Don't wait until Memorial Day weekend to start enjoying everything the Denver culinary scene has to offer. Over the next few days, you can enjoy bagels in Boulder, try funnel cake fries and drink lots of wine.
Keep reading for details on those events, as well as information on future food and drink happenings through August.
Tuesday, May 25
Displaced East Coasters who have settled in Boulder (as well as anyone with a hankering for whitefish salad on a salt bagel) will no doubt show up in force starting at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25 — that's when the long-awaited Boulder outpost of Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen opens at 1262 College Avenue. Go for the breakfast and bagels (and pry your eyes open with a Bloody Mary from the full bar); stay for the dinner with pies from Famous Original J's Pizza and hefty sandwiches from Lou's Italian. The spot will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tuesday, May 25, is National Wine Day (as if you needed another reason to uncork a bottle). For Blanchard Family Wines, 1855 Blake Street, it's the perfect day to release four new bottles — and, of course, host a launch party. From 5 to 9 p.m., join the winery and taste its newest products (Viognier, rosé of Grenache, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) paired with bites like sliders, marinated melon salad and steak kabobs. Tickets are just $25 per person on Tock, with proceeds going to nonprofit Colorado Youth for a Change, which works to reduce the dropout rate among high school students. Another perk of the party that will last well beyond National Wine Day? All bottles are 10 percent off during the event, so it's a great opportunity to stock your cellar for a rainy day.
Because you can never have too much wine, Jovanina's Broken Italian, 1520 Blake Street, is offering a $10 rosé flight starting Tuesday, May 25, from 5 to 10 p.m. After that, you'll only be able to get the trio of pinks on Wednesday and Thursday nights throughout the summer (think of it as weekend lite). And the Infinite Monkey Theorem urban winery is offering 15 percent off all day, both at its online store as well as from 4 to 8 p.m. in its tasting room at 3200 Larimer Street.
Wednesday, May 26
Some Sundays, rolling out of bed at 10 a.m. just seems too daunting. So what's a brunch-loving, bingo-playing night owl to do? On Wednesday, May 26, show up at Denver Milk Market, 1800 Wazee Street, at 6 p.m. for an evening version of the venue's Drag Queen Bingo Brunch. As always, the shenanigans will be going down in the Dairy Block alley, and the event is first come, first served. Find out more on the Dairy Block website.
Thursday, May 27
Foraged, 1825 Blake Street, is no stranger to hosting wine dinners, but on Thursday, May 27, you won't believe your eyes — because you won't be able to see your dinner. The kitchen will turn out a four-course omakase dinner and wine pairings at 7 p.m, which servers will set in front of blindfolded guests. The theory is that diners' sense of taste will be amplified when they're no longer distracted by that pesky sense of sight. We're of the opinion that your eyes are helpful when eating (say, for finding your fork, avoiding olives and ensuring you don't blind yourself with a swizzle stick while imbibing) — but if you're up for it, call the restaurant at 720-826-2147 to book your dinner ($125) or reserve online here. See you (or not!) there.
Friday, May 28
We're not nearly as anxious for 2021 to come to an end as we were 2020, but Dang!, 2211 Oneida Street, has come up with a gimmick/concept/stroke of genius that has us hoping the month speeds past at an alarmingly fast pace: funnel cake fry weekends on the last weekend of every month. Starting Friday, May 28, the soft-serve ice cream and French fry purveyor will be serving up sweet fries in addition to the traditional savory version. Both, of course, can be shoved into your face straight out of the fryer and piping hot, or cooled down by a quick dip in ice cream. The shop's also offering a funnel cake sundae; the specials will be available through Sunday, May 30, or as long as supplies last. If you miss out, don't despair — just clear your calendar for the last weekend in June.
Keep reading for future food and drink happenings.
Sunday, May 30
If your idea of brunch is less "I need some hair of the dog" and more "I've been partying since Friday night — why stop now?," Munchies and Mimosas is the event for you. After over a year on hiatus, the party is returning to the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, for a brunch event with bottomless bubbly and a banger vibe. For $40, from noon to 6 p.m. you'll get a brunch spread, all the mimosas you can drink and over a hundred people dancing to tunes from DJs KScott, Simone Says and KDJ Above. Visit the Munchies and Mimosas Instagram for details, then snag tickets on Eventnoire.
