Things to Do

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Cattivella's patio has room for you on Friday night.
Cattivella's patio has room for you on Friday night. Danielle Lirette
Get ready for a pair of fancy food fests, plus down-home neighborhood celebrations (if you don't do fancy), and burgers that are dressed up and down around town. Here are five fantastic food and drink events this weekend, and four more to plan ahead for.

click to enlarge The Grand Tasting is Denver Food and Wine's capstone event. - TROY SCHIEMAN FOR DENVER FOOD + WINE FESTIVAL
The Grand Tasting is Denver Food and Wine's capstone event.
Troy Schieman for Denver Food + Wine Festival
Friday, September 6
The Denver Food and Wine Festival launched mid-week, but tickets are still available for a pair of parties: On Friday, September 6, join Cattivella on the patio for rosemary and lamb flatbread, wild boar with salsa verde, prime rib pizza and more (4 to 7 p.m., $35) ; next, catch the Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 7, where you can attempt to keep track of how many of the 700 wines and spirits you can sample (we top out at around fifteen), see chef demos and sample food from forty top Denver restaurants (1 to 4 p.m., $125). Find out more and grab tickets on the festival's website.

Worried you won't get your fill at Denver Food and Wine this weekend? We beg to differ, but if there's any lingering doubt in your mind, double up on food festivals by hitting A Denver Feast on Friday, September 6. From 7 to 10 p.m., nearly twenty local restaurants (including hot spots like Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, Chow Morso, Señor Bear and Leven Deli) will converge on the AC Hotel Denver, 750 15th Street, as part of the larger Hotel Thrillist weekend of events. Gasoline Lollipops (the band, not the dubiously flavored candy) will perform. Tickets, $55, are available on the event website right now.

Saturday, September 7

One of the summer's most reliably charming and neighborhood-y celebrations returns to Westwood on Saturday, September 7. From noon to 7 p.m., the Westwood Chile Fest will take over Morrison Road between South Meade and South Osceola streets, with dancing, a bounce house (any resident of the area knows it's not a real party until the fan cranks up and the primary-colored castle rises from the ground), bands, artists, tacos, chile roasting and the annual chile eating contest (three rounds, 11 billion Scovilles). The fest is free, and there's still time to enter the contest. Find details at the party's website.

The Lobby, 2191 Arapahoe Street, has been holding down the corner across the street from Great Divide and just a few blocks from Coors Field for what seems like an eternity (at least in restaurant years): ten years. But at an age when many New Denver restaurants are reaching the end of leases that were negotiated when monthly Ballpark rents weren't in the five digits, the Southern-inspired joint is doubling down on its all-day brunch and bottomless mimosas by throwing a grand slam of a birthday party on Saturday, September 7. From 2 to 6 p.m., stop in for $10 throwback specials, lawn games, an extended happy hour and live music. And in another refreshing return to Old Denver, tickets aren't required. Get details on the eatery's Facebook page.
click to enlarge Old Major's flavorful Blended Burger offering: lamb, creminis, harissa and tzatziki. - COURTESY OLD MAJOR
Old Major's flavorful Blended Burger offering: lamb, creminis, harissa and tzatziki.
Courtesy Old Major
Sunday, September 8
Luckily for those who enjoyed Friday and Saturday a bit too much, burgers — perhaps the world's perfect hangover food — are on the menu around town for the rest of the month. Inspired by the James Beard Foundation's Blended Burger Project (which encourages restaurants to embrace sustainability without sacrificing flavor by replacing 25 percent of the protein in a hamburger with mushrooms), seven Denver restaurants are participating in the the Blended Burger Dinner Series for the month of September. Participating eateries include the ever-excellent Old Major, which is turning out a harissa, lamb and cremini patty; Rioja, with a Hatch (not Pueblo?) green chile and trumpet mushroom burger; Morin, serving a short rib and mushroom stack smothered in onion aioli; Mercantile Dining & Provision — also creating a lamb and harissa burger, but with oyster ’shrooms; Park Burger, which is topping its beef and mushroom blend with goat cheese and banana peppers; Urban Farmer, which is going over the top with the addition of fried ’shrooms to its burger; and Guard and Grace, griddling up a lamb burger with both goat and provolone cheeses. Visit the StarChefs website for details and mouthwatering pics.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

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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