With Christmas falling on the most annoying weekday this year (Wednesday), you might think Denver's restaurant scene would be sluggish. Not so: Here are seven savory food and drink happenings around town from Monday, December 23, through Friday, December 27, plus more in the winter days and nights to come.
Monday, December 23
Christmas (and the window for one-day shipping from Amazon) is fast approaching, but you can still get in some last-minute shopping — and Christmas cheer — at the final day of the Christkindl Market, 1515 Arapahoe Street, on Monday, December 23. Conspicuous consumption kicks off at 11 a.m. and runs until 9 p.m.; alcoholic consumption is encouraged, with $1 off drinks if you show up in a onesie. So dig that flannel abomination out of the back of the closet — you know you bought one for a bar crawl back in ’17 — and celebrate the reason for the season (that would be continuing the tradition of embarrassing pics of you in PJs). Details are up on the Market's Facebook page.
Tuesday, December 24
Lady Jane, our favorite new bar this year, is cementing our loyalty with its Christmas Eve special: Everything found within the four walls of the breezy retro bar at 2021 West 32nd Avenue is 50 percent off on Tuesday, December 24. That means $6 cocktails, beer and wine ranging from an incredible $1.50 to $8 and snacks that start at just $2. So whether you need some sustenance after frantic final shopping, you need to escape the family or you need to get some booze into your belly, Lady Jane is the place to do it. The bar will be open for its regular Tuesday hours (4 p.m. to midnight); get more info on Lady Jane's Facebook page.
Last Christmas Eve saw disappointed diners (Jewish and otherwise) heaving sighs of dismay as Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen took a hiatus from hosting its annual Jewish Christmas meal. But on Tuesday, December 24, the Chinese-Jewish deli mashup pop-up — inspired by the tradition of Jewish families heading out for a feast of Chinese food on the eve of a Christian holiday — is back at the eatery's Stanley Marketplace location, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora. From 6 to 9 p.m., people of all faiths are invited to gather for Reuben egg rolls, smoked salmon rangoon, teriyaki kippered salmon and kung pao pastrami, along with beer, wine and spiked cider and cocoa. Proceeds from ticket sales ($70 for early-bird orders placed by Monday, December 8, on Eventbrite, $80 thereafter) will benefit Conscious Alliance, a nonprofit feeding the hungry via food drives at concerts and the sale of music-themed art and memorabilia.
Wednesday, December 25
Highland Tap & Burger, 2219 West 32nd Avenue, is opening its doors on Christmas Day for its annual orphans' Christmas; the bash, which has been happening for nearly a decade now, promises free food and drink to whatever motley and merry assortment of folks show up from 1 to 5 p.m. It also serves as a fundraiser for various causes around town; this year, the beneficiary is Denver Public Schools. In lieu of a cover or canned goods, you're asked to show up with cash or a pre-paid debit card to donate to the cause.
Spend a delightful December 25 with the family — not your own, of course, but the Burnses of Burns Family Artisan Ales. The taproom at 2505 West Second Avenue will be open from 4 to 10 p.m., and they're giving you the best gift of the day: 25 percent off your tab, so you can enjoy the brewery's delicious high-alcohol brews for less. There will also be a potluck (if you just can't pass up the opportunity to inflict your Grandma's green bean casserole on fellow drinkers, you're in luck) and live music starting at 7:30 p.m. Visit Burns's Facebook page for details.
Thursday, December 26
In the event you didn't get enough cheese on Christmas Day (sadly, the Yule table isn't known for its preponderance of cultured dairy products), you'll want to head to the underrated Baere Brewing Co., 320 Broadway, on Thursday, December 26, for its Truffle Cheese Shop pop-up. From 4 to 8 p.m., you can build your own cheese and beer board with help from the Truffle's friendly staff, who will be there to provide you with pairing ideas from the brewery's roster of great sour ales as well as more conventional brews. Take a look at Baere's Facebook page for more info.
Friday, December 27
On Friday, December 27, LoDo nightclub-cum-restaurant Rose & Thorn, 1433 17th Street, is deviating from its mission of serving cocktails with "artisan infused ices" (popsicles to the less pompous) and hosting a Spanish wine dinner to benefit the nonprofit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The five-course menu includes such offerings as wasabi-cured trout with beet and lime gelée, venison tenderloin accompanied by a yuca galette, and dulce de leche cheesecake; tickets for the 6 p.m. dinner ($120) are on sale now on Eventbrite.
And if you're planning ahead...
Tuesday, December 31
A new year, a new slate of boozified and potentially appropriated "holidays" to celebrate: New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo. But of all the drunken ways to end 2019, you could do way, way worse than Lost in Japan at Colorado Sake Co. The taproom at 3559 Larimer Street is hosting a party that pays homage to the Land of the Rising Sun with bottomless sake, sushi, traditional Japanese New Year activities, games and a midnight cherry blossom drop. The bash runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and tickets, $70, are available now on Eventbrite.
Sunday, January 5
Your New Year's Eve hangover has gone the way of 2019, and now it's time to make good on your resolution to learn a new hobby. And while YouTube is great for makeup tutorials and movie trailers, it leaves something to be desired when you're trying to learn to make fried Brussels sprouts and the pot of oil on your stove suddenly boils over and catches fire. What next? Will your entire apartment go up in flames before you can Google "How to put out an oil fire"? That's why Cook Street, 43 West Ninth Avenue, offers its Classic Techniques Essentials I class with real, live instructors who are able to give you a hand before you chop your finger off trying to execute a chiffonade. The series of four classes begins Sunday, January 5, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., then runs weekly through Sunday, January 26. Tuition is $476 on Cook Street's website, where you can also find future class dates if you're still regrowing that finger you lost in a Thanksgiving cooking mishap.
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Saturday, January 11
Is it too early to start planning your New Year's resolutions? Not if yours is to eat more oatmeal. On Saturday, January 11, the City of Lafayette is holding its 24th annual oatmeal festival. That's right: In the realm of quirky agricultural festivals around Colorado, this one celebrates neither peaches nor Pueblo chiles, but porridge. A massive breakfast of 200 gallons of oatmeal with 100 different toppings, 4,000 oatmeal pancakes and 1,200 oatmeal muffins will be served from 7:30 a.m. to noon, At 9:30 a.m., you can take to the streets in a 5K run (and walk, if you're not looking to exceed the speed of an ocean of oatmeal oozing down the course). Breakfast runs $8, or $20 with race registration; find out more on the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce website.
Sunday, February 9
Accio pint glass! On Sunday, February 9, all you have to do is swish your wand about to summon good times and cheer at the generically named Wizard's Beer Festival (the wizarding world has become significantly more litigious, it seems). Diebolt Brewing Co., 3855 Mariposa Street, is the site of the shenanigans, with four two-hour sessions throughout the day, beginning at 11 a.m. and 1:30, 4 and 6:30 p.m. There will be tarot card readers, DJs and wand-making classes; your $45 ticket will get you a welcome beer and tickets for five further potions. Just remember: You can't evanesco your hangover the next day. Pick up your tickets at Eventbrite before those sneaky Slytherins find a way to steal them all.
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