The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Jonathan Shikes
A selection of old bottles on display at History Colorado's Beer Here!
Burgers, Big Trouble, bubbly pink wine, bougie dinners and beer are all on the menu this week (when is beer not on the menu in this town?). Here are six of the best food and drink events from Monday, May 20, through Friday, May 24, with future fun and games to mark on the culinary calendar:

click to enlarge There's a lot more to Colorado beer history than you might think. - COURTESY HISTORY COLORADO
There's a lot more to Colorado beer history than you might think.
Courtesy History Colorado
Monday, May 20
If you think the Colorado beer scene was born when Boulder Beer started pouring in 1979, you need to get to History Colorado's Beer Here! Brewing the New West exhibit faster than you can say, "I'll have the double peach milkshake IPA, please." The History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, launched its exploration of Colorado's brewing history over the weekend; the show addresses how and where mining towns (and therefore saloons) sprung up during the Gold Rush, why Colorado went dry four years before Prohibition was enacted nationally, and how Coors has influenced the state's economy and culture. Artifacts including a Prohibition-era bottle breaker (travesty!), historical brewing equipment and the country's first aluminum beer cans are also on display. Samplers of historic beer styles are available for purchase, but if that's not enough to quench your thirst, pick up tickets to the Historic Styles Brewfest on July 20, when 25 local breweries will re-create historic recipes and retired craft-beer favorites. Tickets, $35 or $55, go on sale Monday, May 20, on History Colorado's website, where you can also find more information about the exhibit, which will run through August 9.

click to enlarge Feed the children (but not your children) at Safta on May 21. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Feed the children (but not your children) at Safta on May 21.
Danielle Lirette
Tuesday, May 21
Does the idea of digging into a Feed the Children dinner at a high-end restaurant fill you with warm fuzzies? Safta's multi-course feast on Tuesday, May 21, will raise money for the nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger, but there won't be any rugrats in attendance at the meal itself, so you're safe from unexpected ear-piercing squeals, kiddos camping out on the floor with coloring books and iPads, or small humans racing at top speed between tables. Dishes include salmon coulibiac, (puffed pastry stuffed with a savory assortment of king salmon, risotto, spinach and quail eggs); roasted duck served with spring cassoulet and morels; and trifle made with halvah (a dense, sweet dessert common in the Middle East). The fun starts at 6 p.m. at Safta, 3300 Brighton Boulevard; tickets, $125, are on sale now on Feed the Children's website, where you can find the complete lineup of chefs who will be in the kitchen that night.

click to enlarge Get stuffed at Firenze a Tavola. - COURTESY FIRENZE A TAVOLA FACEBOOK
Get stuffed at Firenze a Tavola.
Courtesy Firenze a Tavola Facebook
Wednesday, May 22
It's a given among gastronomes that stuffing one food inside another increases the deliciousness of both by a factor of four — hence the enduring popularity of jelly doughnuts, calzones, chile rellenos and maki. On Wednesday, May 22, Firenze a Tavola, 4401 Tennyson Street, is gilding the lily with an entire meal made up of ravioli and stuffed foods: four courses of gnocco fritto, fiochetti, stuffed zucchini and dessert ravioli are available for just $37 at the subterranean eatery's 6:30 p.m. Community Table. Take a look at the entire menu on Firenze's website, then text or call 940-367-2977 to reserve your seat at a dinner that will surely leave you...well, stuffed.

click to enlarge You might not be able to get your hands on this juicy boy from American Grind for some time — so eat up on May 23. - RACHEL ADAMS
You might not be able to get your hands on this juicy boy from American Grind for some time — so eat up on May 23.
Rachel Adams
Thursday, May 23
Fans of American Grind, the burger joint inside Avanti Food & Beverage, will want to make sure they hit the food court at 3200 North Pecos Street on Thursday, May 23, to send their baby off to bigger and better things. American Grind is closing up shop at Avanti before heading to its own space in Washington Park, and from 6 to 9 p.m., it's hosting a graduation party (or, depending on your point of view, a farewell party, as a recent trip past its new digs — still under construction! — did not appear hopeful for the anticipated June opening). Either way, get your fill while you can: The first 25 guests to the party will get a free burger, but if you show up late, you'll still be able to score a sandwich and beer for $10, plus Telluride Redfish Ale will be on special all day for $3. Find details on the restaurant's Facebook page, and start praying the construction gods smile on the project so you don't have to wait months for your next fix.

Focus Points Family Resource Center and Comal Heritage Food Incubator's are by now familiar to lovers of great food with a mission. But the organization is outdoing itself on Thursday, May 23, with a fundraiser called ¡Lotería! From 6 to 9 p.m., Big Trouble, the upstairs bar at Zeppelin Station, 3501 Wazee Street, will host a rousing round of the beloved Mexican game of chance while serving beer and wine to players. Comal will provide delicious traditional and alta cocina dishes as well. Comal's Facebook page has the event details, as well as a link to the ticketing website, where you can get your tickets for $60 or $100 (VIP tickets include free parking and a welcome cocktail; welcome to New Denver).

click to enlarge Pink drinks are the name of the game this summer at the Kitchen. - @1000THINGSTODOINDENVERCREATIVE
Pink drinks are the name of the game this summer at the Kitchen.
Friday, May 24
So ubiquitous is the appearance of pink drinks on patios around town come springtime, we're surprised the consumption of rosé hasn't been codified into cultural law. (Much like not wearing white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, you may think no other beverage except pink wine would be allowable during the summer months.) But while rosé is pervasive, it's also often delicious, so what the hell — we're all in. The Kitchen (1560 Wazee Street in Denver and 1039 Pearl Street in Boulder) is, too, with a curated All Day Rosé menu that kicks off on Friday, May 24, and is available until (you guessed it) Labor Day. Enjoy still or sparkling glasses from around the globe for $11 to $13, plus a spritz ($12) that includes Galliano, pineapple, lemon and mint. And if you want to keep drinking the pink stuff after Labor Day? We won't tell a soul.

Keep reading for more food and drink events.

Saturday, May 25

Frontline Farming, a food and farmers advocacy group that farms five acres in metro Denver and hosts a crop  of programs, including rpay-what-you-can food stands, will host the People's Gathering, a free conference focused on food justice and cooperative building, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at New Hope's Baptist New Hope Community Life Center, 3701 Colorado Boulevard. Brandon King, a founding member of Cooperation Jackson, will offer the keynote, talking about how food cooperatives are essential for the security of communities in shifting local and national landscapes. Children's activities will be offered while adults partake of a crop of programs; find out more at