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The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Learn how to make rick, porky tonkotsu ramen in Boulder (this version is from Aurora's Katsu Ramen).EXPAND
Learn how to make rick, porky tonkotsu ramen in Boulder (this version is from Aurora's Katsu Ramen).
Danielle Lirette
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It's a triple-X kind of week, with Muxagat, kalimotxo and Xatrucho — not to mention some music that comes with a parental warning label — on the menu.

Keep reading for details on all the tasty events over the next few days, then read further for more food and drink events in the weeks ahead.

Monday, April 12
Boulder cooking school Food Lab, at 1825 Pearl Street, is taking three hours to teach what generations of Japanese chefs have taken decades to master: ramen. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, April 12, you'll learn the basics of two types of ramen broths, tonkotsu and shoyu, plus how to make chasu (braised pork), springy noodles and pickled shiitakes and carrots. Sign up for the class, $85, on Food Lab's website. Beer and wine aren't included in the class, but they're available for purchase if you've been heavily reliant on state-dependent learning since your college days.

Imperfect Foods, nationwide purveyor of lumpy vegetables (which just started home delivery service in Denver in March), is teaming up with local restaurants and breweries to reduce waste — for at least this week. During Food Waste Week, participating restaurants will attempt to save more than 1,000 pounds of usable food from the trash by incorporating imperfect foods into menu items. Participating restaurants from today through April 17, include Brass Tacks (ice cream sandwiches), Cart-Driver (Hawaiian pizza), Colorado Campfire (pork chops), Jax Fish House (wild shrimp tartine), Logan Street (spaghetti squash and kale gratin), the Bindery (grilled branzino) and the Patio at Sloan's (coconut shrimp cakes). To top it off, New Belgium Brewing has concocted Waste Not, Want Hop IPA, which will available to drink alongside the dishes at these seven eateries, as well as at the Woods on the top floor of the Source Hotel. A percentage of each dish and beer sold will be donated to Food Bank of the Rockies. Contact the restaurants for additional details.

Sunday Vinyl is hosting an SV session with a focus on female wine and music makers.EXPAND
Sunday Vinyl is hosting an SV session with a focus on female wine and music makers.
Mark Antonation

Wednesday, April 14
Muxagat, Pormenor, Bernabeleva. No, they're not the hottest new baby names of 2021. They're Iberian wineries, and along with two other producers, they're part of Sunday Vinyl's Flight Night on Wednesday, April 14. For $45, you'll get five pours of wines you've probably never heard of and definitely can't pronounce correctly, but will be sure to wet your whistle in the best possible way. Seatings, $45, are available from 5 to 10 p.m. and come with maps and tasting notes, so you can totally fake your way through having just returned from the peninsula. Book your seat at the wine bar, 1803 16th Street, on Tock.

It's not as if we can leave the collective trauma of 2020 behind quite yet, but it's fair to say that as the days get longer, people are looking forward to better times ahead. That goes for the restaurant industry, too. On Wednesday, April 14, a trio of Boulder restaurant owners (Erin Banis, Japango; Eric Skokan, Black Cat and Bramble & Hare; and Kelly Whitaker, Dry Storage and Basta) will take to Zoom for a conversation about what they learned — kicking and screaming — during the past year, what things they think will never go back to "normal," and what they think the Boulder dining scene will look like in the future. Visit Eventbrite to purchase a ticket ($5) to the discussion; you'll also receive a coupon for $5 off the Bite of Boulder cookbook at the Boulder Book Store with your purchase. Cookbook author Jessica Benjamin will be moderating the Zoom conversation.

Thursday, April 15
Logan Street Restaurant & Bar, at 400 East Seventh Street, is holding a Spanish street food fair on Thursday, April 15. For $35 on Eventbrite, admission includes five food and drink tickets that you can use to nosh on serrano ham sandwiches with tomato jam on olive bread; seafood, sausage and chicken paella; grilled peppers, garlic ramps and mushrooms with romesco; red wine-braised chorizo; and more. Drinks include kalimotxo (red wine and Coke), sangria and agua de Valencia (gin, lemon, orange and bubbles). Additional tickets will be available on site for $7 each or five for $28. Visit the eatery's Instagram page for the full menu (and to give props to the intrepid Instagram user who went to great lengths to obtain details on the ticket sitch). 

Raices Brewing sits across from Mile High Stadium in the Sun Valley neighborhood.EXPAND
Raices Brewing sits across from Mile High Stadium in the Sun Valley neighborhood.
Jonathan Shikes

Friday, April 16
Fresh oysters, craft beer and explicit lyrics: What's not to love at Raíces Brewing, 2060 West Colfax Avenue? On Friday, April 16 — from 5:30 to 7 p.m. — chef Edwin Sandoval of Xatrucho will be preparing oysters to pair with the brewery's beers. Reggaetón tunes (helpfully described as "explicit to children" on the event's Facebook page) will be blaring. And if you're not a raw-oyster-eating kind of hombre, food truck Pico Arepa will also be selling food from 3 to 10 p.m. Make sure you reserve your table on Raíces' website to make sure you're there for the cleanest oysters and the dirtiest lyrics.

