Things to Do

The Best Food and Drink Events on This Week's Culinary Calendar

The Bindery's rabbit relleno, made to pair with a screening of Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy.
Courtesy the Bindery
The Bindery's rabbit relleno, made to pair with a screening of Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy.
We may learn by Memorial Day when Colorado restaurants can reopen to on-premises dining.

In the meantime, are you consumed by an untenable combo of boredom and anxiety? Temporarily dull the pain with consumption — of food, drink or social media. Here are our picks to help you embrace the new normal this week, plus ongoing online events for every other day that stretches into eternity like a vast wasteland. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 27

The City of Aurora is doing its part to make sure kitchens are stocked with a weekly Wednesday mobile food pantry that will run through August 26. On Wednesday, May 27, Aurora residents can show up at Hinkley High School, 1250 Chambers Road, starting at 10 a.m. to receive a box of free groceries that can be used to make up to nine meals. The city's goal is to distribute 1,000 boxes per week; the first week of the pantry's operation, supplies were exhausted within an hour, so eligible families (all Aurora households with proof of residency) should plan to be punctual. Emergency food supplies for homeless citizens as well as pet food and supplies will also be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Distribution locations change every week; visit the City of Aurora website for future locations and complete details.

Boulder's Oak at Fourteenth, 1400 Pearl Street, is running an Asian-inspired pop-up for the next month. The scrumptious new entrees include General Tso's crispy pork shoulder with fried mushrooms, rice and truffle tofu; bao stuffed with brisket from Denver barbecue emporium Smok, with kimchi potato salad; pork dumplings piled high with crispy garlic; and a chicken sandwich topped with Thai-spiced caramel and ginger slaw. Call 303-444-3622 to place your pick-up order from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 

Denver Film moved its programming online when Colorado shut down back in March, and cinephiles have been able to stream films in the comfort of their own couches since then. The last few months have taught us that our entire lives — working, sleeping, streaming, crying, screaming into the void, and definitely eating and drinking — can be performed from those well-loved cushions, so it's apropos that one of the organization's current offerings is the 2019 documentary about legendary Mexican food maven and author Diana Kennedy, titled Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy. Visit Denver Film's website to stream the movie for $9.99 (although you can't put a price on Kennedy's advice about cascabel chiles), then tune into the Denver Film YouTube channel at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, for a live Q&A with director Elizabeth Carroll. Even better than this feast for the eyes is the literal feast (okay, one dish) that The Bindery, 1817 Central Street, is cooking up to accompany the film: rabbit two ways, with bunny playing the starring role in rellenos and chiles en nogada ($35, serves two). Also available is the Nothing Fancy cocktail — a simple but satisfying tequila gimlet ($10). Call 303-993-2364 to order takeout.

click to enlarge Yes, Virigina, Olivia serves cocktails, too. - JONI SCHRANTZ
Yes, Virigina, Olivia serves cocktails, too.
Joni Schrantz
Thursday, May 28
Some days wine just isn't enough; you need stiffer stuff. Restaurant Olivia feels your pain, so it's offering a  virtual distillers' dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28. Denver bartenders Sean Kenyon (Williams & Graham, Occidental) and Nick Touch (The Family Jones) will each be mixing three cocktails for the three-course dinner: gin drinks to go with burrata, parmesan focaccia and pesto; vodka beverages to accompany lasagna pomodoro and braised chicken; and bourbon with butterscotch budino and brown butter cookies to cap off the evening. Each bearded bartender will lobby for his own pairing, and the winner — as decided by your vote — will choose which nonprofit organization receives a portion of the evening's sales. Reserve your spot on Olivia's website ($75 with booze, $50 without) no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, and you'll get a link to the Zoom meeting, take-and-bake courses (along with complete finishing instructions) and six cocktails. Food will be available for pick-up on Wednesday, May 27, and Thursday, May 28, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 290 South Downing Street.