For a weekend celebration that will be just as messy as a bottomless mimosa brunch (but in a very different way), go west — to the VFW Post 4171 at 15725 West Tenth Avenue in Golden. Chef Jeff Stoneking (formerly of ChoLon and LeRoux) is putting on a seafood boil from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 30. The main attraction is the aquatic spread — mussels, clams, shrimp, oysters, crawfish, crab cakes — but there will also be burgers, hot dogs and chicken to nosh on, drinks from the VFW bar (no $13 cocktails here), live music and a guitar raffle. Local vendors including Moon Raccoon Baking Co., Mama Sue's Kitchen (chili oil), and DittyPop Smoothies will also be on hand. Admission is free, though you can pre-order a plate for $30 that includes seafood, slaw or salad, a glass of booze and a raffle ticket on Stoneking's website.
Friday, June 4
Nothing says summer like pink patio pounders — and Carboy Winery's Denver outpost, at 400 East Seventh Avenue, is bringing together a pack of producers for its Rosé La La La festival on Friday, June 4. In two sessions (3:30 to 5 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m.), you can sample rosé wine from thirteen Colorado wineries, including the Storm Cellar, Sauvage Spectrum, BookCliff Vineyards, Jack Rabbit Hill Farm and Chill Switch Wines. Admission is a steal at $38 — which includes apps and a stemless wine glass to take home — but finding your perfect post-COVID summer wine is worth its weight in gold. Visit Carboy's website to learn more and secure your spot.
Thursday, June 17
If you're bereft because, for the second June in a row, Aspen Food & Wine isn't happening (it's taking place in September this year), you can stop clutching your pearls. Another über-extravagant, ultra-expensive food festival is taking place in Aspen from Thursday, June 17, through Sunday, June 20: the Little Nell Culinary Fest. The event includes a sommelier lunch, Dom Pérignon dinner, Champagne breakfast, Father's Day rosé brunch, sustainable seafood dinner and more. Individual events run from $100 to $450; an inclusive pass will cost you $1,100 and gets you 40 percent off a room at the Little Nell hotel, 675 East Durant Avenue in Aspen. Visit the Little Nell website for details about the weekend, then purchase your tickets on Eventbrite.
Chef Gregory Gourdet left town when his Cherry Creek restaurant Departure shuttered in 2019, but he's back (for one night, at least) on Thursday, June 17. Gourdet is taking over the kitchen at Frasca Food and Wine, 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder, as a guest chef. The four-course menu features recipes from his latest cookbook, including slow-cooked salmon with jerk plantains and sos ti malice (a Caribbean sauce made of habaneros, lime and onion); short rib curry with cauliflower-cashew purée; and coconut custard with strawberry jam, pickled rhubarb and soursop sorbet. The cost of dinner ($145) includes a signed copy of Gourdet's cookbook, Everyone's Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health, and both non-alcoholic and wine pairings are available for an additional $25 or $55. Reservations start at 5 p.m. and they're going fast; snag your spot now on Tock.
Restaurant and bar workers need a party after the last eighteen months (hoo boy, do they ever). Enter Drink Red Wear Red, an industry bash on Thursday, June 17, that is even more impactful in 2021. That's because the event, put on by the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and Foundation (CRF), benefits the CRA Mile High Chapter's Hardship Relief Fund as well as the CRF, which administers the statewide Angel Relief Fund. (Both assist hospitality workers facing hard times.) This year's party is an open-air celebration at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, and includes wine (red, of course), cocktails, bites from a dozen Denver restaurants (including the Bindery, Esters, GQue Barbecue, Maria Empanada, the Pig & the Sprout and Comida) and live music from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are currently $45 or $125; VIP tickets include 5:30 p.m. entry as well as a rooftop reception with views of City Park and downtown Denver. Get your tickets on the CRA's website before prices go up on June 1.
Thursday, July 8
No sooner had Uchi, 2500 Lawrence Street, announced the return of its summer garden dinner series on June 3 than — poof! — tickets had vanished into thin air (even at $150 a pop). We're not surprised; aren't you anxious to resume "normal" summer activities? Mark your calendar for Uchi's next garden dinner, which is set for Thursday, July 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. Chef and menu details have yet to be announced, but you can count on impeccable sushi and, in a change from previous family-style seating and plating, your own table of up to ten guests. Visit the restaurant's website for information on upcoming events.
Thursday, August 12
Treat yourself to a long, boozy weekend in Vail from Thursday, August 12, to Sunday, August 15, at the Vail Wine Classic. The fest — which was one of the very few events that didn't go digital or "postpone" (aka cancel) its 2020 iteration — is putting on a pair of two-hour grand tastings at 1:30 and 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets will run you $99 for GA; $129 for thirty minutes early entry; or $225 for the aptly named "double trouble" pass, which gets you into both sessions at the early entry time. The tastings are an outdoor affair at Vail Athletic Fields, 646 Vail Valley Drive. Details about wine dinners, seminars and the inevitable day-after brunch are yet to be announced, but you can visit the event website for complete info and Eventbrite for tickets.
Know of an event that belongs on this calendar? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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