A pair of wine dinners and a pair of festivals anchor the culinary calendar this week; there's even an homage to Julia Child and free ice cream sundaes. Here are the seven tastiest events from August 14 through August 18, with six more to plan for.
Monday, August 14
Austrian wines are a good bet for summer drinking, as they're primarily (though not exclusively) white. To get a taste of the vinous variety that Austria offers, consider Frasca Food and Wine's evening of Austrian favorites on Monday, August 14. The restaurant, 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder, will be doing what it does best: pairing food and wine so seamlessly, it's as if they were made for each other. This four-course prix fixe menu ($55) will be accompanied by wines from producers Ingrid Groiss, Emmerich Knoll and Franz Weninger (an additional $40-$50). Seatings start at 5:30 p.m.; call Frasca at 303-442-6966 to guarantee your spot.
As the patron saint of French cooking in America once said: “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” And you, too, dear reader, are never too old to master the basics of Gallic cuisine, especially if you enroll in Stir Cooking School's Celebrating Julia Child workshop on Tuesday, August 15. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., you'll whip up cheese quiche, soufléed potatoes, coq au vin and chocolate roulade in honor of the statuesque chef's birthday. The cost is $80 per person — a small price to pay for the amount of butter and cream you'll be using to delicious effect. Reserve your spot at stirtolearn.com — and bon appétit!
Wednesday, August 16
If you've been intrigued by the wine dinners at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse but are wary of the admittedly high price point, now's your chance to do some bargain shopping. From Wednesday, August 16, to Tuesday, September 5, the Greenwood Village location, 8100 East Orchard Road, will celebrate twenty years in business with a four-course wine dinner for just $97 (a nod to 1997, its natal year). Diners will be able to pick and choose from apps, entrees and sides as well as wines for each course. Call 303-796-0100 or go to delfriscos.com for reservations.
Thursday, August 17
If you have to go grocery shopping, you might as well do it at a Natural Grocers location. Because on Thursday, August 17, the chain is celebrating its 62nd year in business, and is offering free ice cream sundaes (dairy and non-dairy, of course) and root beer floats at all its locations from 4 to 6 p.m. They say you shouldn't shop for food on an empty stomach, right? Find the store closest to you at naturalgrocers.com.
Raise a glass while chowing down at the Eleventh Annual Corks & Forks on Thursday, August 17, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Enjoy a selection of fine wines and sample dishes prepared by chefs representing favored foodie haunts like Tamayo, Habit Doughnut, Stoic & Genuine, Blue Island Oyster Bar and Angelo's Taverna, to name but a few of the establishments vying for the prestigious Golden Fork and Golden Cork Awards. Guests can bid on a wide array of shopping treasures at a silent auction, boogie to live music, or simply take in the majestic city views that surround the DaVita World Headquarters rooftop terrace (2000 16th St.). It's not all sensory indulgence at Corks & Forks, however, as a portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Visit nscd.org to learn more and buy tickets, $60-$105.
If you're a regular in Denver bars and breweries, chances are you've seen the governor (formerly Hizzoner) out and about at least once. Now's your chance to get up close and personal with Hick at Brews and Bites with Governor Hickenlooper on Thursday, August 17. The beer pairing event takes place at the Governor's Mansion, 400 8th Avenue, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and allows guests access to the rooms and gardens of the residence while enjoying beer brewed by the man himself (with assistance from Strange Craft Brewing) along with fifteen beer and food pairings. Breweries on hand will include Epic, Strange, Cerebral, Ratio and the underrated Baere. Tickets ($75) are on sale at coloradoshome.org.
Friday, August 18
So you moved to the suburban-style enclave of Stapleton, and now you deeply regret the lack of urban amenities like food trucks in your life. Food Truck Friday can make you feel urban without having to leave your slice of lawn-fronted paradise. Quilted Park, 5477 Willow Street, will host the Little India Food Truck, WongWayVeg and Gigi's Cupcakes of Littleton from 5 to 8 p.m. So bring your kids and a blanket and settle in for a picnic in the park. You'll even be home in time to watch 20/20.