Culinary calendar for the week ahead: Patio wine parties, Dueling Cuisine and more

There is culinary life after Mother's Day, starting with tonight's Lamb Jam and continuing the seasonal launch of the Colorado Wine Train, the Swallow Hill Music Winefest and much, much more -- with or without fermented grapes. Here's a taste of what's ahead:

Monday, May 9:

Encore Restaurant, 2550 East Colfax Avenue, will be the site of Five Presents: Lamb Jam! with nine chefs, three lambs, one cocktail artist and one butcher from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $75; call 303-355-1112 to sign up.

Frasca Food & Wine, 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder, will host its regular Monday Night Wine Dinner; this time with Trey Blankenship and Trey Wines. Tickets are $45 and up; call 303-442-6966 or visit www.frascafoodandwine.com.

Elway's, 2500 East First Avenue, will present the four-course Women and Wine Dinner, starting at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $65; call 303-399-5353 or visit www.elways.com.

Tuesday, May 10:

Russo's Kitchen + Tavern, 10111 Inverness Main Street, Suite T in Englewood, will host the Italia! Patio Wine Party; Massimo Bracco, the owner of the Sartirano vineyards in Piedmont, will be pouring his wines. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and costs $27.99; for details, calll 303-799-9474 or go to www.russosvallagio.com.

Wednesday, May 11:

Aria, 250 Josephine Street, will host Dueling Cuisine: Science vs. Art, as chefs Michael Long and Ian Kleinman face off in a four-course feast; each course features one ingredient with two preparations by each chef. The meal starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $89; for more info, call 303-377-4012.

Lola, 1575 Boulder Street, will host the Paella Dinner in support of the Highlands Farmers Market. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $40; call 720-570-8686 or visit www.loladenver.com.

Thursday, May 12:

The Grant-Humphreys Mansion, 770 Pennsylvania Street, will be the site of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Fourth Annual Wine Tasting, featuring regional wines and food pairings by Table 6. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and tickets are $65; for more info, go to www.coalition.org/events/wine-tasting-2011.aspx.

The Denver Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, will present a Mixology Showdown: Whiskey and the Wild West. Seven restaurants will duel to be named the Best in the West; each restaurant will bring a signature whiskey cocktail and happy-hour appetizer. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and costs $35; call 720-865-1111 or visit www.denverlibrary.org.

Dove House, 1055 South Public Road in Lafayette, will present Wine, Women and Chocolate, with chocolate samplings, wine distributors, cheese imports and more. The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and costs $30; attendees are encouraged to donate gently used shoes, scarves and purses. For more info, go to www.lafayettecolorado.com.

Friday, May 13:

Il Mondo Vecchio, 1174 South Cherokee Street, will present another Loading Dock Friday with tours and tastings from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. For info, call 303-744-6328 or visit www.mondovecchio.net.

Saturday, May 14:

Kepner Middle School, 911 South Hazel Court, will host a Grill & Chill Celebration with a free barbecue lunch, games, a safety village, urban gardening, live performances and more from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; visit www.denvergov.org/drug_strategies.

The Colorado Wine Train will start serving multi-course, locally inspired meals at 6:30 p.m. every day starting with tonight's dinner on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, which leaves from 401 Water Street, Canon City. Admission is $45 to $95 and up; call 888-724-5748 or visit www.royalgorgereservations.com.

Civic Green Park, 9730 Ridgeline Boulevard in Highlands Ranch, will host the Highlands Ranch Music Arts Festival, where Colorado Foodies bloggers will host a bake sale in support of Share Our Strength from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Montrose will present its Wine & Food Festival today through Sunday, May 15, featuring Top Chef Stephen Aspirino, cooking demonstrations, a grand tasting and more. Visit www.visitmontrose.com.

Sunday, May 15:

The Margarita, 7350 Pine Creek Road in Colorado Springs, will host a Meet Your Farmer Kickoff Party, with a meal, silent auction, music and more frmo 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $25; call 719-598-8667.

The Swallow Hill Music Winefest, which runs from 3 to 6 p.m., will showcase six Colorado wineries alongside jazz-inspired tunes by Leslie Brown. Tickets are $37 or $70 for two; Swallow Hill is at 71 East Yale Avenue. For more info, call 303-777-1003 or visit www.swallowhill.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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