It's the weekend before Halloween, so of course there are plenty of tricks and treats around town — as well as a few non-themed events if you're not feeling freakishly festive. Keep reading for the best food and drink fun from Friday, October 25, through Sunday, October 27, plus a few more events in the first few weeks of November.
Friday, October 25
Haunted hotels are nothing new — especially in Colorado, where the Overlook drove poor Jack Torrance mad and spawned both a film franchise and an epic King vs. Kubrick feud. Thankfully, while Denver's Brown Palace Hotel has had its fair share of scandal and unexplained phenomena, having a drink at the bar isn't likely to send you on an axe-wielding rampage. So the Brown, 321 17th Street, is hosting a haunted happy hour on Friday, October 25, at 5:30 p.m. Start in the bar, where Lloyd will mix you some spirited beverages and the kitchen will turn out seasonal tricks and treats, then head out on a tour of the hotel's eeriest nooks and crannies. And because the ghouls that flit down the nearly 130-year-old hallways come from an earlier, more millinered time, you're encouraged to show up in a frighteningly festive chapeau. Tickets, $80, are on sale on Eventbrite.
Saturday, October 26
On any given Saturday night, it's not at all unusual to see hordes of people staggering down Larimer street from bar to bar with a single-minded focus on braaii...that is, driiiiiiiiiinks. The only difference on Saturday, October 26, is that they'll be dressed more strangely than usual. The LoDo Zombie Crawl kicks off at 6 p.m. with check-in at the Ginn Mill, 2041 Larimer Street, with nearly fifteen bars and clubs (including Seven Grand, Larimer Beer Hall, View House and Scruffy Murphy's) welcoming costumed crawlers with food and drink specials. Some, like $4 smothered fries at Biker Jim's or a $5 Old Fashioned at Seven Grand, are a real treat; others, like a $23 bucket of White Claws or $4 mystery shots at Herbs, are more frightening. But if you're not scared off, visit the event website for details and $30 tickets.
When was the last time you had a good old-fashioned steak dinner? It may be not be the trendiest thing on the menu these days, but there's no denying a certain satisfaction that comes from a low-lit steakhouse, where the chairs cradle and cushion you for as long as you want to linger (as opposed to the bane of many a newer establishment: fake-comfortable seating that looks handsome but is so rigid it drives you to your feet the second you've finished dessert), the portions are big and the drinks are unfussy. Morton's, 1745 Wazee Street, is offering a souped-up version of the classic meal with its Taste of Two Legends wine dinner on Saturday, October 26, at 6:30 p.m. While the hyperbole may elicit a roll of the eyes, the menu promises plenty of crowd-pleasers — prosciutto-wrapped figs, duck rillettes, parmesan panna cotta, lobster avocado salad and wagyu ribeye — all paired with Duckhorn Estate wines. Tickets are available for $175 (including tip) on Eventbrite, along with the complete menu.
Sunday, October 27
Round out your weekend with sweet treats at The Source, 3330 Brighton Boulevard, where Melted, a new dessert-ery from Bryan Dayton of neighboring Acorn, is offering a sneak peak on Sunday, October 27. From noon to 3 p.m., the new space in the market hall will sell cookies, soft-serve ice cream, Thai-style ice cream sandwiches, and Melted swag (to prove you were into Melted before it was cool). Info is up on the Source's Facebook page.
If you live south of Hampden Avenue (or SoHam, as we love to call it), venturing into central Denver for drinks and dinner can seem daunting. The traffic! The construction! The shocking lack of parking lots! But on Sunday, October 27, sushi fans won't need to brave Den Corner or Highland to get elaborate omakase. 47 Ronin Sushi & Spirits, at 1525 Park Central Drive in Highlands Ranch, is offering an eight-course meal starting at 6 p.m., with courses such as crispy soft shell crab, seasonal oysters, salmon karaage, and several styles of temaki and nigiri. Seats are $95, with optional sake pairing for $40; visit the restaurant's Instagram feed for the entire menu, then call 720-272-4120 for reservations (required).
Shake your booty at the Freaky Tiki Pirate Halloween Party at Adrift, 218 South Broadway. From 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 27, you can get down with other freaky pirates in a silent disco; dig into a make-your-own-taco bar, and join in the costume contest. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door; 21+ only. The evening will be off the plank! Find out more here.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Thursday, November 7
For a unique take on dinner and a show, consider dining at Morin on Thursday, November 7. Starting at 6 p.m., the upscale French restaurant is hosting a benefit for Central City Opera, one of the oldest professional opera companies in the country and, at 87 years old, a Colorado institution long before slot machines invaded Clear Creek Canyon. Chefs Carrie Baird (Bar Dough, Top Chef) and Max MacKissock (culinary director at Morin, Señor Bear, Bar Dough and more) will be serving up cooking demos alongside a multi-course seated dinner; the excellent natural wines and creative cocktails you'd expect from beverage power couple Mary Allison Wright and Mclain Hedges; a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour; and performances from Central City Opera singers. Tickets ($250) are on sale now on the Opera's website.
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Monday, November 11
Food is universal — but tastes aren't. Sometimes preferences are just that, but just as often, food reveals prejudices (don't believe us? Take a deep dive into the comments whenever we write about African cuisine.) But as much as our culinary preferences can reveal our biases, they can also serve as a bridge between cultures. If we're curious about trying new flavors, perhaps we can be as interested in the people who create them and the culture they come from. On Monday, November 11, put this theory to the test at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, 3200 Larimer Street, as it hosts A Taste of Curiosity dinner, a conversation facilitated by food and drink. Chef Jesus Silva (Misaki) will be providing the Japanese food, and folks from Breaking the Bias will be on hand to keep dinner from devolving into a food fight (perhaps literally). Tickets, $65, are available on IMT's website; get yours and feed your brain as well as your body.
Friday, November 15
Our state has been described as the "Napa Valley of beer" for years now, but the continuing growth of the Colorado wine industry means it could be inching toward being known as the Napa Valley of wine. Okay, not really, but there are currently over 130 outfits making wine and mead in a state better known for its varietals of weed. On Friday, November 15, History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, will host Colorado UnCorked, a tasting of wines that triumphed at this year's Governor's Cup competition. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., chefs from Julep, Logan Street, Woodie Fisher and Grand Junction's Bin 707 will craft bites to pair with fourteen wines. Awarded wineries include Denver and Boulder's Bonacquisti and BookCliff, as well as the Western Slope's Carlson and Plum Creek; varietals range from cab franc to nebbiolo to riesling. Snag your tickets ($45 or $85) on Eventbrite, where you can see the complete list of award winners.
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