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The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

It's hard not to get excited about Jax's oyster deals this month.
It's hard not to get excited about Jax's oyster deals this month. Danielle Lirette

Denver Restaurant Week continues through the end of this week, with $25, $35 and $45 dinners at more than 250 restaurants around the city. If you haven't made your reservations, there are still plenty of seatings available. Take a virtual tour of the menus on the Visit Denver website — and then get out there and dine! Other tasty events this week include bivalves, a trio of fundraisers and a quarter off your beer tab. So take five (maybe put on some nice jazz), relax and peruse our seven favorite food and drink events from Monday, February 26, through Friday, March 2.

Monday, February 26
Craft beer has had an enormous impact on Americans' drinking habits in the last decade, but the U.S. isn't the only country producing artisan ales. From 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, February 26, Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project will host Sean Guerrero (of soon-to-open Jade Mountain Brewing), who will speak about China's craft-beer culture and Chinese fruit, spices and teas that can be used in brewing. To illustrate his point, the taproom at 925 West Eighth Avenue will provide samples of two of Guerrero's beer: Jasmine Lager, a rice beer brewed with lager, sake yeasts and jasmine flowers; and Gui Hua Witbier, a Belgian-style ale with Mandarin orange peel and osmanthus flower. Adventurous drinkers will also have the chance to sip baijiu, a traditional Chinese alcohol sometimes compared to vodka. The event is free, but registration is encouraged — ticket holders will get 25 percent off their bar tab! — at the Atlas Obscura website.

click to enlarge Epic Brewing Co. is taking its beer south of the (Denver) border. - JONATHAN SHIKES
Epic Brewing Co. is taking its beer south of the (Denver) border.
Jonathan Shikes
Tuesday, February 27
Nobody lives in Highlands Ranch for the nightlife; they move there for the schools. Living in the southern suburbs requires some sacrifices — one of which is the scarcity of great places to eat and drink. But on Tuesday, February 27, Parry's Pizzeria & Bar, 9567 South University Boulevard, is teaming up with Epic Brewing Co. to bring some culinary culture to town. For $35 (plus tax and tip), you can get a three-course dinner paired with four beers. That's about half what you'd pay at some trendier downtown restaurants — so embrace the suburban life and eschew Denver Restaurant Week for something a little closer to home and a lot more mellow. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and will be served all night, and (in another delightful change of pace) reservations aren't required.

click to enlarge Join Malala and Frida for Comal's Impact Dinner on Wednesday, February 28. - MARK ANTONATION
Join Malala and Frida for Comal's Impact Dinner on Wednesday, February 28.
Mark Antonation
Wednesday, February 28
Chef Kevin Grossi's The Regional, inside Avanti F&B at 3200 Pecos Street, is going national on Wednesday, February 28, as part of its Oyster, Farm and the Table Dinner benefiting No Kid Hungry. From 6 to 9 p.m., the joint will be serving regional foods from across the United States, focusing heavily (but not entirely) on seafood: Cape Cod oysters, mushroom hot dish from the north Midwest, Washington Coast Dungeness crab salad and Low Country hoppin' John are just a few of the dishes on the menu. Your $65 ticket ($120 per couple) also includes two beverages from the bar; get yours at universe.com.


Globeville and Elyria-Swansea are lacking in restaurant options, but Comal Heritage Food Incubator, at 3455 Ringsby Court, is trying to change that. Comal serves up delicious Mexican and Syrian lunches during the week while training workers from the surrounding area, in hopes of helping them open their own food businesses. See what it's all about from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 28, at the restaurant's Impact Dinner. For $75 each, guests get a five-course dinner made with fresh, local greens and traditional Mexican ingredients (you won't want to miss Comal's handmade tortillas). For an extra $25 each, four lucky attendees can sit at the chef's counter, where executive chef Tim Bender and special guest Raymunda "Nena" Carreon will add to the excitement with margarita spheres, bone-marrow toast and other modern flourishes. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com; proceeds from the event will be donated to Focus Points Family Resource Center (the nonprofit behind Comal) and the Globeville Elyria-Swansea Community Land Trust.

click to enlarge Señor Bear is serving up bites at Thursday's Access Opportunity fundraiser. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Señor Bear is serving up bites at Thursday's Access Opportunity fundraiser.
Danielle Lirette
Thursday, March 1
It's worth leaving the city limits for good food and a good cause. Take a plane, train or automobile to the Ball Corporation Hangar, 9606 Metro Airport Avenue in Broomfield, on Thursday, March 1, for the Raise a Class fundraiser benefiting Access Opportunity. From 6 to 10 p.m., some of the town's top restaurants, including Bar Dough, Señor Bear, River and Woods and Fish N Beer, will be serving food in support of the organization that provides services for talented low-income students through high school and college. Guests can also partake of wine from Denver's Infinite Monkey Theorem and beer from Oskar Blues and Avery, along with an open bar. You'll also be able to bid on silent-auction items including tickets to the Kentucky Derby, dinner prepared by local chefs in your home, and breast-milk facials in Boulder (and we're not even kidding about that). Get your tickets, $150, at the Raise a Class website.

click to enlarge It's hard not to get excited about Jax's oyster deals this month. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
It's hard not to get excited about Jax's oyster deals this month.
Danielle Lirette
Friday, March 2
March is Oyster Month at Jax Fish House, and among the giveaways, drink specials and regional bivalves making an appearance, one deal really stands out: all-you-can-eat oysters for $35. As to be expected with a bargain of this magnitude, there is some fine print. The deal is only good from 9 to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 2, at Jax's LoDo location, 1539 17th Street; at the same time at the Glendale outpost on Friday, March 9; at the Boulder Jax on Friday, March 16; and in Fort Collins on Friday, March 30. That's four hours this month that you can shuck and slurp with abandon while preserving your pocketbook.

Saturday, March 3
The only thing better than a chili cook-off is a chili cook-off for a good cause. Zach's Chili Challenge, this Saturday, March 3, at the McNichols Civic Center Building (144 West Colfax Avenue), combines great food from Denver restaurants, beer, spirits and the spirit of giving to benefit the Morgan Adams Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research and therapy. Tickets for the event, which start at $50 each, are available at axs.com. A VIP pass will get you in at 5 p.m., or miss an hour of good chili eating with a general admission ticket for 6 p.m. Come hungry and thirsty, but make sure you have transportation organized, because you won't want to drive home afterward.

Keep reading for more events after the weekend.

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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