Culinary calendar for the week ahead: Valentine's Day fills the menu

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There's one week till Valentine's Day, and you'd better believe the restaurant industry knows it; our calendar is packed to overflowing this week with chocolate, wine and intimate dinners. Here's a taste of what's ahead:

Monday, February 7:

Hudson Gardens, 6115 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton, hosts the International Chocolate and Wine Pairing with host Chocolate Therapist Julie Pech, sampling chocolate from five different countries. It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and costs $59; call 303-797-5722.

Colorado Free University's Lowry Campus, 7653 East First Place, hosts the Meatless (Mostly) Mondays class from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $49 to $61; call 303-399-0093 or visit www.freeu.com.

Silvana Fore will present her wines of Le Due Terre at Frasca Food & Wine's Monday Night Wine Dinner. Admission is $45, and wine parings are an additional $30 to $45. Frasca is at 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder; call 303-442-6966 or visit www.frascafoodandwine.com.

Tuesday, February 8:

Bull & Bush Pub & Brewery, 4700 Cherry Creek Drive South, presents the Barley Wine, Cheese and Salumi Pairing from 7 to 8 p.m. Admission is $40; call 303-759-0333 or visit www.bullandbush.com.

Oak at Fourteenth, 1400 Pearl Street in Boulder, hosts a wine dinner with Fabrizio Uuli and a five-course menu. Admission is $75; call 303-444-3622.

The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, presents a Mexican Fiesta Cooking Class and Dinner, with recipes and dinner included (please bring a place setting). It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $39 to $44; pre-registration is required. Call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.

Lala's Wine Bar + Pizzeria hosts a Chocolate & Wine pairing, four chocolate desserts paired with four wines for $15 from 5 p.m. to midnight. Lala's is at 410 East Seventh Avenue; call 303-861-9463 or visit www.lalaswinebar.com.

Culinary Connectors hosts a supper club at 6:30 p.m. with a three- to four-course dinner with wine pairings at Bacaro Venetian Taverna, 921 Pearl Street in Boulder. Visit www.culinaryconnectors.com.

The Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, presents the National Kidney Foundation Great Chefs of the West event, featuring hors d'ouevre, entrees and desserts in a dine-around atmosphere from some of Denver's best restaurants, with live musical entertainment and more. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $150; visit www.kidney.org/site/505/greatchefs.cfm?ch=505.

Wednesday, February 9:

Colorado Free University's Lowry Campus, 7653 East First Place, hosts Chocolate Truffles from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $49 to $61; call 303-399-0093 or visit www.freeu.com.

Mulberries Cake Shop hosts a Valentine's Day Special in conjunction with File N Style through Thursday, February 17; enjoy a package for two spa pedicures, pink champagne, teacakes, chocolate-covered strawberries and red roses for $85. Call 720-941-8822.

Annie's Cafe, 3100 East Colfax Avenue, presents a 30th Anniversary Celebration hosted by Colfax on the Hill, with food and beverages (including champagne and cake) to help celebrate the milestone. It starts at 5:30 p.m.; call 303-355-8197 or visit www.annies-cafe.com.

Thursday, February 10:

Encore Restaurant, 2550 East Colfax Avenue, presents the Colorado Wine & Spirits Dinner, featuring five courses. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $60; call 303-355-1112 or visit www.encoreoncolfax.com.

Citron Bistro, 3535 South Yosemite Street, presents a five-course wine dinner for $45. It starts at 6:30 p.m.; call 303-771-5800 or visit www.citronbistro.com.

Union Station, 2419 North Union Boulevard in Colorado Springs, hosts a benefit for the Third Way Center, Say It With Chocolate, the sixth annual chocolate-tasting competition. It runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and costs $25; visit www.thirdwaycenter.org.

Amendment XXI Wines, 2548 15th Street, presents the New Zealand Wine Tasting with Sian Nagan; it runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and is free to attend. Call 303-477-5646.

