Things to Do

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Arcana is one of the restaurants participating in First Bite.
Danielle Lirette
Arcana is one of the restaurants participating in First Bite.
Sample from the best restaurants Boulder County has to offer, pay homage to a legendary Colorado diner and have breakfast for dinner this weekend. Behold, seven of the city's most savory food and drink happenings from Friday, November 8, though Sunday, November 10, plus more to plan for next week.

Friday, November 8
Before he grew grapes, Fess Parker was known for his portrayals of frontiersmen — Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone and Jim Coates (poor Old Yeller's grandpa) — but after his acting career came to a close, he went west to California's Central Coast and opened Fess Parker Winery in the late 1980s. On Friday, November 8, you'll have the chance to taste the family vineyard's products at Former Saint, 650 15th Street. For $110, the 6:30 p.m. wine dinner includes four courses (we like the sound of poached pears with blue-cheese panna cotta and elk Wellington with local mushrooms) paired with the well-regarded vineyard's riesling, pinot noir and big, juicy red blend. Find the full menu on the eatery's Facebook page, then email [email protected] or call 303-486-4810 for reservations.

If you don't yet have reservations at your favorite Boulder restaurant, you'd better hop to it. Friday, November 8, marks the start of First Bite, Boulder County's restaurant week, and participating eateries are sure to be packed through the end of the event on Saturday, November 16. New this year are two price points (restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe menus at either $29 or $49) and the introduction of Two on Tuesday, a fundraising drive on Tuesday, November 12. On that date, diners can opt to give $2 or more to one of five local nonprofit organizations, with matching donations provided by local businesses. Visit First Bite's website for more information about selected nonprofits and a complete list of participating restaurants and their menus. With more than forty restaurants joining in, everyone's sure to find something they love.


Saturday, November 9

The monikers William Larimer and John Evans may seem vaguely familiar, but most people probably don't realize the lasting impact the two men had on the state of Colorado. Aside from the streets that bear their names, the nineteenth-century historic figures are overshadowed by a much more famous, much more lurid Coloradan: Alfred Packer, whose questionable legacy lives on in musicals and cartoons — and on Saturday, November 9, in the Alfred Packer Cannibal Fast Food 5K and 10K. Starting at Arapahoe Community College, 5900 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton, you'll run alongside the South Platte River and past Littleton Cemetery, Packer's final resting place, like your life depends on it. Registration for the 10 a.m. race, $30 or $45, helps the Action Center's food bank provide meals for Jefferson County residents that aren't made out of...well, Jefferson County residents. Visit South Jeffco Rotary Club's website to sign up for the dash.

Any restaurant that serves poutine for breakfast is okay by us. Any restaurant that serves breakfast for dinner is even better. Combine the two and add beer, and it's a hat trick of awesomeness. On Saturday, November 9, Berkeley breakfast joint Wendell's, 3838 Tennyson Street, is staying open well past its normal afternoon closing time to serve Beer & Breakfast for Dinner. Starting at 6 p.m., the kitchen will be turning out five courses of brunchy bites (though not the aforementioned breakfast poutine, which you'll have to come back for): a fancy toast flight with smoked beet ricotta and avocado, and creamed mushrooms with braised pork belly; savory oats with caramelized onions and poached eggs; and buttermilk pancakes, clotted-cream waffles and roasted sweet potato ice cream. Beers from Empourium Brewing Co. (among them a coffee blonde ale and a smoked porter) will accompany each course. Call 720-485-3901 or email [email protected] to reserve your spot for the $40 dinner that's sure to be the best breakfast (or brunch!) you've had in ages — and without a two-hour wait.


Grateful Bread Company isn't open to the public on Mondays, so Veterans' Day comes two days early, as the bakery's retail shop at 425 Violet Street in Golden offers 25 percent off all products on Saturday, November 9, to all active-duty military members and veterans. Come by from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for bread and pastries; we recommend going early to beat the crowd.


Sunday, November 10
In a sea of bad eggs Benedict, bottomless Bloody Marys and boisterous buzzed brunchers, it's hard for a Sunday morning meal to stand out. But on November 10, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, 1201 Bannock Street, will be serving the trendiest of meals in honor of the establishment of the Bauhaus design school a century ago. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests will be treated to bites and cocktails — sophisticated diners will be sure to analyze the flavor profiles with an eye toward the Bauhaus precept of function superseding form — as well as a mini-art lesson and the opportunity to enjoy the Museum's collection. And with furniture and art often displayed as vignettes, you're more likely to feel like you're attending a retro cocktail party in someone's vintage home than like you're wandering through the echoing museum galleries. Tickets, $100 or $150, are available fee-free at the Museum during its regular hours, or on Eventbrite, if convenience trumps frugality.

The cozy Park Hill gem Bistro Barbès usually serves French-Middle Eastern fusion, but on Sunday, November 10, and Monday, November 11, the bistro is opening up its kitchen at 5021 East 28th Avenue to pop-up dinner company Fork & Path, which is offering a spread of Swedish smörgås (sandwiches) starting at 11 a.m.  Among other Scandinavian sammies, the menu includes juniper tunnbröd (flatbread) with tarragon yogurt, a smoked venison wrap with juniper butter and pickled blueberries, and rye bread topped with wild boar sausage, mustard and cloudberry jam. Find the full menu on Fork & Path's Facebook page, along with info on Monday's military discount and payment details (apparently, paper currency is a foreign concept to Swedes).

Keep reading for future food and drink events.