Things to Do

The Best Food and Drink Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Get ready for long(er than ever) lines at Little Man.
Get ready for long(er than ever) lines at Little Man. Courtesy Little Man Ice Cream
While Denver diners and drinkers are still waiting impatiently for news on when restaurants and bars can reopen, life creeps on, and some summer traditions are slowly returning to the Mile High City — albeit in a very different form. This weekend brings the reopening of the Boulder Country Farmers' Market and Little Man Ice Cream, plus online cooking classes and wine dinners and tastings-to-go that are a hallmark of the new...whatever this is. Keep reading for food and drink activities this weekend, plus ongoing and online events.

Friday, May 22
Denver Milk Market knows how to do online wine dinners right. It doesn't fussily portion out inevitably-too-small wine pours; it just sends you home with the whole bottle. Among other reasons, that's why you should hurry and reserve your spot at the (virtual) table right away; the feast on Friday, May 22, includes three bottles of wine and four courses (fresh mozz with prosciutto and focaccia; bucatini in a luscious tomato-y, cheese-y and guanciale-y sauce; veal scallopini with wild mushrooms; and butterscotch budino with salted caramel). Order, pay and schedule pick-up at 1800 Wazee Street between noon and 6 p.m. on Tock; $120 gets you food and wine for two — or fewer; we're not here to judge. Trying times and all that.

click to enlarge No matter how pretty the produce looks, it's hands off at this year's farmers' markets. - ASHTON RAY HANSEN
No matter how pretty the produce looks, it's hands off at this year's farmers' markets.
Ashton Ray Hansen
Saturday, May 23
The much-anticipated opening of the Boulder County Farmers' Market street market has finally arrived — but shoppers should plan ahead for some serious changes this year. Instead of just rolling up to the stalls in your floppy hat with the goldendoodle in tow and fondling produce with a devil-may-care attitude while you stroll leisurely along, you're going to have to reserve a shopping slot and spend your limited shopping window efficiently collecting pre-ordered produce. Boulder's Saturday market, at 13th Street and Canyon Boulevard, is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 23 through Saturday, November 21; reserve a pick-up time on Eventbrite, then visit the market's website to order ahead. You'll be required to wear a mask for entry, limit your party to just one or two people, and pay with credit cards (or small bills — no market bucks). And while you can purchase goods on a whim  (not all items are available for pre-order), you'll need to complete your shopping quickly, as slots are only twenty minutes each. BCFM's website has the full details, including a complete list of regulations as well as info on opening dates for the Longmont (Saturday, May 30) and Union Station (Saturday, June 13) markets.

Chef Elise Wiggins's Southern roots are no secret, and she's just hauled back 3,000 pounds of crawfish and 200 pounds of andouille sausage from her native Louisiana for a massive crawfish boil on Saturday, May 23. Call Cattivella at 303-645-3779 to place your order for enough boiled mudbugs, corn, potatoes and sausage, plus pralines for dessert, to feed four ($125), then pick up the feast at the restaurant, 10195 East 29th Drive, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Of course, pre-batched Hurricanes and Sazeracs are also available for purchase if you want to spend your time sucking head instead of mixing your own drinks. Visit Cattivella's Facebook page for details.

click to enlarge Chef Paul C. Reilly leads by example; you'll have to wear a mask when you pick up Ollin Farms produce outside Beast + Bottle. - PAUL C. REILLY
Chef Paul C. Reilly leads by example; you'll have to wear a mask when you pick up Ollin Farms produce outside Beast + Bottle.
Paul C. Reilly
Beast + Bottle, 719 East 17th Avenue, is turning the sidewalk in front of its Uptown restaurant into a drive-by farmers' market on Saturdays. Since many of the region's markets are closed to in-person browsing, Beast + Bottle has teamed up with Longmont's Ollin Farms to offer produce boxes for pick-up every Saturday. Order and pay online between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 5 p.m. Thursday; different veggies are available every week (previous boxes have included rhubarb, radishes, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, mixed and mustard greens for $30), and you can add on items like fresh asparagus, microgreens, local honey, hot sauce, pickles and peanut butter. Then pull up to the loading zone outside the restaurant on Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon (you must wear a face mask) for contact-free pick-up. Details are up on Beast + Bottle's Instagram page.

