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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, March 7
Elevate that oh-so-crafty Blue Moon beer with Beethoven and Brews on Wednesday, March 7, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., when the Colorado Symphony's ongoing series hits Blue Moon Brewing Company, 3750 Chestnut Place; its largest performance group to date will take advantage of the expansive taproom to serenade drinkers with a selection of classical music while the suds flow. For $65, guests will enjoy a performance by symphony musicians, plus appetizers and two pints; $85 VIP tickets include a brewery tour, VIP seating, souvenir glassware and an additional tasting. Because no one in Colorado can truly enjoy a happening without a beer in hand, these events sell out quickly, so nab your ticket at coloradosymphony.org. And if you miss out on this one, you can always book the next event in the series, at Left Hand Brewing on Wednesday, May 30.
Thursday, March 15
Great Chefs of the West is back on Thursday, March 15, for another year of dazzling your tastebuds and raising money for the National Kidney Foundation. This is the 35th year of the event, and the roster of participating restaurants is perhaps the best yet: The Populist, Ototo, Sushi Den, Rioja, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Izakaya Den, Hop Alley, Fish N Beer, Beast + Bottle and Hop Alley, among others, will compete at the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, to see who can create the best dish. Add to that an open bar with signature cocktails and a live auction, and the night can't get any more fab. Get your ticket for the fest, $200, at the National Kidney Foundation's website.
Saturday, March 31
Imagine that that old stalwart The Dating Game was still on the air. Imagine you went on it and didn't end up on a date with a serial killer; instead, you went out with a nice boy or girl and had to brew a beer together the first time you met. In a nutshell, that's the premise of Collaboration Fest. The beer festival has spent the past five years teaming up breweries and seeing what maniacal brews come from the partnership. This year, the fun is moving to bigger digs at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, where on Saturday, March 31, you'll be able to imbibe creations from nearly 100 teams of brewers. Our most anticipated collabs? Local favorites Our Mutual Friend and TRVE Brewing Co., and Renegade Brewing Co. and French brewery Brasserie du Baril. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m., though VIP ticket holders get in at 3 p.m. Get your ticket before the fest sells out at the Collaboration Fest website.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.