You have no excuse to not eat your vegetables this weekend. That's because no matter where you dwell in Denver, there's sure to be a farmers' market nearby. This weekend alone welcomes three markets to the already crowded field. (And they'd better watch themselves: Who knows what kind of havoc competitive farmers can wreak with hand hoes and shovels?)
There are other food and drink events on the docket, of course: free doughnuts, a wine tasting, a beachy happy hour and birthday party, plus plenty of other gigs coming up throughout the summer. Keep reading, then arm yourself with some gardening shears and get out there.
Friday, June 4
Friday, June 4, is National Doughnut Day, and while the nonstop calendar of made-up food days isn't typically our thing, we'll make an exception for this one, since Berkeley Donuts (inside Hops & Pie at 3920 Tennyson Street) is handing out free, honey-glazed doughnuts to mark the occasion. Show up as early as 7:30 a.m. on June 4, and you'll get one circular sweet. The bakery has also released its recipe for chocolate doughnut holes so you can make the little guys at home. If you choose to fire up your mixer, you'll learn not only that the recipe for potato doughnuts really includes mashed potatoes, but also how many doughnut holes you can eat in one sitting — because you'll be making forty of them.
It's official: Denver is being swept away by a green tidal wave. It's not greenbacks or weed; it's the asparagus, herbs, lettuce and leafy greens present at the farmers' markets that are suddenly cropping up on every corner. (Oh, what a difference a year makes.) The first of three to launch this weekend: Stanley Farm and Flea, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora. The market runs every Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through August 27. Eat a Peach Farms (produce and vegetable plants), the House of Stewart (shortbread and caramels) and Funky Flame (fresh bread) are just some of the food vendors that will be set up near the giant Stanley Marketplace sign. Visit Farm and Flea's website for details, including a complete week-by-week vendor list.
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. During either of two sessions (3:30 to 5 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m.), you can sample rosé from thirteen Colorado wineries, including the Storm Cellar, Sauvage Spectrum, BookCliff Vineyards, Jack Rabbit Hill Farm and Chill Switch Wines. Admission — a steal at $38 — 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.
Can't get enough umbrella drinks this summer? Neither can we. But we can visit Fire (inside the Art Hotel, 1201 Broadway) on Friday, June 4, for tropical drinks and live music. Fire on the Beach, as the event is dubbed, runs from 5 to 7 p.m. You won't be able to gaze out at the ocean or hear waves crashing on the sand, but from the restaurant's location on the hotel's fourth floor, you will be able to look out across a sea of concrete and hear the sound of traffic lulling you into a relaxed state of mind (wine and tiki drink specials help with that, too). Giveaways include brunch for two, gift certificates and a free stay at the hotel; visit the Art's website for complete info.
Saturday, June 5
It's an established fact: Crazy friends throw legendary parties — the kind that forty-year-old, cargo-short-wearing, minivan-driving, kids'-soccer-team-coaching dads are still talking about twenty years later. Now think about how nuts you'd have to be to start a business in the middle of a pandemic. The folks at Spice Trade Brewing, 8775 East Orchard Road in Greenwood Village, did just that. So whose party are you hitting this weekend? The brewpub is debuting its beer garden, Italian hard seltzers and new brews on Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6; live music, lawn games and giveaways will also be part of the fun. Visit Spice Trade's Facebook page for details and more info.
Sunday, June 6
The second of three farmers' markets debuting this weekend is the Golden Triangle Farmers Market, 1115 Acoma Street. Starting Sunday, June 6, the cute, compact neighborhood market will be selling pastries from Moon Raccoon Baking Co.; local honey and beeswax products from Berthoud's Bee Squared Apiaries; salty, briny goodness from Three Dogs Pickles (which are, thankfully, not made of dogs, local or otherwise); fresh pasta from Sfoglina and Pastificio; and more. The market will run from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. every Sunday through September; take a look at its website and Instagram page to see the full vendor lineup.
Finally, Sunday, June 6, marks the beginning of People & Produce, a weekly farmers' market for the south Denver set. In addition to Colorado-grown fruits and veggies from Miller Farms, the Urban Orchard and Mile High Urban Farming, the setup at Belleview Station, 6785 East Chenango Avenue, includes food and fashion trucks, plants, and local food products like jams and jellies, sauces and delectable pies from Hinman Pie. Reservations aren't required; just show up between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. every Sunday through October 3. P&P's Facebook page has all the info.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
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 two nights, at least) on Thursday, June 17 and Friday, June 18. 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 beverages and wine pairings are available for an additional $25 or $55. Reservations start at 5 p.m. both nights 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, June 24
The Boulder International Film Festival is back in person — sort of. Films will be screened both outdoors and online, but one event that's not virtual, takeout or at home? CineCHEF, the annual fundraiser at which Front Range chefs compete to see who can make the best movie-inspired dish. The 2021 version takes place on Thursday, June 24, at Boulder's Rayback Collective, 2775 Valmont Road, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Will there be Quarter Pounders with cheese? Timpano? Ratatouille? We're not sure, but with chefs Linda Hampsten Fox (the Bindery), Liliana Meyers (Safta), Daniel Asher (River and Woods), Chris Royster (the Flagstaff House) and more cooking, you're sure to leave satisfied. Tickets, $100, include wine and beer and are on sale now on BIFF's website.
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 are $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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