Culinary calendar for the week ahead: Japan benefits, shamrock festivities and more

From benefits to help those suffering in Japan to parties to help people help themselves on St. Patrick's Day, there's plenty happening in town this week. Here's a taste of what's on the menu.

Monday, March 14:

Fort Collins is hosting Great Plates of Downtown, with dozens of restaurants offering dinner specials for $25.25; today is the last day for the deals. Visit www.downtownfortcollins.com.

Tilted Kilt, 1201 16th Street, will present a Whiskey Dinner, five courses paired with whiskey, starting at 6 p.m. Admission is $75; call 303-893-5458 or visit www.tiltedkilt.com.

Jax Fish House, 928 Pearl Street in Boulder, is offering its Three-Course Oyster Tasting Menu for $35 through Sunday, March 20. For more info on Jax's Oyster Month, call 303-444-1811 or go to www.jaxfishhouseboulder.com.

Tuesday, March 15:

The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, will present "Cook's Herb Garden: The Magnificent Seven," a class covering growing, harvesting and cooking with seven herbs. The event, which includes dinner, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $24 to $39; pre-registration is required. Call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.

Olivea, 719 East 17th Avenue, will host Green Cuisine, a dinner with wine paired to three courses of Mediterranean cuisine. The meal starts at 4:30 p.m. and costs $20 to $100; call 303-861-5050 or visit www.olivearestaurant.com.

Strings, 1700 Humboldt Street, will offer wines from Spain and Portugal, a tasting of more than 25 wines and ports, served with light appetizers, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $30; call 303-831-7310 or visit www.stringsrestaurant.com.

Larkburger (www.larkburger.com), Ototo Food and Wine (www.facebook.com/ototoden), Izakaya Den (www.izakayaden.net), Sushi Den (www.facebook.com/sushiden) and Japon (www.japonsushi.com) are hosting benefit events for earthquake and tsunami relief for Japan.

Wednesday, March 16:

Fado Irish Pub, 1735 19th Street, will host its St. Practice Day festivities; for more information, call 303-297-0066 or go to www.fadoirishpub.com.

The Margarita, 7350 Pine Creek Road in Colorado Springs, will offer another Spice Route Dinner, this round focusing on Old Europe. It starts at 6:30 p.m.; call 719-598-8667.

Cherokee Ranch and Castle, 6113 North Daniels Park Road in Sedalia, will host a Taste of the Emerald Isle Irish Single Malt Whiskey Celebration, featuring a castle tour, Irish buffet, whiskey presentation and tasting, dessert and coffee reception; reservations are required. It runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $65; call 303-688-5555 or visit www.cherokeeranch.org.

Thursday, March 17:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle, 6113 North Daniels Park Road in Sedalia, will present a St. Patrick's Day Mid-Afternoon Tea from 2 to 4 p.m. It costs $45; call 303-688-5555 or visit www.cherokeeranch.org.

The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, will present "Savoring Chinese Tasty Tales: The Art of Dim Sum," a class that offers both ancient legends and modern cooking tales. It runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and costs $34 to $39; pre-registration is required. Call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.

Dixons Downtown Grill, 1610 16th Street, will present March Meat Madness through Saturday, March 19, serving up blackened chicken, sliced strip steak, jalapeno cheddar bratwurst, hot links and Polish sausage on a plate, served with sides and sauces. Call 303-573-6100 or visit www.disxonsrestaurant.com.

Get a full rundown of all our St. Patrick's Day events!

Friday, March 18:

Il Mondo Vecchio, 1174 South Cherokee Street, presents Loading Dock Fridays, tours and tastings from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Friday. Call 303-744-6328 or visit www.mondovecchio.net.

Marczyk Fine Foods, 770 East 17th Avenue, hosts a wine tasting; taste the wines of the month and take advantage of sales. Call 303-894-9499 or visit www.marczykfinefoods.com.

Practice your Spanish, learn something new, play games and enjoy appetizers at the Museo de las Americas' Spanish Happy Hour. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and costs $3 for members and $5 for the general public. The Museo is at 861 Santa Fe Drive; call 303-571-4401 or visit www.museo.org.

Saturday, March 19

Capital Heights Communities, 1100 Fillmore Street, presents Taste for Teller, featuring food, wine and more to benefit the school. It runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and costs $25 to $40; visit http://teller.dpsk12.org/tasteforteller.

Il Mondo Vecchio, 1174 South Cherokee Street, hosts a Whole Hog Hoedown, where you can learn about common retail cuts, cooking techniques, recipe suggestions and more while the owners of Il Mondo Vecchio break down a full hog. It runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and costs $220. Call 303-744-6328 or visit www.ilmondovecchio.com.

Meet at the Town Ranch trailhead in Crested Butte for a Progressive Bonfire Dinner on Skis or Snowshoes. There will be hot wine or cocoa at the trailhead, and the tour will stop for appetizer, soup, entree and dessert courses. Seatings begin every half-hour starting at 5 p.m. and concluding at 6:30 p.m.; participation is $40 ($15 for kids), and reservations are required. Call 970-349-1707.

Sunday, March 20:

The Boulder outpost of Jax Fish House, 928 Pearl Street, hosts the Oyster-Eating Contest as part of Jax's Oyster Month. It starts at 4 p.m.; call 303-444-1811 or visit www.jaxfishhouseboulder.com.

Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Englewood, presents the Gospel Brunch, featuring Tyree Morris and Hearts of Worship, a concert and a meal. Call 720-274-6800 or visit www.comedyworks.com.

For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings -- and if you have information for a culinary event you'd like included in our online calendar, send it to cafe@westword.com.

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