I say to-may-to, you say to-mah-to; I say wine, you say how many wine dinners can there be in one week? A lot, judging from the culinary calendar, but they're happening at some of the best restaurants in town — so if it's been a while since you swirled before supping, you won't want to skip these. Here are seven scintillating food and drink events from August 21 through August 25, plus a few more to plan for down the road.
Monday, August 21
Nocturne's swanky interior transports you to a time when jazz was transgressive, fashion was sleek, and drinks were strong. And on Monday, August 21, the jazz club at 1330 27th Street is embracing the early twentieth century with its Pre-Prohibition Cocktail Competition. From 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., $20 will get you a show by La Pompe Jazz, appetizers and, most important, the right to sample and vote on the cocktails coming from behind the bar. Tickets are on sale at eventbrite.com. Just remember: While the past is alluring, this modern tribute to the first two decades of the 1900s is far superior: Women get the right to vote tonight.
Tuesday, August 22
Paul and Aileen Reilly's southern Italian eatery, Coperta, is narrowing its focus on the Eternal City on Tuesday, August 22, as it welcomes Katie Parla, author of Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors & Forgotten Recipes From an Ancient City, to the Mile High City. The kitchen will be cooking four courses using Parla's recipes, including butter and anchovy crostini and Roman-style tripe (don't worry, spaghetti will be available for the offal-averse; see the full menu on Coperta's Facebook page). Diners will also receive wine pairings and a copy of the cookbook so they can re-create that tripe in their home kitchen. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and will run you $85; call 720-749-466 for reservations.
Corner Post Meats is one of Colorado's premier ranches, providing grass-finished beef and lamb and pasture-raised pork and chicken to restaurants and families for three generations. There are plenty of eateries around town that carry Corner Post's products, but for one night, you can taste a variety of them — along with a selection of local wines — all in one location, at a five-course dinner hosted by Carboy Winery, 6885 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. Dinner is served on Tuesday, August 22, from 6 to 9 p.m.; tickets are $85 per person (including tax and gratuity) and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. Carboy works with vineyards and winemakers worldwide to bring in interesting varietals, which it then blends and ages into unique wines; this dinner is the perfect opportunity to partake in a Colorado double-header.
Wednesday, August 23
Earlier this month, Comal, 3445 Ringsby Court, launched A Taste of Southern Mexico, a series of weekly cooking classes taught by Marysola Menendez, a native of Chiapas. The first three classes covered salsa, guacamole, ceviche and cochinita pibil; on Wednesday, August 23, the curriculum is tinga tapas (meat or veggie appetizers served in a red chile sauce). For an exceedingly reasonable $35, students will spend two hours learning to make a variety of small plates, and will take home a prepared dish and a collection of recipes. Class is in session from 6 to 8 p.m.; enroll at eventbrite.com but make sure to stay tuned to Comal's Facebook page, where you can keep up to date on future offerings.
Thursday, August 24
Just when you're getting bored with weekly wine dinners, Solitaire, 3927 West 32nd Avenue, is throwing its hat into the ring. Our 2016 Best Restaurant on 32nd Avenue earned the honor because of its creative small plates, and the menu for its partnership with Jack Rabbit Hill Farms on Thursday, August 24, looks intriguing. Think salmon with eggplant fondue and saffron zabaglione, and an espresso doughnut popsicle with chocolate ganache. Add Jack Rabbit Hill's Colorado wines (grapes are grown on a certified organic and biodynamic farm near Hotchkiss) and you've got yourself an evening that stands out, even among Denver's endless parade of small plates and pairings. Dinner starts at 7 p.m.; tickets, $96, and the full menu are up at eventbrite.com.
If you've been lax on your lycopene intake this summer, we've got your solution. Join Oak at Fourteenth, 1400 Pearl Street in Boulder, for its Tomato Dinner on Thursday, August 24. Starting at 6 p.m., the restaurant will help you boost your antioxidant levels with seven courses from the chefs at Oak, Acorn and Brider — each showcasing the vermilion fruit. You can expect tomatoes in Bloody Marys, tomatoes with uni and ponzu, tomatoes with smoked brisket, tomatoes in pretzels, even tomatoes with dessert. Dinner will run you $65 (excluding drinks), but there will be nary a pale winter tomato in sight; only the juiciest, most luscious examples will make it onto your plate. Call the restaurant at 303-444-3622 to reserve your seat at the table.
Support the American Cancer Society on Friday, August 25, with Cooks Against Cancer at Uncorked Kitchen, 8171 South Chester Street in Centennial. For $89 per person, you'll get a three-course meal prepared from the ACS cookbook, New Healthy Eating Cookbook, with dishes like rice noodles with shrimp, bok choy and mint; a salmon bowl with Asian dipping sauce; string beans with ginger and garlic; and roasted pineapple with toasted coconut. The dinner runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and tickets are available on the Uncorked Kitchen website.