Things to Do

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Lola's Q Coin marg has been conspicuously absent from the drink list for a few months, but it's making a return on February 22.
Lola's Q Coin marg has been conspicuously absent from the drink list for a few months, but it's making a return on February 22. Lola Coastal Mexican
Indulge all your vices this weekend — wine, rum, tequila, cigarettes, beer, gambling, gluttony and animal husbandry — at the most delicious and thirst-quenching events from Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23. And don't stop there: Keep reading for more food and drink fun through mid-March.

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Old Major's $45 Restaurant Week meal (not pictured) includes pork shank, bucatini with truffles and mushrooms and butterscotch pot de crème with bacon peanut brittle.
Old Major
Friday, February 21
An offshoot of the Slow Food movement, the first Slow Wine Guide was published in 2010 and covered only Italian wines; a decade later, it's expanded into California and Oregon. And on Friday, February 21, the Slow Wine Tour lands in Denver. The free tasting is open only to industry folks (business cards and work credentials are required for entry), highlights products from nearly 65 vineyards, and takes place at Asterisk, 1075 Park Avenue West, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the Slow Wine website for more details and a list of producers that will be in attendance, then hit up Eventbrite to RSVP.

Feisty old women are a delight to watch, and — provided their razor-sharp tongues aren't aimed at you — a hoot to hang with. Grandma, the titular, chain-smoking character in the film Lucky Grandma, is no exception, even when she unwittingly finds herself in the middle of a gang war after an ill-advised stint at the casino. Join her for a night of boba and beer on Friday, February 21, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, where she'll light up the silver screen at 7 p.m. But starting at 6 p.m., Tea Street and Cerebral Brewing will pop up in the theater's lobby so you can raise a glass to women who live by their own rules and don't take shit from anyone, even Chinatown gang bosses. The happy hour is free to attend; find info about the movie on Denver Film's Facebook page. Film tickets are $15 on the Sie website.

For ten days in late February, Denver eateries are going to be crammed with diners seeking great deals. Yes, Denver Restaurant Week returns on Friday, February 21, and runs through Sunday, March 1; both longstanding institutions and trendy hot spots will be serving multi-course prix fixe menus offered at just $25, $35 or $45. Visit the event website, where you'll find scrumptious pics of some of last year's most delectable dishes, as well as over 200 participating restaurants and their 2020 menus (some of our favorites include AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q, Il Posto, the Nickel and Denver Milk Market). And while you may not have any luck trying to snag an online reservation at this late date, don't be shy about giving the eateries on your list a call to check for any last-minute cancellations.

Saturday, February 22
Of all Denver's city regulations, the cutest and cuddliest is section 11.8.5 of the Denver Zoning Code, under which residents are allowed a maximum of two rabbits, 25 pigeons, eight chickens (or ducks!), two dwarf goats and an unlimited number of fish on their property. Sadly, we haven't come across any urban goat husbandry classes — but on Saturday, February 22, the Four Seasons Farmers & Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, will help you get started in poultry with a backyard chicken-keeping class from 10 a.m. to noon. For just $5, you'll learn how to house, feed and water your feathered friends and get the basics on how to keep the little cluckers healthy. Sign up on Eventbrite.

Saturday, February 22, may be National Margarita Day, but we're more interested in rum — or at least rum-running. Luckily, landlocked tiki bar Hidden Idol, 2240 North Clay Street, is welcoming filmmaker and distillery owner Bailey Pryor to talk about the politics behind Prohibition, legendary bootlegger Bill McCoy (the subject of Pryor's 2012 documentary The Real McCoy) and the rum production process, specifically the process Pryor uses in his own distillery, dubbed — you guessed it — the Real McCoy, which turns out spirits aged from three to twelve years. Visit Hidden Idol's Facebook page for details, and take note: While the 4 p.m. presentation is free, you surely won't be able to resist purchasing at least one of the bar's tantalizing tiki drinks to wet your whistle.

There are all kinds of rhyming rules about what order you should drink your alcohol in — or whether you should even switch booze at all after you've cracked open a bottle. But you're probably going to feel bad the next morning no matter what, so we say mix it up with abandon. Even if you started National Margarita Day (see above) with a couple of rum-based umbrella drinks, carry on by sipping one of Mexico's most famous exports — even if the genesis of the cocktail is lost in a haze of tequila, the marg is indelibly linked to our southern neighbor — at joints around town. El Tequileño's Lakewood and Arvada locations are serving Casa Mexico margaritas for $6.99 from 6 to 8 p.m., while Boulder's Bartaco is upping the ante by kicking off Margarita March
eight days early with a hibiscus tequila and mezcal mixer (visit @bartacolife on Instagram for the full five-week lineup of drinks). Finally, Big Red F eateries Lola, Zolo and Centro are all celebrating with specials like an oversized 20-ounce Q Coin marg for two (or one, if you're not a perdedor) for $15 at Lola; Zolo's house marg, the Zolorita, for just $5 all day; and a full weekend of deals — $5 margs before sunset and $8 frozen margs — from Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23 at Centro. ¡Salud!

Sunday, February 23
Poor Westfax Brewing Co.: So far from good restaurants, so close to Casa Bonita. But on Sunday, February 23, you won't have to leave the taproom at 6733 West Colfax Avenue to find food — not even to stand in frigid February weather to order from a food truck camping out in the parking lot. From 1 to 4 p.m. (or until the food has vanished into the bellies of hungry craft-beer drinkers), Westfax is hosting a chili cookoff; just $12 gets you ten chili samples, one beer and the chance to vote on the recipe that rises above them all. Half of the ticket price will be donated to the Eating Disorder Foundation, which provides free support and resources to those struggling with disordered eating. Think your recipe makes the grade? There's still space to sign up as a contestant, with the $5 entry fee good for a free brew, all-day happy-hour pricing and the ability to taste your competition. Visit Westfax's Facebook page for further info.

Keep reading for future food happenings....

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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

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