Keep reading for more food and drink happenings:

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy Blanchard Family Wines

Sunday, April 18
Three words: breakfast banana split. To get it, visit Tock and book your seat at Blanchard Family Wines, 1855 Blake Street, on Sunday, April 18. Oh, you need more details? Sounds fake, but okay. Blanchard is  collaborating with Palisade's Sauvage Spectrum winery for a Colorado bubbles brunch, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. For $55, you'll get three courses: the aforementioned split, with banana, berries and honey-vanilla yogurt; a pulled-pork Benedict with barbecue Hollandaise, sweet-potato purée, cornbread and a 62-degree egg (that's Celsius, and it's the perfect temperature); and French toast topped with both honey and maple syrup. Each course will be paired with a different sparkler, and the winemaker will be on hand to talk about his creations. You know what to do.

Konjo Ethiopian, at Edgewater Public Market, is offering a $25 menu for Denver Restaurant Week.EXPAND
Konjo Ethiopian, at Edgewater Public Market, is offering a $25 menu for Denver Restaurant Week.
Mark Antonation

Friday, April 23
Denver Restaurant Week is back, starting Friday, April 23. Through Sunday, May 2, book a seat at one (or more!) of 200 Denver-area restaurants offering prix fixe menus for $25, $35 or $45. The event, generally held in February and March, has been moved to spring to take advantage of Denver's renowned sunny days and warmer weather — even though the definition of "patio weather" has been greatly expanded over the past year. Our favorite participants? Konjo Ethiopian, the Bindery, Spuntino, Coperta and Bastien's. Find yours on the Restaurant Week website.

Project Angel Heart, the nonprofit organization that provides medically tailored meals for people living with serious illnesses, is now in the second year of revamping Dining Out for Life, its signature fundraiser. Normally, participating restaurants donate a portion of their sales for a single day in April to Project Angel Heart — but with restaurant dining rooms shuttered last year and many eateries still on life support, some changes are in order. In 2021, the event has been expanded to run from Friday, April 23, through Sunday, May 2, and restaurants are not being asked to donate. Instead, diners who eat in or take out from nearly 100 Denver restaurants are being asked to make a donation directly to the nonprofit. Of course, some restaurants are able and willing to help out a little extra, so some will be offering cocktails and menu items with a portion going to Project Angel Heart; setting up an additional line to collect customer donations; or donating a smaller percentage than in past years. Details and participating eateries are up on the event's website.

Misfit's bar snacks are open for interpretation starting March 25.
Misfit's bar snacks are open for interpretation starting March 25.
Courtesy of Bo Porytko

Sunday, April 25
Starting Sunday, April 25, chefs Bo Porytko of Misfit Snackbar (inside Middleman at 3401 East Colfax Avenue) and Royce Oliveira of To the Wind Bistro (at 3333 East Colfax Avenue) will trade kitchens and characters for Freaky Sunday, a pop-up swap that spans two weekends. On Sunday, April 25, from 4 to 10 p.m., Oliveira will take over Misfit's tiny food-service window inside Middleman and channel Porytko's frankly unhinged and fiercely delicious style as he turns out bar snacks like peanuts in barrel-aged Worcestershire sauce and mole duck nachos dusted with crema powder and fermented black bean powder. Sunday, May 2, will find Porytko cooking a six-course meal with beer pairings in To the Wind's relatively spacious kitchen. For $85, you'll get refined and beautifully plated courses, including kielbasa Scotch quail eggs in a nest of fried sauerkraut and a sweet pea curd topped with smoked whipped cream and candied cardamom pistachio. Seatings are at 5 and 8 p.m., and reservations are required; make yours by emailing misfitsnackbar@gmail.com. Keep an eye on Misfit's Instagram page for upcoming details. NOTE: This event was rescheduled from early March, when it was canceled unexpectedly.

Baere Brewing and Snactackular crews know how to celebrate May the Fourth.
Baere Brewing and Snactackular crews know how to celebrate May the Fourth.
Carly Wiesenberg

Tuesday, May 4
No one is neutral about Star Wars. Whether you're a casual fan, one of the racist jackwagons who drove poor Rose Tico off social media and out of the last cinematic exercise in fan service, or just someone who wants to cuddle Baby Yoda, we guarantee that you have at least one opinion about the franchise. What better way to express it than on Tuesday, May 4, at Baere Brewing, 320 Broadway, over a pint of C-3(i)PA and a plate of tauntaun tacos? The brewery is releasing its West Coast IPA in a Star Wars-themed can (themed glassware will also be available), and from 3 to 9 p.m., Snacktacular will be serving up tauntaun (pork belly) tacos, That's No Moon (a jumbo cheeseburger) and the Sando Calrissian (grilled cheese). Reservations aren't required; just show up. And may the fork be with you.

Thursday, May 13
For years, Westword celebrated the Denver dining scene at Feast, an annual eating extravaganza that filled the McNichols Building with tables hosted by local restaurants sampling their best dishes. Given the pandemic, Feast has pivoted and turned into Feast To-Go, a drive-thru event at Stanley Marketplace (2501 Dallas Street in Aurora) on May 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. that will again celebrate the city's resilient restaurants. At Feast To-Go, you'll be able to try food from a dozen restaurants and trucks that we’ve honored with Best of Denver awards over the past few years, along with beverages; you can enjoy your goodie bags and restaurant samples at an impromptu picnic or simply take them home...without ever leaving your car. Tickets are now on sale here.

Know of an event that belongs on this calendar? Send information to cafe@westword.com.

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