In a significant milestone, we have four — count ’em, four — in-person events for your consideration this week on the culinary calendar. That hasn't happened in almost a year (or, as we tend to refer to it, 762 years ago). And those who are still sticking close to home have options, too.
Keep reading for tasty in-person and online events, now and in the weeks to come.
Now through March 7
COVID has stopped beer fests, the Stock Show and a million other things that make Denver Denver. One thing it can't stop? Girl Scout cookie season, which started Sunday, January 31 (find a booth manned by the girls in green on the Girl Scouts website). In addition to getting a box or 27 of your favorite flavor, you can find upscale versions of the treat at Crafted Concepts restaurants downtown through March 7. Get a coconut panna cotta with chocolate ganache, caramel sauce and shortbread inspired by Samoas (clearly the best flavor) at Stoic & Genuine, or peanut butter flan based on Do-Si-Dos (a distant second, possibly even third) at Ultreia, both inside Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street. There's also tart-sweet vanilla cheesecake with lemon curd and a Lemon-Ups crust (Lemon who?) at Rioja, 1431 Larimer Street, and dark-chocolate mousse with mint ganache based on The-Flavor-That-Must-Not-Be-Named at Bistro Vendôme, 1420 Larimer Street. Try all four and be entered into a contest to win a restaurant gift card and a year's worth of cookies.
Monday, February 1
On Monday, February 1, you're invited to put on something other than sweatpants that haven't seen the inside of a washing machine for three weeks, take out your ponytail to shampoo your hair and maybe put on some mascara (we don't want to get too crazy here) for Speakeasy 303. Happening at Max Gill & Grill, 1052 South Gaylord Street, a live-music performance by Shawn Eckels will be accompanied by a dinner menu that includes étoufée, pepita-crusted salmon, cioppino and a lobster roll. In other words: It's a real night out. Tables for two, four or six are on sale for $80 to $330 (which works out to $40 to $55 per person) on Eventbrite.
Tuesday, February 2
Muffins get a bad rap, especially because the human-head-sized muffins you can find at Sam's Club, Costco and most coffee shops are overly sweet and preservative-flavored. But locally made, gluten-free muffins paired with gluten-free cider? We'll sign up for that. On Tuesday, February 2, Stem Ciders, 2811 Walnut Street, is hosting a muffin, cookie and cider pairing. Duos include paloma cider with a ginger-lime muffin; rosé cider with a strawberry muffin; cocoa caramel cider with a chocolate muffin; and raspberry cider with peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. (We can confirm that the paloma cider is delicious and probably pairs well with anything, even the aforementioned crimes against muffinhood.) Pre-order your pairing for $26 (in-house) or $28 (to go) on Eventbrite, and show up between 3 and 9 p.m. to pick it up.
Thursday, February 4
Foraged, 1825 Blake Street, is hosting a four-course wine dinner on Thursday, February 4, with vino from California winery Aperture Cellars. There will be scallops and sunchokes with Sauvignon Blanc; duck breast and foie gras with a red blend; and a few menu items that, while sure to be tasty, also sound a bit baffling. Think seared sashimi with Pinot Noir and kangaroo-unicorn flan (no joke!) with Cabernet Sauvignon. The 6 p.m. dinner will run you $75; call Foraged for reservations at 720-389-8105. Details are on the restaurant's Instagram page.
Friday, February 5
The Truffle Table, 2556 15th Street, is hosting this month's wine dinner on Friday, February 5. (We highly recommend taking yourself — and your honeybunch, if applicable — out to a nice meal before February 14; everyone, including the restaurant staff, will be much happier.) The five-course meal costs $125 per person plus tax and tip, and includes a global menu of agnolotti, seared scallops, Indian-spiced spinach, coq au vin and, of course, a decadent cheese course (at the end of the meal, where it belongs) and banana croquette. Wine pairings and a cocktail are also included. Secure your seat by calling the eatery at 303-455-9463; reservations are required and are being taken by phone only.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, February 6
If you're looking for some really, really expensive bottles of whiskey to spend your money on, visit the Brass Tacks Instagram page at noon on Saturday, February 6, for a live auction of rare whiskeys. Brass Tacks bartenders will wax rhapsodic about the ten bottles up for auction; bidding on a few of them starts at $100 (a relative bargain, when the starting price for Old Rip Van Winkle aged only ten years is $400 and a twelve-year-old Van Winkle Reserve is $500). Our favorite offering? The bar's private label from Weller that's being sold with the full-sized, albeit empty, barrel it was aged in (starts at $300). Photos and starting bids are up now on Instagram.
