Things to Do

The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Courtesy of RiNo Art District
Kick off Crush Walls with craft beverages.
September starts out strong with the final day of A Taste of Colorado, as well as a trio of festivals celebrating everything from food to drink to street art. Here are six sweet and savory events to choose from this week, as well as more to put on the culinary calendar for fall.

Monday, September 2
Labor Day brunch offers a battle of two over-the-top pop divas — and you'll have ringside seats and $5 drinks for the carnage. Postino, 2715 17th Street, is serving brunch on Monday, September 2, with a Madonna v. Lady Gaga soundtrack. Starting at 9 a.m. (though Madge and the Gags would never get out of bed that early), the wine bar is offering a refreshingly affordable brunch (nothing is priced over $10.50) with $5 pitchers of beer, wines by the glass and mimosas until 3 p.m. So put on your meat dress and cone bra and settle in for a long, boozy meal accompanied by dueling tracks from two musical legends.

Kick off Crush Walls, RiNo's graffiti and street art fest, with a bash at Denver Central Market. Ten years ago (before the ’hood was the site of fancy food courts, trendsetting tasting rooms and fistfights over parking spots), the festival was born as way to highlight the talents of the artists who lived and worked in the area. Even if those artists have mostly been priced out, the tradition hangs on, and the Market at 2669 Larimer Street is hosting the opening party from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, September 2. Fifteen of north Denver's hottest beverage producers (including Infinite Monkey Theorem, Ratio Beerworks, River North Brewery, Our Mutual Friend and Stem Ciders) will be pouring the drinks that helped transform a gritty industrial area of town into one beset by pedal bars plodding along at five miles per hour. Visit the Crush Walls website for more information and to RSVP to the event.

Tuesday, September 3
If you're a fan of Shonen Knife, the legendary, relentlessly chipper, sassy punk-pop outfit from Japan, you probably already have tickets to the trio's Tuesday, September 3, show. But for a mere $22, you can also get a bowl of ramen, a drink and the chance to fawn over the ladies in person at a meet-and-greet at Ratio Beerworks, featuring dinner from Osaka Ramen. At 6:30 p.m., the taproom at 2920 Larimer Street will be serving a bowl of seasonal corn ramen alongside a Ratio beer, and you'll get to meet the Japanese candy punk princesses prior to their high-energy show at the Oriental Theater (for which tickets are still available). Get more details on the Ratio Beerworks Facebook page.

click to enlarge The Grand Tasting is Denver Food and Wine's capstone event. - TROY SCHIEMAN FOR DENVER FOOD + WINE FESTIVAL
The Grand Tasting is Denver Food and Wine's capstone event.
Troy Schieman for Denver Food + Wine Festival
Wednesday, September 4
So far, September hasn't delivered the cooler temps we were hoping for, but the return of the Denver Food and Wine Festival is a sure thing. From Wednesday, September 4, through Sunday, September 8, restaurants around town will be turning out immaculately plated food, and the wine will be flowing freely. There are annual events (the Riedel wine glass seminar, good for those who want to appear über-sophisticated while sipping — or just those who've broken the majority of their glassware, since you'll be going home with a set of four glasses); bougie events (Dinner Under the Stars, this year taking place at our favorite Italian restaurant in a brewery, Liberati); crowd-pleasers (a patio party at Cattivella); the marquee event (the Grand Tasting, with over 700 wines and spirits, chef demos and food from forty top Denver restaurants); and a Sunday brunch (again at Liberati) that's sure to pave your way smoothly from hangover to Sunday Funday. Tickets run from $45 to $150 and are available on the festival's website.

Thursday, September 5
Technically, it's still summer, but Labor Day — after which you can't wear white or drink rosé, according to your grandma — has passed, so let's retire the pink drinks and break out the stiff stuff. If nothing else, it will distract us from the fact that it's still blistering hot. Make the changeover at the Bartender's Bash on Thursday, September 5. Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, is hosting a baker's dozen of bartenders from Denver's top bars and restaurants (Lady Jane, Mercantile Dining & Provision and Bar Dough among them), who will be mixing up tequila, bourbon, gin, brandy and, memorably, Jägermeister and rum, to pair with food from Mizuna, Tap & Burger, Woodie Fisher and more. Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. event, $45 to $60, include bottomless booze and bites and are on sale now on the event website.

click to enlarge Leven Deli's smashed chickpea sandwich could be on the menu at A Denver Feast this Friday. - MARK ANTONATION
Leven Deli's smashed chickpea sandwich could be on the menu at A Denver Feast this Friday.
Mark Antonation
Friday, September 6
Worried you won't get your fill at Denver Food and Wine this weekend? We beg to differ, but if there's any lingering doubt in your mind, double up on food festivals by hitting A Denver Feast on Friday, September 6. From 7 to 10 p.m., nearly twenty local restaurants (including hot spots like Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, Chow Morso, Señor Bear and Leven Deli) will converge on the AC Hotel Denver, 750 15th Street, as part of the larger Hotel Thrillist weekend of events. Gasoline Lollipops (the band, not the dubiously flavored candy) will perform. Tickets, $55, are available on the event website right now.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.