If you're bored this week, you're not trying hard enough to find fun. The culinary calendar is packed: From movies and dinner and free snacks on the patio to picnic lunches and CBD cocktails, there's something for everyone. Here are eleven of the best food and drink events in the next five days, plus more to plan for in the months ahead.
Monday, April 29
Take the edge off a rough day at Hotel Teatro, 1100 14th Street, on Monday, April 29, where bartenders from the Nickel will be teaching a workshop on mixing CBD-infused mixed drinks. From 5:30 to 8 p.m., you'll learn the ins and outs of combining cocktails and cannabidiol with two boozy beverages and one mocktail. Munchies will be provided, naturally (think charcuterie, not chips); tickets are $35 and on sale now on Supergood's website.
We shook our heads sadly and shed a few tears when chef Kevin Grossi moved his comfort food restaurant, The Regional, from Denver's Avanti Food & Beverage to the hinterlands of Fort Collins. But Grossi has kept in touch with his Denver days, and on Monday, April 29, chef Chris Starkus (Urban Farmer) is making the trek north to join Grossi in cooking the Bee Dinner, a tasting menu celebrating the efforts of the black-and-yellow insects. For $50, the kitchen at 130 South Mason Street in Fort Collins will turn out five courses, including bee pollen and honey-glazed pork chops with crispy oyster mushrooms; goat-cheese truffles with honeycomb; and honey cake topped with beeswax ice cream. Beverage pairings include mead, honey-based cocktails and wine. Call the restaurant at 970-689-3508 to reserve your spot at the table.
Take an evening to support aspiring female chefs at Work Options for Women's Women Cook event on Monday, April 29. The culinary training program for hard-to-employ women offers three programs (all at no cost to participants) ranging from four weeks to two years in length; the dinner presents a handful of the top names in Denver's professional kitchens coming together to cook at the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, from 6 to 9 p.m. to support their sisters just getting started in the food-service industry. Dana Rodriguez (Super Mega Bien, Work & Class), Caroline Glover (Annette), Carrie Baird (Bar Dough), Shelia Lucero (Jax Fish House) and Cindhura Reddy and Austin Nickel (Spuntino) are just a few ladies giving their time and considerable talents to the feast, so don't miss out on tickets, $125, on WOW's website.
Tuesday, April 30
As surely as at least one late snowstorm will shut down the city's prematurely opened patios, so too will the arrival of Civic Center Eats herald the arrival of spring. Starting Tuesday, April 30 (on a day that wet weather is predicted, of course), the massive food truck rally will take over Civic Center Park at Broadway and Colfax Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through October 10. This year, a beer and wine garden will be open on Thursdays, and over twenty new vendors, including Turkish Chef on Wheels, Cheese Bread Sandwich, the excellent Cilantro & Perjil and beloved Orange Crunch will be joining other favorites like Pierogies Factory, High Point Creamery and WongWayVeg. Visit Civic Center Conservancy's website for a complete list of vendors and schedules, including closures for summer holidays.
Uchi, 2500 Lawrence Street, undoubtedly makes some of the prettiest plates in town. So if you want to learn how to roll some stunning maki (the type of sushi most of us think of when faced with a stubby pencil and sushi list — rice, fish and veggies wrapped up in glossy green nori), you should learn from the best. Luckily, the RiNo hot spot's kitchen is hosting a Secrets of Maki Rolling class on Tuesday, April 30, from 6 to 9 p.m., where you can sip sake while learning a few different recipes and rolling techniques (previous joint-rolling experience will prove helpful). And because you'll be learning from real artists, this class is going to cost you: It's $95 plus tip, but your Instagram feed will never be better. To sign up, contact Julie Calabrese at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-960-1559; details are up on Uchi's Facebook page.
