The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

When Samuel L. Jackson tells you to be cool, you listen. And this weekend, it's all about staying chill with an ice bar and an ice-cold brunch on the menu; if you just can't handle the drop in temperatures, warm up with a chili cookoff and a combo 5K run/beer fest to get your blood moving. Whether you run hot or cold, here are six great food and drink events over the next three days, plus four more coming up.

Friday, February 15

Downtown steakhouse Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee Street, is bringing back last winter's ice bar; this year, it will be bigger and better as it returns for two nights on Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16. Cool cocktails will be served from a bar and bar glasses carved out of ice, and an ice luge will be on site for anyone who wants to relive a freshman-year frat party. There won't be Jägermeister coming down the chute, though; the class factor will be upped (slightly) by a clarified milk punch being served from the sculpture. If you're feeling a bit cold-blooded this weekend, fear not: You can sip warm bourbon cocktails near one of two fire pits or get your blood pumping at a silent disco. There's no cover for this event; just be prepared to show up between 7 and 11 p.m. and be cooler than cool.

Like many joints around town, Citizen Rail, 1899 16th Street, is offering a prix fixe menu for Valentine's Day — but we're more interested in the restaurant's Lonely Hearts Club, its late-night, ’90s-themed happy hour happening on Friday, February 15. From 10 p.m. to midnight, singles (lonely or not) can partake in strawberry and Champagne Jell-O shots, mezcal and Campari punch, and bites from the restaurant's regular happy-hour menu, including dry-aged hot dogs and sourdough garlic bread with burrata. There will also be giveaways of CDs with ballads from the era; this one will be be a better effort than what Chris in Biology burned for you freshman year, with "Creep" by TLC, "Careless Whisper" by George Michael and "Suedehead" by Morrissey among the many lovelorn tracks.

click to enlarge You can get your hands on Westbound & Down brews without heading up to Idaho Springs at Saturday's Runderbrew Craft Beer Fest. - JONATHAN SHIKES
You can get your hands on Westbound & Down brews without heading up to Idaho Springs at Saturday's Runderbrew Craft Beer Fest.
Jonathan Shikes
Saturday, February 16
Ready to quit your soul-sucking day job and start selling your soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, vegan, paleo brownies for big bucks? Whoa there, partner. Before you level your best zingers at your incompetent co-workers and storm off into the sunset, take a deep breath and do some research about how to run a new startup. But before you even get to that point, you'd better know some basics. Enter Business Essentials for New Entrepreneurs, a series of workshops focusing on running a business out of a farmers' market. From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, you'll learn the basics of administration in the first of the series: accounting, spreadsheets, point of sales and when to hire a pro. Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, is hosting the classes, with instruction from Pfz Farms and staff from Regis University's Anderson School College of Business. Future installments will cover branding, marketing and business plans; find details and enroll for $10 on Eventbrite.

It's been 48 days since you made your New Year's resolution, and about forty since you threw up your hands, screamed into the void, "What do you want from me? I'm just one man!" and promptly abandoned any intention to evolve beyond Hot Pockets and Tinder. But on Saturday, February 16, you can trick yourself into doing something good for yourself with the reward of indulging in something bad for you at the Runderbrew Craft Beer Festival. Nearly twenty breweries including Westbound & Down, Wibby, Ska and Bierstadt will gather at 3560 Chestnut Place from 2 to 5 p.m., where you can sip unlimited brews after running (or walking) a 5K course. Tickets, $39 to $99, are on sale now on the event website.

click to enlarge Brunch and chill at the Monkey Barrel on Sunday. - COURTESY MONKEY BARREL FACEBOOK
Brunch and chill at the Monkey Barrel on Sunday.
Courtesy Monkey Barrel Facebook
Sunday, February 17
Come full circle this weekend by hitting up the Monkey Barrel, 4401 Tejon Street, for its Brunch as Cold as Ice: a Sunday morning drinking and dining tribute to Ice-T, Ice Cube, Fresh Kid Ice and other notable names from late-’80s and early-’90s hip-hop. Beats from the famous and infamous (hello, Vanilla Ice) will be dropping while you dine on themed bites and cocktails. The doors open at 10 a.m.; find out more on the bar's website.

If the weekend's events have you chilled to the bone, warm up at Comrade Brewing. The taproom, at 7667 East Iliff Avenue, is hosting the Comrade Chili Cookoff from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, where you can warm your bones with red and green chili (thank Lenin there's no category for the abominable white chili, a creation of the bourgeoisie if ever there was one). Competitors can sign up on Comrade's website; each will be serving samples "according to his ability," while each drinker will be consuming beer "according to his need." The winners will be awarded a very un-Marxist prize of gift certificates.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.