The Eight Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

These sweet potato tots are tater free at Fire on the Mountain.
These sweet potato tots are tater free at Fire on the Mountain. Linnea Covington
We enter this week on the heels of gray skies and a ceaseless snow. In other words, it's winter. Warm up with booze, booze and more booze this week. Whether you call it liquor, firewater, hooch, rotgut, moonshine, sauce or John Barleycorn, enjoy some liquid courage at one of these events from Monday, January 22, through Friday, January 25. (Oh, and we included some food events in there, too.)

Monday, January 22
Friendly competition never hurt anyone, unless two renowned bars are vying for bragging rights and you're the beneficiary of their best work on a school night — and the recipient of a wicked hangover. That's the case on Monday, January 22, when Williams & Graham (3160 Tejon Street) and Occidental (1950 West 32nd Avenue) will host Washington, D.C.'s Columbia Room and Miami's Sweet Liberty for a battle royale of beverages. Just show up at 7 p.m. (neither space is taking reservations) for the bar takeovers — menu, drinks, music and all. Details are up at Williams & Graham's Facebook page. Try one or both bars; just make sure you come thirsty (and prepared to call in sick tomorrow).

It's still not too late to celebrate the new year, at least as far as industry folks are concerned. Professional bar staff who have mixed the last Long Island Iced Tea and poured out the last drop of Jäger for all those "holiday" office parties that get pushed into January can give themselves a break and enjoy the Colorado Bartenders' Guild Holiday Hangover on Monday, January 22. Members of the Guild get in for free, but everyone else — not just restaurant and bar employees — is welcome to buy tickets for $20. There will be samples of more than thirty beer, wine and spirits options at the Rackhouse Pub, 2875 Blake Street, from 6 to 10 p.m., as well as music, cocktails and a raffle. Find out more and get tickets on Facebook or at

click to enlarge A basket of sweet-potato tots from Fire on the Mountain. - LINNEA COVINGTON
A basket of sweet-potato tots from Fire on the Mountain.
Linnea Covington
Tuesday, January 23
Tuesday night is the night you always go out for a Frisbee of french fries and deep-fried Nutter Butters for dessert, right? We thought so. On Tuesday, January 23, choose Fire on the Mountain, 3801 West 32nd Avenue, for your fried-food needs (it's one of a plethora of Denver eateries offering these delicacies), as 10 percent of the day's sales will be donated to Share Our Strength. The joint is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. — plenty of time to work your way through the extensive battered menu. Find out more on Fire on the Mountain's Facebook page.

click to enlarge Hang out with Denver's favorite cougar at the Nuggets Social. - WESTWORD FILE PHOTO
Hang out with Denver's favorite cougar at the Nuggets Social.
Westword file photo
Wednesday, January 24
As of this writing, the Denver Nuggets' season is less than stellar, with a record of 23-23. On Wednesday, January 24, you can do better than .500 at Punch Bowl Social's Nuggets Social. From 6 to 9 p.m., you can mingle with Nuggets players, coaches, dancers and — most important — super-mascot Rocky while enjoying food, drinks and plenty of games. With PBS's penchant for turning out tasty food and beverages, you'll come out a winner, even if you throw gutter balls. The fun happens at 65 Broadway; get your tickets ($150, which benefits Kroenke Sports Charities) at

Thursday, January 25
Host Padma Lakshmi might be the most recognizable face on Bravo's Top Chef, but we think Gail Simmons has the better job — she gets to eat (and judge) the food in a no-nonsense manner without having to deliver awkward sexual innuendo. After fifteen seasons on the show, Simmons recently penned Bringing It Home: Recipes From a Life of Adventurous Eating, and will be hosting a dinner at Frasca on Thursday, January 25, that showcases recipes from the cookbook. Diners will get a five-course dinner with wine pairings and an autographed copy of Bringing It Home for $160 (a veritable bargain at the Boulder restaurant); seatings start at 5 p.m. Call Frasca, 1738 Pearl Street, at 303-442-6966 to reserve your seat for a dinner with true foodie royalty.

Think beef is bland? Fatigued by fowl? Consider serving lamb at your next party. The underutilized protein is the star of the show at the CeLAMBrate Workshop on Thursday, January 25. From 6 to 8 p.m., Cultivated Synergy, 2901 Walnut Street, will host the party-planning workshop, with party tips, cooking demos (lamb pita toasts and Turkish lamb sliders with labneh), charcuterie and cheese (sheep's milk, of course), and plenty of drinks to get those creative juices flowing. The best part of this party? You'll actually leave with a practical party favor: a pound of lamb, plus spices and recipes to whet your and your guests' appetites. Get your tickets, $35, at American Lamb's website.

Interstate Kitchen & Bar, 1001 Santa Fe Drive, will also spend the evening of Thursday, January 25, cooking up some less-common proteins and pairing them with whiskey for its Whiskey Supper and Social. Woodford Reserve whiskey will be the drink of choice for the dinner, which starts at 6:30 p.m. You can also expect rabbit pot pie, smoked duck breast, barramundi in a pistachio crust and harissa lamb to grace your plate. Dinner will run you $55 per person, and reservations are required; call 720-479-8829 to secure yours.

click to enlarge It's important to stay hydrated, even in winter. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
It's important to stay hydrated, even in winter.
Danielle Lirette
Friday, January 26
To paraphrase the USPS: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor month of the year nor day of the week stays beer drinkers from the swift completion of their appointed pint. No matter the time of year, there's a beer fest happening somewhere in Colorado. On Friday, January 26, and Saturday, January 27, it's the Denver Winter Brew Fest. Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue, hosts the bacchanal, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. each day, with more than forty breweries in attendance. To plan your weekend, visit for each day's participating brewers, then get your ticket, $40, at (a VIP ticket for $50 will get you in at 6 p.m.). Now, get out there and do your duty!

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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