There's one killer dinner coming up at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, at the Family Jones Spirit House, 3245 Osage Street. As part of the ongoing Distillers' Dinner Series, head distiller Rob Masters, executive chef Tim Dotson and bar manager Jason Randall are presenting a Last Supper: five dishes and corresponding cocktails they would want as a last meal. While menu specifics have yet to be released, everything will surely be to die for. Tickets, available on the distillery-restaurant's website, are $75 (before tax and tip), and you'll also get 25 percent off any bottle of house spirits you purchase to take home. Conversation about how the Family Jones crafts its spirits — interspersed with a few dad jokes — will also be on the menu.
Wednesday, May 1
What are you doing this May Day? Acova, 3651 Navajo Street, is offering a great deal for the wage slave who's spent a busy day toppling capitalism: The Highland eatery is officially opening its patio on Wednesday, May 1, and a free RSVP on Eventbrite entitles you to a complimentary drink and appetizers al fresco from 6 to 8 p.m. Workers of the world, unite — at Acova.
Speaking of celebrating the workers' paradise, Mayor Michael Hancock has jumped on the socialist bandwagon — at least for one day — by officially declaring Wednesday, May 1, Dazbog Day. The Denver coffee company with a Russian theme is opening a new shop inside the Wellington E. Webb Building at 201 West Colfax Avenue, and you can score a free medium cup of coffee in celebration. Grab yours at the Webb Building during Dazbog's regular hours (from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or drop into any Dazbog location (other than the Denver International Airport outpost) to land the same deal, or upsize to any other drink on the menu.
Thursday, May 2
Good food, good cause: On Dining Out for Life day, restaurants donate 25 percent of sales (sometimes food, sometimes food and drink) to Project Angel Heart, which provides medically tailored meals for Coloradans living with serious and chronic illnesses. Thursday, May 2, marks the 25th year of the fundraiser, and more than 250 eateries will be participating. For a complete list of those restaurants — or to sign up your own place to join the effort — go to the Dining Out for Life website.
The problem with eating dinner while you watch a movie? Missing all that crucial dialogue while crunching away on kale salad and fried chicken. But The Preservery (3040 Blake Street), in partnership with Denver Public Library and Denver Film Society, has the right idea with its silent film series that starts Thursday, May 2. Every Thursday through May 23, a classic silent film (this week, Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times from 1936) will be screened at 7 p.m., though you should arrive well in advance to order drinks and dishes inspired by the film before the credits roll. Admission is free, but seating is limited, so registration on DPL's website is required for attendance. Can't make it this week? Future films are Pandora's Box (1929), Metropolis (1927) and The General (1927).
Friday, May 3
The tiny, under-the-radar Bistro Barbès has been tucked into a small block at 5021 East 28th Avenue for half a decade now, and it's celebrating five years of firing up French/Middle Eastern fusion with a throwback dinner on Friday, May 3. Five courses from past menus will be returning for the meal, which starts at 5 p.m. Included are three-bean salad, braised pork belly, seafood tajine, duck confit and black onyx chiffon. A seat at the table will cost you $50; call the restaurant at 720-398-8085 for more info.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
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Thursday, June 27
Nobody loves tacos more than us — but can you eat $135 worth of them? If you can't, it's not for lack of opportunity at this year's Top Taco. The annual competition takes place on Thursday, June 27, at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, when over fifty restaurants around town will go head to head to see who can serve the best iteration of the classic Mexican street food. There will be tacos for all tastes: street-style (Cilantro & Perejil, Adelitas, Las Delicias), crowd-pleasers (Uno Mas, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Los Chingones) and WTF (Tupelo Honey, Syrup). Not only will tacos fill your tummy, but tequila and margs are also on tap. Still don't think you can stuff over a hundred bucks worth of food in your estómago? Not to worry: GA tickets start at $75 on the event website.
Saturday, August 17
Save the date — Tacolandia will return to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks. Although tickets aren't yet on sale, get this on your calendar before your summer weekends start filling up, and watch westwordtacolandia.com for updates.
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