Friday, October 2
Ah, those innocent April days, when you canceled your vacation to Tokyo and were offered a voucher to rebook before December 31, 2020 — and believed that eight months would be plenty of time for the U.S. to get its act together and contain COVID. But face it: You're not leaving the country anytime soon. The next best thing you can do is fork over $40 to attend the opening of Made in Japan, an installation of Japanese retail brands that coincides with the opening of Temaki Den on Friday, October 2. Temaki Den, a casual hand roll and seared sushi bar from the folks behind Sushi Den, Izakaya Den and Ototo, is opening inside the Source, 3550 Brighton Boulevard, and you can get the first bite at 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. Tickets include two hand rolls, four pieces of nigiri, sashimi, seaweed salad and miso soup from the bar, as well as a Japanese pottery demo and a "tour" of retail brands. Openings are also available at 11 a.m. and 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 3; secure your spot for the reservation-only opening on Eventbrite.
If you haven't made it to any restaurants for Harvest Week, you still have a few days. Sunday, October 4, is the last day you can eat in, take out or get delivery of food and drink specials built around Colorado produce and producers. Dishes we recommend? Blue cheese souffleé with peach and heirloom tomato salad at Urban Farmer (paired with its Goldrush cocktail: Laws bourbon, local honey, lemon and bee pollen bitters); Coperta's rabbit agnolotti with hazelnuts and crispy sage and its Cardi Beet cocktail (which includes beet-infused vodka, of course); and Osaka Ramen's green chile and chorizo ramen. In the (unlikely) event that none of those whet your appetite, over thirty more restaurants, including Cart-Driver, Ace Eat Serve, Ultreia, Santo, Jax, Blackbelly and Tap & Burger, are also part of the fun. Find all the participating restaurants and their specials on the Harvest Week website.
What better way to usher in October than with classic Colorado-Mex fare at a day-long music fest? We can't think of many. On Saturday, October 3, Valkyrie Racing (led by Renee Brinkerhoff in her admittedly niche quest to make history racing a 1956 Porsche 356 on seven continents) is hosting an end-of-summer music fest to raise funds for organizations combating child trafficking worldwide. From noon to 7 p.m., Bauer Ranch, 28625 Kennedy Gulch Road in Conifer, will host a lineup of bands, with Denver institution La Loma providing food and drinks from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets, $50, are on sale at the Valkyrie Racing website.
Start out Sunday Funday at LeRoux, 1510 16th Street, which is unveiling a new brunch menu along with some goodies for giveaway on Sunday, October 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reserve your seat on LeRoux's website or by calling 720-845-1673, and you'll get to listen to tunes from DJ Manos while scarfing brand-new dishes like lemon ricotta pancakes or short rib eggs Benedict. In addition, every table will get a complimentary cinnamon roll, and if you can convince five friends to join you, you'll score a free bottle of champagne.
For an altogether different brunch vibe, head east to Baba & Pop's, 9945 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, where the pierogi shop is debuting its Sunday Funday menu on Sunday, October 4. The showstopper? An enormous 50-ounce Bloody Mary (dubbed the Buddy Mary, after the owners' son, who's hopefully old enough to indulge in his namesake cocktail) that comes garnished with fried chicken, an entire kielbasa, pierogi, chiles, cheese curds and (amazingly) more. We repeat: 50 ounces (that's almost a half-gallon of cocktail)! You can get the monstrous morning drink for $48 — or, if you're a coward, quitter or loser, you can opt for the merely bottomless version (without the meat stick) for $16. (Oh, yeah, there's also a delicious double cheeseburger on the menu.) You can snag the drink from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every — okay, maybe not every — Sunday.
Keep reading for future food and drink fun.