Create your own food festival, trade one form of transportation for another, schedule a drive-by fruiting at Union Station Farmers' Market, and get the funk out of the house for dinner and a show this weekend. Then read ahead for future food happenings worth marking on your calendar.
Friday, July 31
2020: the year toilet paper disappeared from store shelves for months, the President of the United States advised citizens to inject bleach, and you could get dinner for two from Mizuna for $55. To be fair, you can't get a seat in the dining room at 225 East Seventh Avenue for that price, but the deal does include booze. On Friday, July 31, and Saturday, August 1 (and every Friday and Saturday through August 22), folks who have always wanted to try the spendy French restaurant but haven't been able to justify the cost can cut their teeth with two tenderloin burgers topped with chive burrata, Korean-inspired scallion salad and bacon, along with tots and a six-pack of Dale's Pale Ale or Mama's Little Yella Pils. Order on Tock, where you can get the (relatively) inexpensive spread fully prepared or with instructions to finish at home.
We're smack in the middle of what would have been festival season: Whether you're into brews, bites or bands, summer is the time to agonize over cute vs. practical footwear, to stand in long, dusty lines while crushing a squishy, sweaty plastic cup of alcohol...and to love every second of it. Not so this year, but you can still create your own chicken wing festival now through Sunday, August 2, with the Wing Showdown. Visit the website for videos from celebrities about their go-to wing recipe, then place an order with partnering local restaurants to sample the recipes. Uber Eats will deliver your bird straight to you door. Our picks? Snoop's Get Tha Chip fried wings from Tap & Burger, Jo Koy's Koydobo wings from Blue Moon Brewing Co., and Tyra Banks's saucy Smile With Your Wings from Crush Pizza & Tap.
Saturday, August 1
On Saturday, August 1 — and every Saturday during August — you can trade in a bike for a submarine at Snarf's Sandwiches. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the 1490 South Broadway location is accepting donations of bicycles to benefit Trips for Kids Metro Denver, a nonprofit organization that puts underserved and at-risk youths' butts on bikes for backcountry adventures. For every two-wheeler you drop off, you'll get a free seven-inch sandwich in return.
As the summer draws on, it seems everything restaurant-, bar- or booze-related shifts underfoot with dizzying speed — and farmers' markets are no exception. The latest for the popular Union Station Farmers' Market, 1701 Wynkoop Street, is the introduction of curbside pick-up. Shoppers who can't snag an in-person shopping spot (or just don't want to leave the air-conditioned comfort of their car) can order between 8 a.m. Tuesday and noon Thursday on the market's website and will be assigned a pick-up time between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday, August 2
Dine From Out There, a series of performances by renowned jazz and funk musicians and tasting menus from top Denver and Boulder restaurants, has proven immensely popular, even with the immense price tag of the evening. But there are still a few tickets available for upcoming shows, including the 7:30 p.m. seating at Annette (2501 Dallas Street, Aurora) on Sunday, August 2; Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon) will provide his musical stylings while guests enjoy a four-course meal of grilled squid with confit heirloom tomatoes, pork tenderloin with summery succotash, and more. Tickets will run you $180 per person plus taxes and fees on Live From Out There's website. You can also get your mitts on tickets for future installments on Friday, August 7, and Saturday, August 8, both of which will take place at a private location. Friday's dinner includes music from members of Big Gigantic, the Motet and Lettuce and a sushi menu from personal chef Yoji Yamada ($225), while Saturday's daytime show boasts tunes from the Andy Thorn trio and brunch from Rosenberg's ($135). NOTE: The August 2 and August 8 events are currently sold out; tickets to the August 7 event are still available.
Keep reading for more food and drink events....
Tuesday, August 4
It's hard to launch a new business under any circumstances, but it's even more daunting during these (say it with us, all together now) unprecedented times. And while plenty of people have taken advantage of the past few months of reduced — or no — work and loads of time at home to crank their creativity up to 11, there's a difference between fine-tuning your hot sauce recipe and actually getting a share of that big salsa money. So Colorado Proud is hosting a series of free Zoom workshops dedicated to the down-and-dirty details of running a brand. Tuesday, August 4, brings a conversation with grocery product buyers about how to get store placement; Tuesday, August 11, is a discussion about how to grow your baby business; and Tuesday, August 25, tackles how to strengthen your brand for greater visibility and appeal. Each session runs from noon to 1 p.m. and requires attendees to register in advance; do so at the Colorado Proud website.
Wednesday, August 5
Pair one of childhood's greatest treats (ice cream) with one of adulthood's greatest privileges (beer) and you've got an event to scream for: Denver Beer Co.'s annual summer ice cream social. At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, both taprooms (1695 Platte Street in Denver and 5768 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada) will host a real, live, social social, with tables set up for parties of two, four and six. Each pair receives three pints of ice cream from Little Man (salted Oreo, Space Junkie and espresso fudge) paired with two 12-ounce pours (Tart Delight Citrus Sour, Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch and Churro Stout). Reserve your table, $45 to $135, on DBC's website. Can't click that purchase button fast enough? You can still snag the takeout version (comes with ice cream, six-packs of the sour and kolsch and a Crowler of stout) for $45; pick it up at either taproom Tuesday or Wednesday, then tune in for a live stream via Facebook.
Saturday, August 8, through Sunday, August 16
October's Flatirons Food Film Festival has officially been moved online, and so have the events leading up to it. Instead of in-person fundraisers — which are replete with boozy shmoozing that has a way of torpedoing everyone's best social distancing intentions — the Fest is hosting a series of ten Zoom cooking classes from Saturday, August 8, through Sunday, August 16, where you'll learn how to turn out evergreen classics like sourdough bread and the perfect steak, as well as more esoteric topics like the folklore surrounding shiitake mushrooms and how to make shio koji (a fermented Japanese marinade) and tahchin (an Iranian rice dish with a golden, crunchy crust). Each ninety-minute class costs $30 (or buy all ten for $250); visit the Fest's Facebook page for the complete schedule, and Eventbrite to purchase your tickets.
Thursday, August 13
What's better than a juicy, roasted whole duck with crispy, crackly, perfectly caramel-colored skin? That bird prepared and plated for you by someone else. And Ace Eat Serve, 501 East 17th Avenue, is slowly getting back to normal(ish) with the return of its Peking duck Thursday starting August 13. Call the eatery at 303-800-7705 no later than Friday, August 7, to preorder a whole duck, light-as-air mu shu crepes, scallions, cucumber and a pair of sauces (hoisin and apricot chile) for $42. The feast serves three (or four if you can get together three friends who don't mind engaging in the "That last bite's yours" dance), is available for dine-in or takeout, and is worth every penny.
Saturday, August 22
Chef Tom Coohill's namesake restaurant at 1400 Wewatta Street is perfectly positioned to take advantage of outdoor dining; its proximity to the bridge spanning the South Platte River has made it a popular destination for Beats on the Creek in prior years. While the 2020 concert series was canceled, diners can still sit under the stars on Saturday, August 22, at an al fresco wine dinner with seating set up on the bridge. Guests at the five-course dinner can expect a selection of six wines from around the globe poured alongside courses like lobster salad with duck breast and citrus-truffle emulsion; roasted guinea hen with porcini mousse, black mission figs and port reduction; and harissa-spiced lamb loin with dates and braised heirloom potatoes. Call 303-623-5700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot for the 7 p.m. meal, which will run you $115.
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