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Mark your calendar for Mardi Gras.
Mark your calendar for Mardi Gras.
Jim Wills

The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

From CSAs to cigars and pie to partying, the days ahead have events for every DIY-er and discerning diner. Here's our roundup of the eight best culinary happenings for the week; then keep reading for more food and drink goings-on through April.

By the time you see this, it's already too late.EXPAND
By the time you see this, it's already too late.
Mark Antonation

Monday, February 24
Boulder residents may have to endure yet another round of snow shoveling this week, but before you know it, the white stuff will melt, mud season will arrive and local farms will be posting luscious pics of their community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes on Instagram. Pay attention to your FOMO, because most CSAs have already sold all their shares by the time you're salivating over that selection of summer squash on social media. But you can still get to Boulder County Farmers' Markets' CSA share on Monday, February 24. From 6 to 8 p.m., more than fifteen local growers and ranchers will be on hand at Sanitas Brewing Co., 3550 Frontier Avenue in Boulder, with info about their 2020 CSAs. Veggies, meat, flowers, eggs and dairy are all represented; RSVP to the free event on Eventbrite (where you'll find a list of confirmed vendors) and you'll be entered into a raffle. And if you sign up for a CSA, you'll get a free brew from Sanitas.

Dot your "i"s and make sure you get tickets to Uchi's beer dinner.EXPAND
Dot your "i"s and make sure you get tickets to Uchi's beer dinner.
Danielle Lirette

Tuesday, February 25
Tuesday nights might not be your first choice when it comes to tearing it up, but Mardi Gras comes just once a year — so suck it up and celebrate on the day itself: Tuesday, February 25, not the weekend before or (abomination of all abominations) the weekend after, when Lent is already in full swing. Here are three of the most enticing parties in town: From 6 to 8:30 p.m., Commissary (the former Mister Tuna at 3033 Brighton Boulevard) hosts a bacchanal with bites, beverages and a brass band. Chef/restaurateur Troy Guard will be on the line, and he's bringing in reinforcements in the form of Louisiana boy and Houston chef Drake Leonards of Eunice, and the evening's menu boasts instant classics like shrimp po' boy sliders, crawfish hand pies and Cajun duck poppers. Entry ($45 or $65 on Night Out) includes a drink, unlimited apps and a chef demo for VIP ticket holders. Comal, 3455 Ringsby Court, is opting for a slightly more subdued sit-down dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wine and cocktail pairings (plus tax and tip) are included in the price — $75 for community seating or $125 for one of just six chef's counter seats that includes additional bites and drinks — and the four courses promise goodies like pickled mussels, gumbo with confit chicken and tasso ham, and banana pudding with rum sauce. Find the full menu and tickets on Eventbrite. Finally, all Jax Fish House locations are handing out beads (no flashing required) and masks, so that no one can tell who you are as you stuff your face full of delights like king cake beignets, gumbo, $3 grilled oysters and bottles from NOLA-based Abita Brewing Co. Feeling brave? Down a 22-ounce Hurricane and take home the commemorative glass — if you can find home after that drink. There's no cover for the party, but reservations are encouraged; find out more on the Jax Fish House website.

East meets West on Tuesday, February 25, when sushi powerhouse Uchi, 2500 Lawrence Street, hosts the second in its series of brewery dinners. This time, the partnership is with the homegrown Post Brewing Co., and staple brews Howdy (a Western — whatever that means — pilsner), Top Rope (a Mexican-style lager) and Townie (English IPA) paired with dishes like fried fish with vinegar aioli, ceviche and duck confit. The 6:30 p.m. dinner will run you $115 (includes tax and tip), with tickets for sale on Eventbrite. Can't make it this month? Future installments include dinners with brews from 10 Barrel Brewing Co. on March 31 and Crooked Stave on April 28; keep up to date on the restaurant's Facebook page.

