The Ten Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Spend Christmas in Puerto Rico, or at least in a private Señor Bear greenhouse, eating Puerto Rican fare.EXPAND
Spend Christmas in Puerto Rico, or at least in a private Señor Bear greenhouse, eating Puerto Rican fare.
Courtesy Señor Bear
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This week holds more Hanukkah specials, as well as cocktails to go, streaming classes with pick-up packages, and an opportunity to give to the community.

Keep reading for ten tasty happenings — and if you're still looking for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner ideas, see our list of festive meal packages from Denver restaurants.

Monday, December 14
Thanks to all that paella takeout you've been getting, you've got a stockpile of wide, shallow aluminum pans at home...what are you going to do with them all? On Monday, December 14, you can learn how to make the Spanish classic in a free virtual class with chef Dakota Soifer of Boulder's Cafe Aion — then throw out the pan after you've devoured the food and use a new one the next time you break out the saffron. From 6 to 6:45 p.m., tune in to Soifer's class on Boulder Public Library's Instgram page. If you'd like to purchase a paella kit with the pan (a real one, not a disposable aluminum container) and all the ingredients, visit Cafe Aion's online storefront; if not, you can secure your own ingredients and follow along based on Soifer's recipe, which is posted on Boulder Public Library's website along with all the details.

Tuesday, December 15
We Don't Waste, a nonprofit organization with the goal of redistributing excess food from restaurants to hungry Denver residents, is holding a free, drive-thru mobile food market in northwest Denver on Tuesday, December 15. From 1 to 2 p.m., the pantry will be set up in the parking lot of Presentation of Our Lady Catholic Church, 695 Julian Street, distributing food and baby supplies (formula, diapers, etc.) to anyone in need. Find details on the Church's Facebook page, and future market dates around Denver on We Don't Waste's website.

The American whiskey from Mythology Distillery.EXPAND
The American whiskey from Mythology Distillery.
Linnea Covington

Congratulations! You've made it two-fifths of the way through the work week. Treat yourself with a virtual whiskey tasting from Mythology Distillery; from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 15, you can attend an online tasting with head distiller Scott Coburn. Register for free on Eventbrite, then go about securing your sippers by purchasing the sample pack, which includes four ounces each of Mythology's Best Friends Bourbon and Hell Bear American Whiskey ($10 on the distillery's website). You'll need to order by Monday, December 14, since pick-up of the samples runs from 4 to 8 p.m. that day at 3622 Tejon Street. If you're running behind, you can also nab full-sized bottles at liquor stores that carry the brand.

Wednesday, December 16
"I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're gonna hear about ’em!" This year's Airing of Grievances is going to be epic. Bigsby's Folly, 3563 Wazee Street, is kicking it off with a virtual Festivus celebration on Wednesday, December 16. Order a three-course meal of wild mushroom soup, turkey tetrazzini and M&M chocolate cake, along with a pint of wine, for $49, and pick up the spread at the winery between noon and 7 p.m., then get on Zoom, where you can forget to mute yourself, talk loudly over everyone else, spill wine on the keyboard and otherwise do your best to make this execrable year feel like a normal December dinner. Find out more on Bigsby's website, then book your seat on Tock.

Ash'Kara will help you light up Hanukkah.EXPAND
Ash'Kara will help you light up Hanukkah.
Courtesy of Ash'Kara

Hanukkah is still happening, and we're not done writing about holiday meals yet. This week's installment is takeout from Ash'Kara, 2005 West 33rd Avenue, which is offering a meal of matzo ball soup, mezze platter, latkes with fixings, short ribs, challah and sufganiyot for $55 per person. Order on Tock at least 24 hours in advance for pick-up or delivery from 3 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 16, through Friday, December 18.

You can't go bar-hopping right now, but you can do a virtual bar crawl starting on Wednesday, December 16, with a free demo from Coohills. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., tune in for a live stream with chef/owner Tom Coohill while he whips up an appetizer and cocktail. For a real LoDo-style experience, make sure you get booze and bites from the restaurant to go; RSVP to the demo on Eventbrite.

Señor Bear, 3301 Tejon Street, has rolled out a Puerto Rican holiday menu that will run through Saturday, January 2, 2021. For $50 per person, you can dine in one of the eatery's private greenhouses and nosh on a three-course, prix fixe menu of yuca and taro soup, roasted pork with rice and plantains, and coquito flan (based on the coconutty, spicy Christmas drink). Seatings are available at 5, 7 and 7:45 p.m. Book the meal (along with three cocktails for pairing, $35) on Tock.

Nog it off in Olde Town Arvada.
Nog it off in Olde Town Arvada.

Thursday, December 17
This year would have been the fifth annual Eggnog and Cider Competition in Olde Town Arvada, but 2020 wants to deprive us of all that is good. No matter: Arvada has revamped the event into a six-week celebration of boozy drinks (even better!) This year, purchase the Eggnog and Cider Competition Passport, which will point you in the direction of fifteen Arvada restaurants, bars and taprooms (including the Bluegrass Lounge, New Image Brewing, School House Kitchen and Steuben's) serving traditional and not-so-traditional holiday beverages through January 31, 2021. Purchase your passport, $50, on Olde Town Arvada's website; proceeds from the sale will go directly to participating eateries.

So you've mastered making sushi and sourdough bread; now that we're all stuck inside again, consider learning another form of culinary creation, shu mai dumplings (and other dim sum). Colorado Sake Co. is augmenting its popular sushi-rolling classes (which are still available) with a dim sum lesson on Thursday, December 17. Order a kit on Eventbrite ($80) and you'll get two bottles of sake, shrimp and pork fillings, wrappers and sauces delivered straight to your door, plus a Zoom link where you'll be instructed how to form four different shapes of dumplings. Class runs from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.; find out more on CSC's Facebook page.

Englewood Grand is serving (most of) its usual suspects from its walk-up window this weekend.
Englewood Grand is serving (most of) its usual suspects from its walk-up window this weekend.
Courtesy of Englewood Grand

Friday, December 18

Holidays just go better with booze, whether you're mixing cocktails to share joy (even it's just Zoom and FaceTime joy this year) or washing away those awkward years when your teen self hated everything about Christmas except your cool aunt's unusually potent nog. Englewood Grand, at 3435 South Broadway, leans toward the cheery side, for sure, and even though it's closed for day-to-day-drinks, the bar is shaking and stirring up something tasty to take home this Friday, December 18, through Sunday, December 20. Swing by from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday or noon to 5 p.m. Sunday for drinks to go, and while you're there, cross off some of your gift-shopping needs by picking up a box that includes a soft blanket, two rocks glasses, two bottled cocktails and an ornament, all for $100. See Englewood Grand's Instagram post for details. Your tipsy, eggnog-tippling aunt will thank you.

Know of an event or activity that belongs here? Send information to cafe@westword.com.

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