Friday, May 29
Longmont's Dry Land Distillers' insistence on using local ingredients for its beverages — endemic prickly pear cactus for its mezcal-adjacent spirit, Antero wheat (developed by Colorado State University) and heirloom White Sonora wheat for its whiskeys, and native botanicals for its gin — makes it a natural bedfellow for the Slow Food movement (liquor is food, obviously). On Friday, May 29, at 4 p.m., the distillery is joining Slow Food USA for a free virtual tour and mixology class. Sign up for the webinar on Slow Food's website, then start gathering equipment and ingredients to make two of Dry Land's house cocktails using its goods. Pre-order your bottles on Dry Land's online storefront, then pick them up at the tasting room, 471 Main Street in Longmont, between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Don't say Denver restaurants aren't stretching their creativity to the limit to keep you fed and entertained, even if their dining rooms aren't open. Exhibit A: a "Farm-to-Spaceship" dinner from Somebody People, the plant-based eatery at 1165 South Broadway. A team of chefs, distillers, bartenders, DJs, artists and other creative types have concocted the storyline of the Weightless Freight REALLY Long Haul Trucking Company, which supposedly just landed with a shipment of subglacial lake water from Mars — and they brought recipes. Snag a ticket for the multimedia event on Eventbrite for $48 each for one of three sessions, on May 29, June 5 or June 12. Each ticket includes a four-course dinner from Somebody People, a cocktail or mocktail made with "Mars Water," and a flower-power ring that you'll pick up from the restaurant between 5 and 8 p.m. the day of your dinner. You'll also receive a login for an accompanying video, which includes a cocktail tutorial, comedy, music and other visuals to help set the extraterrestrial scene. Complete details can be found on the Farm to Spaceship Eventbrite page.

Diners with champagne tastes and a willingness to stand over a stove can pick up Frasca at Home meal kits to cook every weekend in Boulder (at Frasca) and Denver (at Tavernetta). - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Diners with champagne tastes and a willingness to stand over a stove can pick up Frasca at Home meal kits to cook every weekend in Boulder (at Frasca) and Denver (at Tavernetta).
Danielle Lirette
Saturday, May 30
Boulder denizens seeking high-end dining have long relied on Frasca Food and Wine, 1738 Pearl Street, to scratch that itch. And while the dining room remains closed, you can still get the white-tablecloth experience — provided, of course, that you have a white tablecloth at home. Every Saturday, the restaurant is offering Frasca at Home kits, with enough ingredients to create an entree for two people (don't worry, you'll get detailed instructions and a video tutorial), plus appetizers, dessert and a bottle of wine. Previous kits have included paella, fresh pasta with Bolognese, and roast chicken seasoned with fennel pollen (all with accompanying sides, breads and wines). Prices vary, but hover around $100 to $130. Orders must be placed on Tock no later than 5 p.m. for pick-up on Saturdays. Want to order but live in Denver? No worries: Order on Tavernetta's Tock page and collect your goods at its Denver dining room, 1889 16th Street.

click to enlarge Will you be able to get your hands on Palisade peaches this year? Colorado Proud wants to ensure that you can. - COLORADO PROUD
Will you be able to get your hands on Palisade peaches this year? Colorado Proud wants to ensure that you can.
Colorado Proud
Wednesday, June 3
Farmers and ranchers, distributors, restaurateurs and vendors interested in Colorado's agricultural industry will want to plan for the Colorado Department of Agriculture's next roundtable on Wednesday, June 3, "Adaptability: How Agriculture Can Succeed in Tough Times." From 4 to 5 p.m., panelists including state Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg and Marczyk Fine Foods owner Pete Marczyk will discuss their ideas on how to adjust the food supply chain and distribution, logistics of outdoor markets, and retail operations in a way that serves customers and producers alike. Guests will have the opportunity to submit questions for a Q&A when they RSVP for the free Zoom meeting on Colorado Proud's website; attendees must register no later than Wednesday, May 27.

Starting Wednesday, June 3, Denver-based Good Food 100 Restaurants, an industry survey that strives to document business and purchasing practices in the hospitality field, is launching Save Good Food, a series of  weekly virtual dinner-table discussions about food and the supply chain. At 6 p.m., tune in to hear local and national fine-dining restaurateurs, farmers and distributors discuss the realities and future of finding good food. The first episode ("Save Good Meat") includes chefs Paul C. Reilly (Beast + Bottle, Coperta) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill), hog and poultry farmer Greg Gunthorp and Chris Oliviero from Niman Ranch. Future installments — the series runs through June 30 — feature Denver chefs Alex Seidel, Jen Jasinski, Kelly Whitaker and Caroline Glover; visit the organization's website to register for the free webinars. Attendance is limited, so don't delay.

Keep reading for ongoing online events every day of the week....