Tuesday, February 9
Denver chef Dave Hadley (formerly of Biju's Little Curry Shop and the Food Network's Chopped, currently of his own Samosa Shop) is returning to the cable channel on Tuesday, February 9, in an episode of Supermarket Stakeout. The cooking competition involves open-air cooking in a parking lot and sticking up shoppers for their recently purchased groceries, but the real reason to tune in at 8 p.m. is so you can nosh on Hadley's samosas, which have been popping up at markets around town and will be available to order on the Samosa Shop website the same day.
Thursday, February 11
The Dairy Block, 1800 Wazee Street, is hosting another progressive dinner in advance of Valentine's Day — albeit one that's stationary for you (the diner) and pretty far removed from the original ’70s-era experience of going door to door in the suburbs to eat with your neighbors. This progressive dinner includes five courses that will be served to you while you sit inside one of the Dairy Block Alley's bubble tents: charcuterie board and Rosé from Blanchard Family Wines; ceviche from Kachina with a cocktail from Poka Lola; braised pork belly and a cocktail from Foraged; yakitori skewers from Bruto with a Seven Grand cocktail; and opera cake from Denver Milk Market with Irish coffee. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 11, or Friday, February 12; the cost is $175 per person, with the heated tents seating a maximum of four people. Read more details and purchase tickets through Rebel Experiences.
Friday, February 12
Burns Family Artisan Ales, 2505 West Second Avenue, is no Johnny-come-lately when it comes to making beer. The combined decades of the owners' experience in brewing and in life result in complex, high-alcohol brews as well as a mental Rolodex of TV commercials — you know, back when your viewing choices were network or cable. From 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, February 12, the brewery is hosting a pre- and anti-Valentine's event, What Do You Want on Your Lover's Tombstone? For $10 per person on Eventbrite, you can reserve a seat at a table along with a personal pizza, which will be served to you with a sympathetic ear. (The beer in which to drown your sorrows is extra.) Pre-orders are due by Wednesday, February 10.
Sunday, February 21
If your love affair with boxed wine is waning at the same time your income is soaring, enroll in Frasca's series of wine classes. Each lesson includes six bottles of wine, a workbook, a pre-recorded course video and access to a live Q&A. Visit Tock to choose from one of three classes (or sign up for them all, though at $350 a pop, you'd better be one loaded learner): the Rhône Valley (Q&A scheduled for Friday, March 19); Reisling (Q&A takes place on Friday, March 26); and soil and minerality (Q&A on Friday, April 2). You'll pick up your course materials on Sunday, February 21, so you'll have a month to sip, study and mull over questions before the Q&As (all of which are scheduled at 5:30 p.m.). Pick-up locations in both Denver and Boulder are available; visit Frasca's website for details.
Wednesday, March 24
Denver's Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center generally hosts its expansive JAAMM (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music) Festival over several months in the fall, with live cultural events across the city. In 2020, of course, that was upended. The silver lining: The fest is going on for a full twelve months (starting last year and well into 2021), and all programming is virtual. On Wednesday, March 24, James Beard Award-winning author of The Cooking Gene, food historian and deeply engaging Instagram presence Michael Twitty will discuss the holiday of Passover. Tickets for the 7 p.m. lecture, $18, are on sale now at the festival's website, where you can also see previous events on demand.
Know of an event that belongs on this calendar? Send information to email@example.com. We're particularly interested in Valentine's Day offerings; we'll publish a list later this week.