The lines at Little Man Ice Cream (2620 16th Street and 4411 West Colfax Avenue) are about to get even longer. While the iconic milk can-shaped ice cream shop and its sisters (Sweet Cooie's, 3506 East 12th Avenue; Dang, 2211 Oneida Street; and Constellation, 10175 East 29th Drive) have been shuttered since March, they're now serving scoops for sweet-toothed Denverites — as long as customers wear masks and stand six feet from each other in line. On Saturday, May 23, all locations are hosting an ice cream social (distancing) party from 2 to 4 p.m., with music from local performers (perhaps live, perhaps not) and specials to celebrate their return to commerce. Customers will be required to to wear masks, pay with credit cards and observe social distancing, but it's a small price to pay for a modicum of summer normalcy; visit Little Man's website for details and new store policies.

Catering incubator Food Bridge consistently provides access to lesser-known immigrant and native cuisines with its meals for groups, and now through a series of online cooking classes. Previous classes have tackled Burmese and Lakota Sioux dishes, and Food Bridge is continuing the tradition on Saturday, May 23, by turning the camera on Tirhas Girmay Petros, who will be cooking dishes from rural Eritrea, where she grew up. The class runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and costs $33 ($25 of that goes directly to Petros), and you'll receive recipes and a link to the Zoom meeting (or recording of the class if you can't make it live). Get details and purchase tickets on Food Bridge's Facebook page or Eventbrite.

Sunday, May 24
The Dairy Block's Blanchard Family Wines, 1855 Blake Street, is hosting a virtual wine tasting on Sunday, May 24, to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project in anticipation of Memorial Day. Place your order on the winery's online store no later than May 17, and you'll get four half-bottles of wine — enough for two people (theoretically) —  delivered to your doorstep in advance of the tasting. Tune in to Zoom from 7 to 9 p.m. for a tasting guided by co-owner James Blanchard, and 20 percent of the $70 fee (not including the $18 in shipping costs) will be donated to the nonprofit organization, which assists injured military service members.

Friday, May 29
Longmont's Dry Land Distillers' insistence on using local ingredients for its beverages — endemic prickly pear cactus for its mezcal-adjacent spirit, Antero wheat (developed by Colorado State University) and heirloom White Sonora wheat for its whiskeys, and native botanicals for its gin — makes it a natural bedfellow for the Slow Food movement (liquor is food, obviously). On Friday, May 29, at 4 p.m., the distillery is joining Slow Food USA for a free virtual tour and mixology class. Sign up for the webinar on Slow Food's website, then start gathering equipment and ingredients to make two of Dry Land's house cocktails using its goods. Pre-order your bottles on Dry Land's online storefront, then pick them up at the tasting room, 471 Main Street in Longmont, between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

click to enlarge Chef Caroline Glover of Annette is a guest on June 30's Save Good Fruit and Veggies webinar. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Chef Caroline Glover of Annette is a guest on June 30's Save Good Fruit and Veggies webinar.
Danielle Lirette
Wednesday, June 3
Starting Wednesday, June 3, Denver-based Good Food 100 Restaurants, an industry survey that strives to document business and purchasing practices in the hospitality field, is launching Save Good Food, a series of  weekly virtual dinner-table discussions about food and the supply chain. At 6 p.m., tune in to hear local and national fine-dining restaurateurs, farmers and distributors discuss the realities and future of finding good food. The first episode ("Save Good Meat") includes chefs Paul C. Reilly (Beast + Bottle, Coperta) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill), hog and poultry farmer Greg Gunthorp and Chris Oliviero from Niman Ranch. Future installments — the series runs through June 30 — feature Denver chefs Alex Seidel, Jen Jasinski, Kelly Whitaker and Caroline Glover; visit the organization's website to register for the free webinars. Attendance is limited, so don't delay.

Keep reading for ongoing online events every day of the week....

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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