The Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

There's nothing more satisfying than a flat of fresh eggs. You can find these at the City Park Farmers' Market.
There's nothing more satisfying than a flat of fresh eggs. You can find these at the City Park Farmers' Market.
Courtesy Owl Canyon Farm
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A new tiki bar will pop up in Denver this weekend, along with more farmers' market openings, a sweet birthday party and a Prohibition-era-themed hard-kombucha launch.

After you've chewed over those opportunities, keep reading for news of upcoming market stands, cooking classes, massive brunches, wine fests and long-overdue parties in May, June and even August.

Friday, May 14
With warmer weather comes the changing of the guard in Louisville. Just as the Miracle on Main Street pop-up bar (at 836 1/2 Main Street) gave way to the unfortunately named Apraske (aka après ski, for the terminally un-hip grammatical purist), so is the 1980s-themed ski bar now giving way to Tiki on Main Street. The beachy bar is open through August 29, with swinging bar stools and real sand along with classic umbrella drinks like Zombies, Mai Tais, Pain Killers and Piña Coladas. What we're really excited about, though — other than the lack of "clever" spelling? — is a pair of drinks (Rye Me a River and Wei Lei) that incorporate the Chinese spirit baijiu. Visit Tiki on Main's website to see the full food and drink menu and to make the recommended reservation. Doors open at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon Saturday and Sunday.

Jade Sato, owner of Minoru Farm, a vendor at this season's City Park Farmers' Market.
Jade Sato, owner of Minoru Farm, a vendor at this season's City Park Farmers' Market.
Ian Ancelin

Saturday, May 15
Another week, another farmers' market. Which is fine, because you can never have too much local, fresh produce. City Park Farmers' Market, 1600 City Park Esplanade (at East High School), is starting its six-month run on Saturday, May 15. Every Saturday through October 30, the market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with just shy of sixty farms, ranches, dairies, bakeries, food trucks and local food producers participating. A donation-based yoga class is scheduled every Saturday at 8 a.m., and musicians will also take the stage. Reservations aren't required, and furry friends are welcome. It's almost — dare we say it? — a return to normal. Visit the market's website for details and a complete list of vendors.

Paul C. Reilly, chef and co-owner of Coperta and soon-to-be-shuttered Beast + Bottle, is resuming the weekly market stand pop-up he began last spring in conjunction with Longmont's Ollin Farms on May 15 (though by the time you're reading this, orders for this weekend will be closed). Going forward, guests can order a bag filled with a variety of produce, plus a recipe from Reilly that will help you take full advantage of the farm-fresh ingredients. Pre-order on the farm stand's online storefront (where you can also get extras like local honey, tortillas, hot sauce and pickles, plus occasional brunch kits) between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 5 p.m. Thursday, and you'll recover your goods at Coperta, 400 East 20th Avenue, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Price and contents of the bag change weekly depending on yield, but the first week's selection includes rhubarb, potatoes, spinach, a selection of Asian greens, Egyptian walking onions and microgreens for $28.

The Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekendEXPAND
Courtesy High Point Creamery

High Point Creamery is turning seven — and the homegrown ice cream shop that churns out flavors like Earl Grey and shortbread cookies and cornbread and strawberry jam is giving away free sweets to celebrate. Make an appearance at the mini chain's newest location, 939 Bannock Street, on Saturday, May 15, for buy-one-get-one cones and cups. The shop's open from noon to 8 p.m., but we recommend showing up early for the sweetest birthday celebration in town.

Depending on how much hard kombucha you've had to drink, "Hooch Booch Kombucha" might trip lightly off the tip of your tongue or devolve into a mushy, multi-syllabic mess. Find out exactly how much it takes to cross that fine line on Saturday, May 15, when the new brand debuts at a launch party. The location is still to be disclosed, but word is it's somewhere in the RiNo neighborhood. For $25, you'll get 45 minutes at an open bar with Hooch Booch's three flavors (Bee's Knees, Old Fashioned and Clover Club, named after Prohibition-era cocktails) as well as Boulder Spirits, live jazz and art. There are still a few tickets left for the 4 p.m. time slot; secure yours on Hooch Booch's website.

Sunday, May 16
Urban community garden Ekar Farm is continuing its speaker series on Sunday, May 16, with an online discussion about creating food justice. Damien Thompson (co-founder of farmers' advocacy and food justice group Frontline Farming and Regis University anthropology professor) is joining Paul Sherman (outreach director for MAZON, a Jewish nonprofit combating hunger in the U.S. and Israel) from 10 to 11 a.m. Find out more and register for the conversation, $18, on Ekar Farm's website.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Master karaage (this version is from Misaki) at Uncorked Kitchen.EXPAND
Master karaage (this version is from Misaki) at Uncorked Kitchen.
Veronica Penney

Thursday, May 20
Izakayas are more familiar to Denver residents than they were a few years ago — but even if you can navigate menus of Japanese drinking food with ease, you may not be as comfortable turning out karaage (fried chicken), pork gyoza with dipping sauce, garlic and ginger beef yakitori or udon noodles with bok choy and shiitakes in your own kitchen. Centennial's Uncorked Kitchen, 8171 South Chester Street, is here to help with its Japanese Pub Food class on Thursday, May 20. The lesson runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and is designed for couples, so grab your best drinking buddy and learn to make all of the above — plus green tea ice cream! — for $275 per couple (that price includes a bottle of wine). Register on Uncorked's website.

Saturday, May 22
The love affair with adding bacon to everything seems awfully 2012, but we're including this year's Bacon and Beer Classic both because that seems a million years ago, and also because the event is one of the first summer food fests we've seen return. Guests will be ushered along a path at Kennedy Golf Course, 10500 East Hampden Avenue, where they'll pause at stations to throw back beer, cider and pork products. This year's Classic also touts full-sized, bacon-based dishes instead of sample sizes. Purchase tickets ($79 or $59) on Eventbrite, where — like any bacon-munching, beer-swilling golfer — you'll need to pick your "b" time (11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) to start your beer and bacon death march. Visit the event website for details.

Someone may or may not have gotten up close and personal with the honey used to make Nectar Jones.EXPAND
Someone may or may not have gotten up close and personal with the honey used to make Nectar Jones.
Courtesy Family Jones

Sunday, May 23
Sip sweetly on Sunday, May 23, at the launch of the Family Jones's limited-edition honey liqueur, Nectar Jones. The beverage was created with the help of artist Kristen Hatgi Sink, whose 2018 MCA exhibit Honey included photographs and videos of honey being dripped over people and objects, as well as a memorable in-person installment of a leotard-clad woman writhing about in a tank of the sticky substance. That honey was ultimately used to make Nectar Jones (germophobes: no word on whether the full-body honey was utilized in distillation). The event takes place at Grow & Gather, 900 East Hampden Avenue in Englewood, from 4 to 7 p.m., and your $80 ticket includes a full-sized bottle of Nectar Jones, small bites, cocktails, bee education and a silent auction. Buy tickets now on the Family Jones website.

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.

Last year's Drink Red Wear Red came just before March's COVID shutdown.EXPAND
Last year's Drink Red Wear Red came just before March's COVID shutdown.
Courtesy Colorado Restaurant Association

Thursday, June 17
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, or 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.

Last year's Vail Wine Classic gave attendees plenty of room to spread out.EXPAND
Last year's Vail Wine Classic gave attendees plenty of room to spread out.
Team Player Productions

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 cafe@westword.com.

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