A decadent key lime pie from Fish N Beer.EXPAND
A decadent key lime pie from Fish N Beer.
Linnea Covington

Wednesday, February 26
Regular readers already know of our affinity for pies: sweet, savory, elegant, rustic, handheld, served by the slice — all are the way to our heart and guaranteed to put us in a blissful, pie-induced trance. But we have nothing on Boulder pie expert John Lehndorff, who has served as organizer of the Great American Pie Festival and head judge of the National Pie Championships (be right back; we're taking a break to seethe with jealousy). On Wednesday, February 26, the man, the myth, the pie legend will be giving a lecture at Niwot's Left Hand Grange, 195 Second Avenue, on the history of pies in Boulder County. Attendees will get "pie-related" refreshments (hmmmm) starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a talk that spans the genesis of National Pie Day, pie-adjacent artifacts, tips and tricks to judging a slice, and a Q&A on how to turn out your own flaky, tasty masterpiece, all for just $5 at the door. Details are up on Lehndorff's Facebook page, and you can see more of his writing — including a list of Denver's top hand pies — on his website.

Thursday, February 27
There are still a few places in Denver where you can puff a stogie in public (no, that's not a euphemism), but none quite so old-school luxurious as Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, 8100 East Orchard Street, where the paneling is dark, the seating is leather and the ashtrays are heavy enough to play a supporting role in a James Bond caper. On Thursday, February 27, the cigar lounge is offering a deal in honor of National Cigar Day: an Oliva Melanio Robusto and pour of Woody Creek Rye Whiskey for just $35. So smoke up, McLovin: Life's short.

Turtle Boat's non-poke creations are sure to be as colorful as its exterior.EXPAND
Turtle Boat's non-poke creations are sure to be as colorful as its exterior.
Mark Antonation

Friday, February 28
Does poke and pulque sound like an uncommon combo? On Friday, February 28, visit the Green Mile, where Dos Luces Brewery and nearby poke purveyor Turtle Boat are teaming up for a five-course beer dinner starting at 7 p.m. The taproom, at 1236 South Broadway, is hosting the feast, which goes well beyond raw fish in a bowl: Pairings include a cheese board with boozy lime agua fresca; braised oxtail and mofongo with pulque; pan-seared tilapia paired with chicha; and panna cotta served with new release jamaica pulque. Visit Dos Luces's website to see the entire menu and purchase your $65 ticket.

Keep reading for food and drink events coming up....

Anti-hunger activists start Hunger Action Day with training before heading to the state Capitol to meet with legislators.EXPAND
Anti-hunger activists start Hunger Action Day with training before heading to the state Capitol to meet with legislators.
Evan Semón

Wednesday, March 4
With the presidential administration and USDA currently laying siege to their own citizens by preparing to remove approximately 700,000 people currently receiving Federal SNAP (food stamp) benefits, hungry Colorado citizens (who are already less likely to access benefits they're entitled to than those in 42 other states) are at a huge disadvantage. That's why a coalition of over thirty anti-hunger advocates — including Hunger Free Colorado, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting people to food resources and lobbying for legislative change — has created Hunger Action Day on Wednesday, March 4. At 8 a.m. participants will meet at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 1370 Grant Street, for training before relocating to the State Capitol for meetings with legislators. RSVP to the event on its website, and visit HFC's website for more details about the day, including the organization's legislative goals for the year.

Thursday, March 5
The annual kickoff to the Boulder International Film Festival, CineChef, returns on Thursday, March 5, with a literal battle of the sexes (there are knives involved, after all). It's the men versus the women as the chefs go head to head at Boulder's Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce Street; each team will turn out film-inspired fare, with guests voting on the most scrumptious cinematic bites. Participating chefs include Linda Hampsten Fox (the Bindery), Becca Henry (ChoLon) and Chris Royster (Flagstaff House). Further details and tickets for the 5:30 p.m. event ($100 or $145) are up now on the festival's website.