Lola, 1575 Boulder Street, hosts Valentine Cocktails, a hands-on cocktails class and cooking demo. It starts at 7 p.m. and costs $35, and reservations are required; call 720-570-8686 or visit www.loladenver.com.

Baur's Ristorante, 1512 Curtis Street, hosts the Sinfully Delicious Wine Party, with Michael & David winemaker Derek Devries and six wines paired with appetizers. It starts at 6 p.m. and costs $29.99; visit www.uncorkeddenver.com.

Learn how to make your own chocolate and which chocolates have the most health benefits at Mederi Health Center, 100 Jackson Street, Suite M. It starts at 7 p.m.; call 303-933-2323.

Find dozens more culinary events taking place Thursday, February 10.

Friday, February 11:

Twisted Pine Brewing Co., 3201 Walnut Street in Boulder, presents a Bachelorette Auction, wherein seven lovely women will be auctioned off for a date. Proceeds will benefit Kickstart My Heart, and the auction starts at 7 p.m.; call 303-786-9270 or visit www.twistedpinebrewery.com.

CostCo, 7900 West Quincy Avenue in Littleton, hosts the Michael & David Winery wine specials and demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday, February 12.

The Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, hosts the Chocolate Lovers' Lounge, a chocolate-and-wine pairing event with chocolate from around the world paired with champagne, port, red and dessert wines. It opens nightly at 7 p.m. and costs $15 to $45; visit http://denverregency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp.

Find dozens more culinary events taking place Friday, February 11.

Saturday, February 12:

Leadville hosts the Miner's Ball and Annual Wine Tasting, a celebration of Leadville's mining history. Victorian or miner garb is encouraged, and attendees must register by Monday, February 7. Admission is $75 to $80; call 719-486-1229.

The Winter BierFest lands at the Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 East Midland Avenue in Woodland Park, offering dozens of brews from Colorado breweries from 2 to 6 p.m. Call 719-687-5284.

Rialto Cafe, 934 16th Street, hosts a Mystery Dinner with Adams Mystery Playhouse, "Who wants to murder a millionaire ...?" The evening offers both dinner and murder mystery and starts at 6 p.m.; e-mail slivingston@rialtocafe.com or call 303-260-4723.

Heritage Eagle Bend Golf and Country Club, 23155 East Heritage Parkway in Aurora presents the Dessert Dance; order two entrees and receive a free bottle of house wine. There will be live music. It starts at 6 p.m.; call 303-400-6700.

8 Rivers Cafe, 1550 Blake Street, presents Creative Cooking With Cannabis: Cooking for Couples, wherein the chefs of Simply Pure will show how to medicate a meal for the patient in your life. It runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and costs $35 to $60; call 303-623-3422 or visit www.8riverslodo.com.

Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th Street in Boulder, hosts the Boulder Blind Cafe Valentine's Dinner, a multi-course dinner served family-style in the dark starting at 6 p.m. Visit http://theblindcafe.com/boulder-blind-cafe.htm for information.

UCAR Center Green Laboratory, 3080 Center Green Drive in Boulder, hosts the Chocolate Lovers' Fling, chocolate creations, auction items and a buffet dinner, plus live music and dancing. It runs from 5:30 to 11 p.m.; call 303-449-8623 or visit www.safehousealliance.org.

The PPA Events Center, 2105 Decatur Street, presents the Shaken, Not Stirred Martini Party, where mixologists will create signature martinis; there will be unlimited tastes of vodka and gin cocktails, a silent auction and more. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $45 to $55.

Find dozens more culinary events taking place Saturday, February 12.

Sunday, February 13:

Garden of the Gods' Gourmet, 2528 West Cucharras in Colorado Springs, hosts the ProStart Community Dinner, with food from Wasson High School students beginning their culinary careers with ProStart. It runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and costs $20; call 719-471-2799.

SOL (Store of Lingerie), 248 Detroit Street, hosts Beers, Brats & Bras: Shop for Valentine's Day while enjoying beers and brats from noon to 5 p.m. Visit www.sollingerie.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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