller & the Collective; a silent auction; and exclusive bites and wine for VIP ticket holders. Visit the CRA website for details and ticket sales.
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, Dos Santos, 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 at $200, 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 participating eatery. Find out more about the event on the NKF website.
If you want to do good and drink well on Thursday, March 12, but don't much care for the company of humans, drive up to Golden's Foothills Animal Shelter, 580 McIntyre Street, for its Wine & Wags fundraiser. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., the rescue will open its doors to local wineries including Infinite Monkey Theorem and Blanchard Family Wines, blues band the Delta Sonics and fellow animal lovers. While that may sound like too many Homo sapiens to endure in one evening, take heart: There will be plenty of adoptable members of the Canis familiaris and Felis catus species to meet. All proceeds from the $25 tickets (which include six wine tastings and all the animal love you can handle) go to the shelter; get yours now on the shelter's website and get ready for a night of fine wine and furry family members-to-be.
Friday, March 13
The touring whiskey-tasting festival Whisky Extravaganza has become Whiskies of the World in 2020, but otherwise much remains the same about the high-end event that's landing in Denver on Friday, March 13. The dress code, for instance, still encourages female guests to don "blouses and slacks" — so, whiskey-loving women, better raid your mom's wardrobe in search of clothing that no one in Colorado has worn since 1983 (if you can find a vintage pink power suit with padded shoulders and a peplum jacket, all the better). But provided your vestments pass muster at the door, you'll be treated to the same expansive tasting, with more than 200 brands, light appetizers and the chance to register for tasting classes. The event runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons, 1114 14th Street, and tickets ($100 or $150) are on sale now at Whiskies of the World's website. Pro tip: Use code PIGLOVE (don't ask) to save 20 percent at checkout.
Thursday, March 19
City Park's SAME Cafe, 2023 East Colfax Avenue, is celebrating fourteen years in business this year; it's a major accomplishment for any restaurant, made even more impressive because the cozy lunch spot is a nonprofit, donation-based eatery that has never put a price on its menu. Diners pay what they can, either in greenbacks or volunteer hours, and regardless of financial status, everyone enjoys healthy food while being treated with dignity. And in keeping with its mission, the enterprise's annual fundraiser on Thursday, March 19, the So All May Eat Gala, is an egalitarian affair: Attire is "Colorado dressy," which means anything from cargo pants to custom gowns, and while tickets cost $75 (which includes small plates from SAME chefs and students in the cafe's Cook to Work culinary education program; desserts from local sweet shops, including the Inventing Room; a silent auction; and wine provided by Wines off Wynkoop.), there are also pay-what-you-can and volunteer options. The fun runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Space Gallery Annex, 95 South Cherokee Street; find all the details on SAME's website.
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Tuesday, March 31
You might think Steamboat Springs is too far to travel for dinner, but when some of the state's best chefs are converging there for a five-course feast for a worthy cause, you should think twice. On Tuesday, March 31, Aurum Steamboat, 811 Yampa Street, is hosting a meal to benefit chef Patrick Ayres of the Periodic Table, who was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer at just 32. A team of mountain chefs from Steamboat and Breckenridge (including Ayres himself) will take on visiting chefs that include Caroline Glover (Annette), Josh Niernberg (Bin 707 Food Bar in Grand Junction) and Alex Seidel (Mercantile & Provision); both Glover and Niernberg were recently announced as semi-finalists for the James Beard Foundations Best Chef Mountain region (Seidel took home the title of Best Chef Southwest in 2018). Diners will receive two dishes in each course — one hot, one cold, both using the same theme ingredient — then vote as a table as to which preparation they prefer. To reserve your spot for this fundraiser, $250, email email@example.com.
Monday, April 27
A woman's place is in the (professional) kitchen, according to Women Cook. The sixteenth annual fundraiser for Work Options for Women, a nonprofit organization providing free culinary training to women, is scheduled for Monday, April 27, and the chef lineup is a veritable who's who of the Denver restaurant scene: Liliana Meyers (Safta), Cindhura Reddy and Austin Nickel (Spuntino), Dana Rodriguez (Super Mega Bien, Work & Class), Penelope Wong (Yuan Wonton), Caroline Glover (Annette) and many more will be turning out their best bites from 6 to 9 p.m. at EXDO Event Center (1399 35th Street). Tickets ($75 for standing room, $125 for general admission on WOW's website) include all you can eat and drink, plus the satisfaction of knowing you're helping someone on the road to a delicious career.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.