The Ten Tastiest Events on Denver's Culinary Calendar, December 16-18

What's that smell? No, it's not your roast burning (though you should check, just in case): It's the scent of holiday cheer getting stronger and stronger. This weekend brings an underwater Santa Claus, an early taste of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and holiday markets to aid your seasonal shopping. Get out and taste the most delicious events around town; here are details on the ten best.
Friday, December 16

An Italian Christmas means a Feast of the Seven Fishes, and the table is set early at Coperta. Starting tonight, the Uptown eatery is serving its take on the classic meal nightly until December 24, with dishes like salt cod ravioli or calamari and shrimp fritto misto filling out the family-style feast. The cost is $50 per person; call the restaurant at 720-749-4666 for reservations.

Who knew your favorite brewery had a favorite punk band? Big Choice Brewing is paying tribute to the California punks in Face to Face on their 25th anniversary by spinning their first three albums on vinyl, including Don't Turn Away and, yes, Big Choice. Beer fans are also invited to bring along their own ska and punk records, as well as to enjoy a new tapping of Chill Out Peppermint Stout. RSVP at the Big Choice Facebook event page.

Latigo Modern Mexican celebrates the first night of Las Posadas, a nine-day festival in Mexico that commemorates Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. Tonight's party includes drink specials, traditional dishes and live music, plus such Las Posadas staples as piñatas and ponche, a warm holiday punch. The party begins tonight at 7 p.m. and concludes with another celebration on December 23.

Read on for more events happening this weekend.
Saturday, December 17

Today and tomorrow, The Source presents a smorgasbord of holiday shopping, food and merriment. The holiday market returns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., welcoming local businesses like chocolatier Cokolada Mama and gift-box purveyors Colorado Crafted. The Source's own SVPER ORDINARY is hosting a pop-up market featuring Colorado artisans today from noon to 6 p.m. And that's not all: Hipster Santa returns in all his bearded glory for photo ops with visitors. Admission to the festivities is free, and Santa photos are $25 each, with $3 going to benefit Slow Food Denver.

Rare beers have been spotted in Longmont. The best way to track ’em down is by heading to the Tasty Weasel Taproom for a taste of Rum Barrel-Aged Death by Coconut porter. Oskar Blues will be selling cans of this limited-edition brew, as well as the equally rare Rum Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy in tallboys (a maximum of twelve cans per person). Take your place in line and enjoy drafts of both beers as you wait. The doors open at noon, and the beers keep rolling out until they're gone.

R Taco, the burgeoning Mexican chain that began in Dallas, is opening its newest location today in Westminster. In celebration, the new R Taco at the Westminster Promenade is giving away the chance to win free tacos for a year. The first fifty fans in line for the grand opening at 7 a.m. (yes, R Taco is open for breakfast) will receive a coupon book good for a free meal every week for a year, so get there early for your chance to score. Like the three other metro Denver outposts, this R Taco will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Infinite Monkey Theorem's River North wine bar is a center of enlightenment as well as intoxication. White House Lotus is hosting a free therapeutic yoga class in IMT's taproom today from noon to 2 p.m. The session will be followed by a happy hour with IMT wine and $5 mimosas. RSVP on the Facebook event page to let ’em know you're coming.

Santa's going for a swim at the Downtown Aquarium this weekend. Today and tomorrow, kids and families can sit down for breakfast with Saint Nick and a grand buffet; watch for Scuba Santa cavorting in the tank with the Aquarium's famous mermaids. Seatings take place at 8:30 and 9:45 a.m., and the price, which includes validated parking and half-off exhibit admission, is $22.99 for adults, $20.99 for seniors, $16.99 for kids three to ten, and free for children under two. Make your reservations at the Eventbrite site.

Sunday, December 18

If you like holiday shopping but wish it involved more drinking, Bar Fausto has the solution. Today the bar will offer a market of local goods by Colorado makers, from chocolate to stationery, as well as plenty of craft cocktails and snacks. Plus, every drink and product purchased nets you a raffle ticket for a drawing at the end of the night. The market runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and admission is free; check out the list of vendors at Bar Fausto's Facebook event page.

The Source's holiday festivities continue with the second day of its holiday market, as well as the return of Acorn chef Bill Espiricueta's BBQ lunch pop-up, offering smoked hot wings, ribs and housemade sausage, pulled-pork sandwiches, mac and cheese and more. The ’cue will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the market is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

For more Food & Drink events, go to our online calendar. If you know of an event that should be included in that calendar, send information to [email protected]