You say oysters, I say ersters; you say bourbon, I say Scotch; we say there's something for everyone happening this week, so get out of the house and enjoy Denver's eclectic restaurant and bar scene. Here are six of the best food and drink events from Monday, April 2, through Friday, April 6.
Monday, April 2
Avid knitters speak rapturously about the Zen of the art form: how forming each stitch, one by one, creates focus on the here and now, and watching the fabric slowly take shape pushes the day's mundane stresses into the shadows. Avid drinkers will tell you the same: Simply substitute the mindful lifting of the glass to the lips for playing with yarn. Combine the two most meditative pursuits known to man at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 2, at Zuni Street Brewing's knitting class. Tuition, $15, includes two hours of knitting instruction and a beer at the taproom, 2355 West 29th Avenue. You'll end up with a coaster at the end of the evening (handy if the bartender's a little sloppy pouring your pint) and, hopefully, an appreciation for the serenity that can only come with combining purls and pilsners. Find out more and get your tickets through Eventbrite.
Tuesday, April 3
Boulder's Gunbarrel Brewing Co., 7088 Winchester Circle, hosts Science on Tap each month; the gathering of souses and scientists allows guests to hear about current research on a variety of subjects in a convivial environment without having to slog through scholarly papers. This month's installment happens on Tuesday, April 3, when University of Colorado professor Noah Fierer will present "The Microbial Environment of Our Homes (aka Why We Live in Squalor)." The lecture on microbes in your house and how they may affect your health runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m., but we suggest you arrive at the brewery for a drink or two beforehand (you'll need it). Tickets to the lecture are free but required; make your reservation and find out more about Fierer's research at Eventbrite. Now go wash your hands.
Wednesday, April 4
Just because we live in landlocked Colorado doesn't mean we can't enjoy quality oysters — sadly, it just means they cost a lot more. But the High West Oyster Fest hosted by Jax Fish House on Wednesday, April 4, is a great deal for anyone who enjoys the slippery little suckers, as the ticket price of $45 entitles you to drinks, a half-dozen of Jax's proprietary Emersum oysters, and bites from ten of the top fish houses around town, including Fish N Beer, Tammen's Fish Market, Stoic & Genuine, Wewatta Point and Lola Coastal Mexican. And if you can put together a team of four bivalve-loving buddies, you can compete in the oyster-eating competition (start practicing: the record is 147 oysters in two minutes). This shucker starts at 6 p.m. at Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street. Visit any Jax Fish House to purchase tickets, or get them online at the restaurant's website.
Thursday, April 5
There are whiskey lovers and then there are Whiskey Lovers; the latter always have a preference for a particular brand and style of hooch, whether it's barley, rye or corn-mash, or blended or single-malt Scotch. The folks at Butcher's Bistro, though, aren't such purists; they want you to enjoy the spirit of the grain in all its forms. The restaurant, at 2233 Larimer Street, is partnering with Laws Whiskey House to serve a five-course whiskey dinner on Thursday, April 5, with each course highlighting one of the grains Laws uses in its distilling: corn, barley, rye and wheat. Along with each course, diners, dilettantes and doyens alike will taste a range of Laws' offerings. The fun starts at 6 p.m. and will run you $99; make your reservation at the eatery's website.
So you've made more than a few batches of home brew and can reliably create something that people (not just your nearest and dearest) want to drink (and not just because you're handing it out for free). Still, you're befuddled by the occasional taste of circus peanuts or nail polish remover in your beers. Before you throw in the towel — or start your own nanobrewery and hope no one notices, because believe us, we notice — you need to get to CO-Brew, 1133 Broadway, for its Advanced Off-Flavor Tasting Course on Thursday, April 5. Not for newbs, this class will teach you to identify, prevent and correct ten common but undesirable flavors. The class runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and is a bargain at just $30. Register at cobrewdenver.com and prepare to start brewing the most balanced beer in all the land.
Friday, April 6
Friday, April 6, is the Colorado Rockies home opener, so sneak out of the office early and head downtown — not to Coors Field, but to the patio at Avelina. You'll still be able to soak up some sun, and the food and drinks are way better — and cheaper — because the restaurant, at 1550 17th Street, is giving away free hot dogs and draft beer from noon to first pitch at 2:10 p.m. It's Denver's rite of spring.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, April 7
The chefs cooking at Chef's Table Colorado on Saturday, April 7, are Denver's best. Justin Brunson (Old Major), Elise Wiggins (Cattivella), Bill Minor (Il Porcellino), Goose Sorensen (Solera) and Zoe Deutsch (Hinman's Bakery) are just some of the talent showing up at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard, from 6 to 9 p.m. to dazzle you with unlimited bites and beverages to raise funds for Denver Urban Scholars, which provides mentoring and academic support for high-performing low-income students from middle school through college. Get your ticket, $125, at chefstableco.com, where you can find a full roster of participating chefs.
Sunday, April 8
Tired of the tedious trek to your standard brunch destination for the same eggs and bacon dishes you've had every Sunday for the last six weeks? Fish N Beer, 3510 Larimer Street is usually locked up tight during brunch hours, but this Sunday, April 8, the crew will serve a one-day-only brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. While the normally seafood-heavy fish house won't serve an entirely aquatic brunch, you'll be able to fill up on Potato N Lox (kind of like hash browns with thin-sliced smoked salmon) or Octopus N Avocado toast with braised tomatoes and scallions. For something more fowl than fish, there will be something called the Dirty Bird Benedict, which turns out to be buttermilk biscuits topped with fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese and habanero Hollandaise. While you'll have to spring for your own entrees and drinks, the restaurant will pass out complimentary house-baked sweet treats and pastries.
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Tuesday, April 10
Welcome to spring in Colorado: The weather is vacillating wildly between sunny patio temperatures and heavy, wet snowstorms, and we're all weary of winter squash and the unrelentingly brown and gray Denver landscape. Bring on the green Tuesday, April 10, when Fly by Night, a partnership of chefs Ben Whelan and Blake Stine (both alumni of Frank Bonnano's restaurants) will be putting on a pop-up dinner at The GrowHaus, 4751 York Street, to benefit Emily Griffith Technical College's Culinary Quick Start program. You'll be surrounded by sprouts while you dine on a five-course dinner inside a working greenhouse; the menu feels equally springy, boasting a veggie terrine with pea shoots and dill foam, roasted chicken with egg-yolk jam, and grapefruit cake with white chocolate. Dinner includes beverages and will run you $75; make your reservations to banish the vestiges of winter at Fly by Night's website.
Thursday, April 26
The 24th annual Dining Out for Life is just around the corner. On Thursday, April 26, more than 230 Denver and Boulder restaurants and breweries will donate 25 percent of their sales to Project Angel Heart, an organization that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses, so you can enjoy a great meal while doing a good deed. Plan ahead by making a reservation at one of the participating eateries, some of which will donate a percentage of bar sales as well as food sales. Visit the Dining Out for Life website for a list of all restaurants taking part.
Watch for our weekend culinary calendar on Friday. If you know of a date that should be on these calendars, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.