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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Join the club at Charcoal Bistro.EXPAND
Join the club at Charcoal Bistro.
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Bobsleds, beads, birds and, of course, beer — always beer — are on the menu this week. And, yes, Valentine's Day is coming right up. Here are our favorite food and drink events over the next five days, as well as others to put on your calendar for the weeks ahead.

Monday, February 12
The folks at Ursula Brewery are right: Cupid is stupid. If you agree (or if you just want some beer on a Monday), visit the taproom, 2101 North Ursula Street in Aurora, between 3 and 9 p.m. on February 12 to vent your spleen while abusing your liver. Ursula's anti-Valentine's Day event will provide the supplies to create mean cards and transform nice conversation hearts into nasty ones. After drowning your sorrows and regaling the barkeep with slurred stories of your past VD mishaps, take to the dance floor for a ’90s dance party. Facebook has event details, but really all you have to do is show up with resentment in your heart and an antipathy toward happy couples. Cheers!

It's Mardi Grand this week.
It's Mardi Grand this week.
Courtesy of Englewood Grand

Tuesday, February 13
It's Fat Tuesday, y'all, and that means beads. Englewood Grand, 3435 South Broadway, is throwing a party everyone can enjoy: The joint's Old Hollywood-esque sign will be the only thing flashing the patrons (you can still throw purple plastic baubles at it if you want). On Tuesday, February 13, customers of all genders can enjoy Sazeracs, Vieux Carrés, live jazz and king cake (a $50 bar tab will go to the customer who finds the baby) with their tits and dignity intact. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the music starts at 7; visit the bar's Facebook page for details.

Kaos Pizza is for the birds this week.EXPAND
Kaos Pizza is for the birds this week.
Danielle Lirette

Wednesday, February 14
Kaos Pizzeria won't be seating you and your baby at a candlelit table on Valentine's Day — unless your baby happens to be a turkey vulture. This is the second year that the pizza place at 1439 South Pearl Street is celebrating the love between people and raptors with Birds of Prey on Valentine's Day; from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, owls, kestrels, the aforementioned turkey buzzard and representatives from Nature's Educators will be on hand to interact with diners and educate them about raptors. There will also be bird-themed pizza specials (we're guessing quail eggs will grace some pies), and 15 percent of the night's profits will go to the nonprofit organization, which aims to educate people about wildlife. And despite those talons, we promise that no one will rip your heart out at this Valentine's Day dinner. Check out Kaos's Facebook page for more information.

Watch the Winter Games at the Source.EXPAND
Watch the Winter Games at the Source.
Timothy Hursley

Thursday, February 15
The Winter Olympics are a week along at this point, and if you're interested in going somewhere fun to watch the games — without having to wait for a table like it's an Olympic sport — go to The Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard. Starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, through Saturday, February 17, the big screen at RiNo
Yacht Club will be airing the competition while the bar whips up themed cocktails and Injoi Korean Kitchen serves food from the host nation. Find out more on Facebook, and don't feel like a traitor to your homeland for chowing down on that Korean fried chicken: Just call it KFC, and we won't tell a soul.

Wind down the work week with a civilized wine happy hour at Charcoal Bistro, 1028 South Gaylord Street, on Thursday, February 15. The restaurant's newly minted Wine Club is having its second gathering this month, and Napa and Sonoma Valley wines are on the menu. For $30, diners will get three glasses of wine (chardonnay, dry rosé and cabernet) and paired appetizers — a bargain if you've paid attention to wine prices by the glass lately. The sipping and swirling starts at 6:30 p.m., and Charcoal recommends reservations. Find out more about the club and secure your spot at charcoalbistro.com.

The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy CREAM

Saturday, February 17
It might be the depths of winter, but when has that stopped hungry Denverites in search of good ice cream — or a good deal? Ice cream parlor CREAM Belmar is opening at 7357 West Alaska Drive in Lakewood on Saturday, February 17, and to celebrate the momentous occasion, it's giving away its specialty — ice cream sandwiches — to all comers between noon and 7 p.m. CREAM's Facebook page has the details.

1515 Restaurant — an underrated gem, in our opinion — is joining the Restaurant Week fray.
1515 Restaurant — an underrated gem, in our opinion — is joining the Restaurant Week fray.
Mark Antonation

Friday, February 23 through March 4
Denver Restaurant Week returns not for a week, but for ten full days of eating opportunities at hundreds of restaurants, which will offer $25, $35 or $45 options. Find the full roster of restaurants and many menus on the Denver Restaurant Week website.

Friday, February 23
Gentle readers who still get bent out of shape that Westword covers Boulder as well as Denver: CineCHEF 2018 is the event for you. The event's fourth iteration happens on Friday, February 23, 2018, at Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce Street in Boulder, when Boulder chefs face off against Denver chefs to prove who can create the tastiest, most creative bite based on a beloved film. Last year's roster included Daniel Asher of River and Woods serving smoked scallops, ceviche and Peruvian chile in an homage to Up in Smoke, and Steven Redzikowski of Oak at Fourteenth tapping Mia Wallace to hand out miniature burgers and a $5 shake à la Pulp Fiction. Tickets, $95, are on sale now at ticketfly.com and include admission to the film Michelin Stars: Tales From the Kitchen. So, gentle readers, etc., purchase your tickets and start planning the long and dangerous trip up to The Town That Totally Isn't Part of Denver to support your hometown heroes as they compete in hostile territory.

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.

Blue Moon Brewing Co. hosts the Colorado Symphony on March 7.EXPAND
Blue Moon Brewing Co. hosts the Colorado Symphony on March 7.
Danielle Lirette

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
The adorably retro Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street, is going back to basics. If you're tired of stopping by the nearest fast-casual joint for dinner five nights a week but the idea of tackling Thai cuisine or pasta from scratch is way over your head, consider Stir's Learn to Cook series starting on Saturday, March 31. The three-class curriculum starts small on the stovetop (sautéeing and pan-searing), then shows you how to turn on your oven (roasting and grilling) and finally helps you figure out the difference between salt and sugar (seasonings and flavorings). Classes start on Saturday, March 31, at 11 a.m. and run weekly through Saturday, April 14; tuition is $200 — a bargain when you consider how much you're going to save in the long run. To see the menu and reserve your spot, visit stirtolearn.com.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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