Things to Do

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Say a fond farewell to Colt & Gray and Ste. Ellie, which pioneered the giant ice cube in Denver.
Say a fond farewell to Colt & Gray and Ste. Ellie, which pioneered the giant ice cube in Denver. Danielle Lirette
If you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet, hop to it — but don't forget to take a moment in between paying for expedited shipping to enjoy some of the weekend's best food and drink events, including a south-of-the-equator celebration and the beginning of Hanukkah.

click to enlarge For her latest TV special, Lidia traveled around the country — including a stop in Denver. - COURTESY LIDIA CELEBRATES AMERICA: RETURN OF THE ARTISANS
For her latest TV special, Lidia traveled around the country — including a stop in Denver.
Courtesy Lidia Celebrates America: Return of the Artisans
Friday, December 20
Before Giada was a twinkle in anyone's eye, there was Lidia Bastianich, who ruled public television cooking shows by cooking Italian and Italian-American specialties, confounding viewers with her definition of "a little" olive oil and bossing around her grown children (all restaurateurs in their own right) and her own mother whenever they appeared on her show. She's also authored over fifteen cookbooks, and recently visited Comal Heritage Food Incubator for the latest installment of her television special, Lidia Celebrates America: Return of the Artisans. The episode, airing on Friday, December 20, at 8 p.m. on PBS, features Erika Rojas, who graduated from the food incubator and training program and has since started her own business, Prieto's Catering; see a preview of Lidia and Erika on the PBS website. Tune in, then contact Prieto's for your next party, and visit Comal, 3455 Ringsby Court, for your next weekday lunch.

click to enlarge It's summer all winter at Dos Luces. - FERMENTABLE SUGAR
It's summer all winter at Dos Luces.
Fermentable Sugar
Saturday, December 21
’Tis the season to treat yo' self to brunch at the Corner Office, 1401 Curtis Street. From Saturday, December 21, through Wednesday, January 1, the restaurant is serving up Twelve Days of Brunch. No matter what days you have off from now until the end of the month, you'll be able to show up any time between 6 a.m. (7 a.m. on the weekends) and 3 p.m. for the full brunch menu, including treats like a croque madame, beignets with chocolate ganache, and red velvet waffles topped with cream cheese frosting. And no brunch is complete without bottomless mimosas; the Office serves theirs with the usual suspects (orange and grapefruit) as well as cherry vanilla, pomegranate, passion fruit and more. Find the entire menu and book your table on the eatery's website.

Celebrate the longest day of the year on Saturday, December 21. You heard us: While Denver's shrouded in darkness for upwards of fourteen hours, folks south of the equator are basking in the sunshine — so Dos Luces is throwing a summer solstice fiesta. Starting at noon, the heat will be cranked up in the taproom at 1236 South Broadway, the kiddie pools will be inflated, and the new brew ponche pulque (fermented agave juice brewed with eight different fruits and nuts) will be flowing. Also on site: grub from food trucks, live music and a toy drive for CASA in Colorado, which recruits and trains court-appointed advocates for children in the state's court system. Visit the brewery's Facebook page for details about the free party and prepare to beat the heat over the weekend.

Saturday, December 21, will be a sad day for everyone who fondly recalls the Denver of a decade ago. Colt & Gray had just opened its doors at 1553 Platte Street and was the talk of the town — and as bizarre as it seems to mourn the passing of a spot that's been around for just over ten years as a sign of the death of Old Denver, that's what Colt & Gray's closing feels like. But keep your chin up, kids, because the restaurant (and its downstairs bar, Ste. Ellie) isn't going down without a party. Starting at 7 p.m., show up for what's sure to be an epic Drink the Bar Dry bash, with food and drink specials designed to empty the larders and drain the bottles. Visit the spot's Facebook page for the details and show up ready to give the staff an epic sendoff and heartfelt "thank you" for ten great years.

click to enlarge Ash'Kara boasts a rotating roster of Hanukkah specials from December 22 through December 30. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Ash'Kara boasts a rotating roster of Hanukkah specials from December 22 through December 30.
Danielle Lirette
Sunday, December 22
Hanukkah begins Sunday, December 22, and with its arrival comes celebratory food at our two favorite Israeli restaurants in town. Ash'Kara, 2005 West 33rd Avenue, is serving a menu of rotating Hanukkah specials through Monday, December 30. Show up — more than once! — to see what the kitchen is turning out; preliminary reports call for pastrami short ribs, root-vegetable latkes and sufganiyot, a jelly doughnut traditionally devoured by the dozen for the holiday, and more. Reservations are available on Ash'Kara's website. Meanwhile, Safta's holiday menu includes a latke board with all the accompaniments (tsimmes, a dish of sweetened veggies; matbucha, a red pepper dip; zhoug, a spicy cilantro sauce; and labneh, strained yogurt) and rose sufganiyot with quince filling. You'll be able to get the goods at 3330 Brighton Boulevard through Sunday, December 29; make your reservation on the eatery's website.

And if you're planning ahead...
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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