This week brings brunch, brews, birthday celebrations and Barack Obama to the culinary calendar (plus a bonus burger for Saturday); Denver Restaurant Week also gets under way on February 23. Behold the best food and drink events over the next few days, as well as big dates for the weeks ahead.
Monday, February 19
If you're one of the lucky few who don't have to work on Presidents' Day, visit the Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street, for an expansive and delicious brunch without the wait. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., all of the market's vendors will be serving the mid-morning meal. While you're sipping on classic coffee drinks from Crema or cocktails from Curio Bar, you can indulge in crab-avocado toast with pickled shallots from Tammen's Fish Market; breakfast pizza with pancetta, ricotta, mozz, garlic and an egg from Vero; scrambled egg, potato and fried jalapeño breakfast tacos from SK Provisions; and more. Reservations aren't required, and the wealth of vendors will ensure that you don't end up waiting on the sidewalk for hours. Thank God for the leaders of our great country, public servants who shaped America so that today we may brunch conveniently. Visit the Market's Facebook page for a complete list of specials.
Tuesday, February 20
Nerd alert: If you're tired of scrounging for glassware to bottle your home brew, let Broadway Brew Supply enable your unrealistic dreams of opening the next gold-medal winning nanobrewery at its Kegging 101 class on Tuesday, February 20. The shop at 4391 South Broadway will be teaching a two-hour class starting at 7 p.m., where you'll learn how to design your draft system and keg, condition and serve your homemade beer (we certainly hope you learned how to pour beer before you started making it, but it's never too late). Take the next step toward global craft-beer domination for just $25; sign up for the class (or for future classes on March 20 and April 17) on Eventbrite.
Wednesday, February 21
Denver's favorite pantheon of pig, Old Major, is celebrating five years of serving up swine at its Five-Year Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday, February 21, at 3316 Tejon Street. Starting at 5 p.m., $55 will get you a five-course tasting menu that includes some of the eatery's favorite creations: scallops with potato purée, olives and salsa verde; the nose-to-tail plate with confit ribs, crispy pig ear and sauerkraut; and lemon cake with berry compote and lemon curd. Even better, cocktails will be on special for $5. Make your reservations at oldmajordenver.com or by calling 720-420-0622, then get ready to eat everything but the squeal.
Celebrate Presidents' Day a little late but in good taste with the POTUS Pop-Up on Wednesday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m. The seven-course dinner pays homage to Barack Obama, with dishes that played an important role in the life of the the coolest president (no McDonald's for this commander-in-chief). From Hawaiian classics like musubi and Kailua pork sliders to an elevated Chicago-style hot dog to taro-coriander hand pies with chocolate ice cream, the menu spans island to garden to Midwest fare. The Breakfast Queen Coffee Shop, 2878 South Sherman Street, will be open late to accommodate chef Harold Sims's and host Adrian Miller's culinary love letter to the last president who knew discretion was the better part of valor — at least on Twitter. Tickets, $100, and the complete menu are available at Ticketbud.
Thursday, February 22
We're officially in the thick of Girl Scout cookie season, and Renegade Brewing, 925 West 9th Avenue, knows how to get people through the doors of its taproom: a Girl Scout cookie-and-beer pairing. From Thursday, February 22, through Sunday, February 25, the brewery will be offering four beer samples to accompany four cookies for $15 (we expect four courses of Samoas — maybe a Tagalong in a pinch). The carb fest starts at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and advance tickets are required. Find out more and snag your seat at the table on Renegade's Facebook page.
Friday, February 23
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 from Friday, February 23, through Sunday, March 4. Find the full roster of restaurants and many menus on the Denver Restaurant Week website.
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.
Keep reading for more tasty events beyond this weekend.
Saturday, February 24
This town has had its own culinary identity for years now; despite that, Denverites still tend to go gaga over every regional chain that lands in the Mile High City (we're looking at you, Torchy's and In-N-Out Burger). Perhaps it's a lingering cowtown inferiority complex, or perhaps it's because of the waves of transplants dragging their hometown allegiances across state lines in overstuffed luggage. Whatever the case, get ready for more food frenzy on Saturday, February 24, when restaurateur Danny Meyer's burger joint Shake Shack will pop up at The Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in advance of the opening of its upcoming Denver outpost. RiNo Yacht Club will be serving Brooklyn Brewery's ShackMeister Ale, brewed especially for the eatery, to go with your burger and fries. Diners are required to RSVP at shakeshackrino.com (though strangely, that won't guarantee you entry, so show up early), and be sure to bring your credit card, as cash will not be accepted.
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.
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.
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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.
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