Things to Do

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Wine and dine this week.
Wine and dine this week. Danielle Lirette
This week brings bugs, Barolo and Bordeaux, boozeless cocktails and beef to the menu. Here are five of the best food and drink events for the next five days, plus a handful of future fun in the months to come.

click to enlarge Had some delicious drinks at Denver Food and Wine, but don't know much about them? Hit up wine trivia on September 9. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Had some delicious drinks at Denver Food and Wine, but don't know much about them? Hit up wine trivia on September 9.
Danielle Lirette
Monday, September 9
Think you know a little something about wine? That may be, but combine the huge number of grapes, languages and regions involved in viticulture and you have a nearly endless parade of facts and figures. If you want to expand your knowledge (and your palate!), do it at a fun night of trivia instead of a stuffy lecture. On Monday, September 9, put together a team of four to six wine-loving friends and sign up for wine trivia at Metro State University, 1190 Auraria Parkway. From 6 to 8 p.m., the Sensory Analysis Lab (room 265) in the Hospitality Learning Center will host the event, which also includes blind tastings and almost $1,000 worth of prizes. Tickets, $35, go to benefit the Napa Valley Wine Academy scholarship fund, and are for sale now on the organization's website.

click to enlarge Crickets on these tacos are courtesy of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, which will be on hand at Bugs, Bites and Brews on September 10. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Crickets on these tacos are courtesy of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, which will be on hand at Bugs, Bites and Brews on September 10.
Linnea Covington
Tuesday, September 10
Sustainability is an evergreen culinary buzzword, and plenty of studies have concluded that raising and slaughtering big animals like cows and pigs in large numbers is (while delicious!) ultimately harmful to the environment. Hence we have meat substitutes like Impossible Burger (and our personal old-school fave, Morningstar vegetarian corn dogs). Also creeping and crawling their way into any conversation about sustainable sources of protein: insects. On Tuesday, September 10, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, is hosting Bugs, Bites and Brews from 6:30 to 9 p.m., where diners not squicked out by the thought of picking tiny legs out from between their teeth can sample dishes made with insects, learn about their potential culinary and environmental applications, taste beer brewed with the critters and basically earn bragging rights for years. Tickets, $33, are on sale on the Museum's website. Yum?

click to enlarge Belly up to El Jefe's tile-top bar and do some good for Denver Public Library. - MARK ANTONATION
Belly up to El Jefe's tile-top bar and do some good for Denver Public Library.
Mark Antonation
Wednesday, September 11
Celebrate Hump Day with a pair of fun events out that benefit good causes. On Wednesday, September 11, El Jefe, 2450 West 44th Avenue, is donating 20 percent of all food and drink sales from 4 to 9 p.m. to the Denver Public Library Friends Foundation, the same nonprofit that puts on the epic, twice-yearly DPL used-books sale. So fill your belly with tacos and tlayudas, then get to the library to check out one of its hundreds of tomes on the subject of Mexican food.


Meanwhile, Dazzle, 1512 Curtis Street,  is hosting a Zero Proof Mix Off from 7 to 9 p.m., which will raise funds for Bar Zero, a nonprofit restaurant aiming to be the first sober eatery to open in Denver. Visit Bar Zero's website for tickets to the competition ($40), where bartenders will be stirring and shaking non-alcoholic drinks that go way beyond a Shirley Temple.

click to enlarge The scenery at Breckenridge Wine Classic is sure to be classic Colorado. - COURTESY OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN EVENTS
The scenery at Breckenridge Wine Classic is sure to be classic Colorado.
Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Events
Thursday, September 12
Denver Food and Wine just wrapped, but if you can't get enough swirling, sipping and selfies, call in to work with a bad case of Alice in Wonderland or foreign accent syndrome and head to the hills for the Breckenridge Wine Classic, which runs from Thursday, September 12, through Sunday, September 15. Wine dinners kick off the festivities Thursday night, but if you can't make it to the mountain town until Friday, fear not: there are still plenty of tickets left for Stroll Breckenridge, a Friday afternoon tasting along Main Street; both the noon and 4 p.m. sessions of Saturday's Grand Tasting; and Sunday's boozy Hair of the Dog brunch. It'll leave you with plenty of time to sober up for the ninety-minute drive back to the big city, by which time you'll have miraculously recovered from your mysterious ailment just in time for your Monday morning meeting. Visit the Breckenridge Wine Classic website for details and tickets.

click to enlarge You can get 365-day dry-aged steak at Citizen Rail through September 29. - @HUNGRYHUNGRY_HIPSTERS
You can get 365-day dry-aged steak at Citizen Rail through September 29.
@hungryhungry_hipsters
Friday, September 13
Citizen Rail, 1899 16th Street, is turning two this month and inviting all the younger kids in the neighborhood to the party. So from Friday, September 13, through Sunday, September 22, you can celebrate with two-week dry-aged duck breast or lamb, or 28-day dry-aged New York strip steak. For just $45, you'll get a three-course prix-fixe dinner with your choice of house-aged protein, starter and dessert. And while we rarely recommend opting for the upcharge, it's worth it in this case, because for a mere $10 more, you can add four ounces of 365-day dry-aged strip to your plate to compare directly with its month-old cousin. Find the full menu on Citizen Rail's Facebook page, then visit the restaurant's website for reservations to ensure you don't miss out on this fantastic birthday deal.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.


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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation