Things to Do

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Barrels of whiskey at the Family Jones distillery in Loveland, which recently released Ella Jones bourbon.
Barrels of whiskey at the Family Jones distillery in Loveland, which recently released Ella Jones bourbon. Family Jones
With this week's announcement that restaurants can offer on-premises dining (with some significant restrictions), scores of eateries have begun the process of opening their doors. But there are still plenty of places that are taking things slow, so takeout and online events are still going strong this weekend. Here are our picks, plus ongoing virtual happenings.

Friday, May 29
Longmont's Dry Land Distillers' insistence on using local ingredients for its beverages — endemic prickly pear cactus for its mezcal-adjacent spirit, Antero wheat (developed by Colorado State University) and heirloom White Sonora wheat for its whiskeys, and native botanicals for its gin — makes it a natural bedfellow for the Slow Food movement (liquor is food, obviously). On Friday, May 29, at 4 p.m., the distillery is joining Slow Food USA for a free virtual tour and mixology class. Sign up for the webinar on Slow Food's website, then start gathering equipment and ingredients to make two of Dry Land's house cocktails using its goods. Pre-order your bottles on Dry Land's online storefront, then pick them up at the tasting room, 471 Main Street in Longmont, between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Don't say Denver restaurants aren't stretching their creativity to the limit to keep you fed and entertained, even if their dining rooms aren't open. Exhibit A: a "Farm-to-Spaceship" dinner from Somebody People, the plant-based eatery at 1165 South Broadway. A team of chefs, distillers, bartenders, DJs, artists and other creative types have concocted the storyline of the Weightless Freight REALLY Long Haul Trucking Company, which supposedly just landed with a shipment of subglacial lake water from Mars — and brought recipes. Snag a ticket for the multimedia event on Eventbrite for $48 each for one of three sessions, on May 29, June 5 or June 12. Each ticket includes a four-course dinner from Somebody People, a cocktail or mocktail made with "Mars Water," and a flower-power ring that you'll pick up from the restaurant between 5 and 8 p.m. the day of your dinner. You'll also receive a login for an accompanying video, which includes a cocktail tutorial, comedy, music and other visuals to help set the extraterrestrial scene. Complete details can be found on the Farm to Spaceship Eventbrite page.


Saturday, May 30

In celebration of the recent release of Ella Jones bourbon, the Family Jones Distillery is having everyone over for a big, old-fashioned barbecue — sort of. By "having everyone over," we mean "sending you home with a spread and hosting a Zoom meeting," which isn't exactly the same, but is the best anyone can do until 2020 stops feeling like an early Roger Corman film (plot developments that strain credulity, egregious production value and director/leadership determined to scupper the entire effort with a maximum of destruction). Visit the Family's website to order the Ella Jones bourbon and barbecue kit, $55 to $100, and you'll get a homey meal of pulled pork, mac and cheese, slaw, baked beans, housemade white bread and apple crisp (serves three), along with your choice of a bourbon cocktail kit (Old Fashioned, Amaretto Sour or highball, all of which serve up to ten) or a full bottle of the spirit. You'll pick up the kit between noon and 4 p.m. at the distillery-restaurant at 3245 Osage Street, then attend a Zoom meeting at 5 p.m. with the distiller for a cocktail class and virtual tour of the Loveland distillery. The deadline to place your order is 5 p.m. Friday, May 29.


Boulder winery Settembre Cellars is teaming up with Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant to bring you an at-home wine dinner on Saturday, May 30. The meal serves two people and includes four courses: eggplant and corn chowder paired with a 2017 rosato; a hearty kale, apple and walnut salad with a 2012 chardonnay; mushroom sliders with pepper jelly and a 2012 syrah; and a thick slab of carrot cake for dessert. Place your order, $126, on Settembre's website before noon on Friday, May 29, then drive by the tasting room, 1501 Lee Hill Road in Boulder, between 5 and 6 p.m. for curbside pick-up of the goods.

click to enlarge If you're desperate for Frasca's food, you can pick up Sunday dinner at Frasca (Boulder) or Tavernetta (Denver, pictured above). - DANIELLE LIRETTE
If you're desperate for Frasca's food, you can pick up Sunday dinner at Frasca (Boulder) or Tavernetta (Denver, pictured above).
Danielle Lirette
Sunday, May 31
Boulder denizens seeking high-end dining have long relied on Frasca Food and Wine, 1738 Pearl Street, to scratch that itch. And while the dining room remains closed, you can still get the white-tablecloth experience — provided, of course, that you have a white tablecloth at home. Every Saturday, the restaurant is offering Frasca at Home kits, with enough ingredients to create an entree for two people (don't worry, you'll get detailed instructions and a video tutorial), plus appetizers, dessert and a bottle of wine. Previous kits have included paella, fresh pasta with Bolognese, and roast chicken seasoned with fennel pollen (all with accompanying sides, breads and wines). The menu for Sunday, May 31, includes halibut with morels, focaccia, potato salad, cannoli and a bottle of sauvignon blanc for $170. Orders must be placed on Tock no later than 5 p.m. Saturday for pick-up on Sundays (note the change from the previous week's offerings, which were available on Saturdays). Want to order but live in Denver? No worries: Order on Tavernetta's Tock page and collect your goods at its Denver dining room, 1889 16th Street.

click to enlarge Chefs Paul C. Reilly and Alex Seidel (left and center) are upcoming guests on Save Good Food. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Chefs Paul C. Reilly and Alex Seidel (left and center) are upcoming guests on Save Good Food.
Linnea Covington
Wednesday, June 3
Starting Wednesday, June 3, Denver-based Good Food 100 Restaurants, an industry survey that strives to document business and purchasing practices in the hospitality field, is launching Save Good Food, a series of  weekly virtual dinner-table discussions about food and the supply chain. At 6 p.m., tune in to hear local and national fine-dining restaurateurs, farmers and distributors discuss the realities and future of finding good food. The first episode ("Save Good Meat") includes chefs Paul C. Reilly (Beast + Bottle, Coperta) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill), hog and poultry farmer Greg Gunthorp and Chris Oliviero from Niman Ranch. Future installments — the series runs through June 30 — feature Denver chefs Alex Seidel, Jen Jasinski, Kelly Whitaker and Caroline Glover; visit the organization's website to register for the free webinars. Attendance is limited, so don't delay.

Keep reading for ongoing online events every day of the week....

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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