Thursday, March 12
A wealth of Denver's A-list restaurants are uniting under one roof on Thursday, March 12, to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation at its annual feast, Great Chefs of the West. Starting at 6 p.m., Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, will play host to talent from Death & Co., Mercantile, the Bindery, Dos Santos, American Elm, El Five, Woodie Fisher and over fifteen other restaurants and bars serving their most extravagant bites and beverages. And while tickets aren't cheap at $200, you'd spend that much on Lyft rides alone trying to navigate from one end of town to another to hit up each and every participating eatery. Find out more about the event on the NKF website.

If you want to do good and drink well on Thursday, March 12, but don't much care for the company of humans, drive up to Golden's Foothills Animal Shelter, 580 McIntyre Street, for its Wine & Wags fundraiser. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., the rescue will open its doors to local wineries including Infinite Monkey Theorem and Blanchard Family Wines, blues band the Delta Sonics and fellow animal lovers. While that may sound like too many Homo sapiens to endure in one evening, take heart: There will be plenty of adoptable members of the Canis familiaris and Felis catus species to meet. All proceeds from the $25 tickets (which include six wine tastings and all the animal love you can handle) go to the shelter; get yours now on the shelter's website and get ready for a night of fine wine and furry family members-to-be.

Offerings from the 2016 Whisky Extravaganza.EXPAND
Offerings from the 2016 Whisky Extravaganza.
Danielle Lirette

Friday, March 13
The touring whiskey-tasting festival Whisky Extravaganza has become Whiskies of the World in 2020, but otherwise much remains the same about the high-end event that's landing in Denver on Friday, March 13. The dress code, for instance, still encourages female guests to don "blouses and slacks" — so, whiskey-loving women, better raid your mom's wardrobe in search of clothing that no one in Colorado has worn since 1983 (if you can find a vintage pink power suit with padded shoulders and a peplum jacket, all the better). But provided your vestments pass muster at the door, you'll be treated to the same expansive tasting, with more than 200 brands, light appetizers and the chance to register for tasting classes. The event runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons, 1114 14th Street, and tickets ($100 or $150) are on sale now at Whiskies of the World's website.

Thursday, March 19
City Park's SAME Cafe, 2023 East Colfax Avenue, is celebrating fourteen years in business this year; it's a major accomplishment for any restaurant, made even more impressive because the cozy lunch spot is a nonprofit, donation-based eatery that has never put a price on its menu. Diners pay what they can, either in greenbacks or volunteer hours, and regardless of financial status, everyone enjoys healthy food while being treated with dignity. And in keeping with its mission, the enterprise's annual fundraiser on Thursday, March 19, the So All May Eat Gala, is an egalitarian affair: Attire is "Colorado dressy," which means anything from cargo pants to custom gowns, and while tickets cost $75 (which includes small plates from SAME chefs and students in the cafe's Cook to Work culinary education program; desserts from local sweet shops, including the Inventing Room; a silent auction; and spirits from Laws Whiskey House), there are also pay-what-you-can and volunteer options. The fun runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Space Gallery Annex, 95 South Cherokee Street; find all the details on SAME's website.

Dumpling diva Penelope Wong will be working the stove at Women Cook on April 27.EXPAND
Dumpling diva Penelope Wong will be working the stove at Women Cook on April 27.
Penelope Wong

Monday, April 27
A woman's place is in the (professional) kitchen, according to Women Cook. The sixteenth annual fundraiser for Work Options for Women, a nonprofit organization providing free culinary training to women, is scheduled for Monday, April 27, and the chef lineup is a veritable Who's Who of the Denver restaurant scene: Liliana Meyers (Safta), Cindhura Reddy and Austin Nickel (Spuntino), Dana Rodriguez (Super Mega Bien, Work & Class), Penelope Wong (Yuan Wonton), Caroline Glover (Annette) and many more will be turning out their best bites from 6 to 9 p.m. at EXDO Event Center (1399 35th Street). Tickets ($75 for standing room, $125 for general admission on WOW's website) include all you can eat and drink, plus the satisfaction of knowing you're helping someone on the road to a delicious career.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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