Things to Do

The Eight Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Eight glasses of whiskey per day is good for hydration.
Eight glasses of whiskey per day is good for hydration. Danielle Lirette

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click to enlarge This is what happens when you drink glitter beer. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
This is what happens when you drink glitter beer.
Danielle Lirette
Saturday, December 14
Of all the reasons to get rip-roaring drunk, the holidays are high on the list. Between awkward, mandatory office parties, gift-giving expenses and anxiety, fraught family dynamics and endless repetitions of Last Christmas (though the Wham! music video is a legit classic that should be viewed once and only once each December — sound is optional), it's no surprise that many of us want to shut down our brain cells with some tasty ethanol. For those who don't even celebrate the holiday, the endless hoopla surrounding snow and Santa is even more painful. Enter Festivus, the holiday anyone can celebrate, with traditions that appeal to our universal human nature. Add beer, and you get the Denver Beer Festivus, where the Feats of Strength are fueled by Denver breweries' favorite beers. This year, the aluminum pole is being set up on Saturday, December 14, at Major Studios, 3881 Steele Street; come ready to air your grievances from 3 to 6 p.m. Tickets, $45 or $60, are for sale on the event's website.

click to enlarge The Inventing Room's giant s'mores cream puff is topped with magic chocolate. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
The Inventing Room's giant s'mores cream puff is topped with magic chocolate.
Danielle Lirette
Wednesday, December 18
Sarto's Wednesday, December 18, dinner isn't technically a Feast of the Seven Fishes (it's not happening on Christmas Eve, and it doesn't include seven seafood dishes), but if you're not a purist, it'll be close enough — and by "close enough," we mean "delicious." The Jefferson Park kitchen, 2900 West 25th Avenue, is turning out six courses plus a briny appetizer (okay, it's seven fishes if you squint), including salt cod gnocchi tater tots with lemon aioli, lobster bisque and spaghetti with a spicy shrimp puttanesca sauce. Even dessert includes the fruits of the ocean with a bottarga (cured fish roe) crumble over vanilla gelato. Make your reservations for the 6:30 p.m. dinner by calling 303-455-1400; the cost is $75, plus optional wine pairings for $35.

What better theme for dessert virtuoso Ian Kleinman to tackle than the wizarding world of Harry Potter? The theme and date of the chef's next Gobblefunk dinner has just been released — Christmas at Hogwarts on Wednesday, December 18, at 6:30 p.m. — and as with all of Kleinman's pop-up dinners, this one is sure to sell out well before the menu is finalized. But with the regular offerings at the Inventing Room Dessert Shop, 4433 West 29th Avenue, including exploding whipped cream and ice cream noodles, we're sure the evening will be nothing short of magical. To reserve your spot for the $100 dinner, call 303-885-2802. If you haven't been blown away by Kleinman's creations yet, visit the Shop's website for previous Gobblefunk menus and to sign up for its newsletter, which is the quickest way to learn about upcoming feasts.

click to enlarge Try a range of Dos Luces' unique beverages on December 19. - MARK ANTONATION
Try a range of Dos Luces' unique beverages on December 19.
Mark Antonation
Thursday, December 19
Dos Luces Brewery, 1236 South Broadway, has stayed true to its mission of producing pre-Hispanic tipples since it opened last year. And while its commitment to brewing agave and corn-based beverages like pulque and chicha seems like it would limit the outfit's market, it found the perfect partner for its Thursday, December 19, beer dinner: Four Directions Cuisine, which combines ingredients from indigenous cultures in Latin and North America to create a pan-native style of cooking. Courses includes salad with roasted winter squash, popped amaranth and elderberry balsamic, sweet potato hash with duck and juniper berry sauce, and wild rice pudding, all paired with very non-traditional variations of traditional brews like cranberry tepache (traditionally fermented from pineapple peels), passion fruit-orange zest chicha and ponche pulque (or pulque punch). Tickets for the three-course, 6:30 p.m. dinner are just $65 (inclusive of tax and tip) and are on sale now on the Dos Luces website.

Expect the flavors of a Jewish deli to pop up in unexpected combinations at Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen's Jewish Christmas pop-up. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Expect the flavors of a Jewish deli to pop up in unexpected combinations at Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen's Jewish Christmas pop-up.
Danielle Lirette
Tuesday, December 24
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 go to benefit Conscious Alliance, a nonprofit organization feeding the hungry via food drives at concerts and the sale of music-themed art and memorabilia.

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.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to [email protected].
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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