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The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Buena Vista's Deerhammer Distilling is making an appearance at Wayward this week.
Buena Vista's Deerhammer Distilling is making an appearance at Wayward this week. Courtesy of Traverse Image
Pick your poison this week: Whether you like beer, wine or whiskey, there's a dinner to quench your thirst while whetting your appetite. Here are seven great food and drink events this week.

Monday, March 19
Olive oil: It's not sexy or flashy, but without it, Italian kitchens would cease to function. It's the overworked, underpaid administrative assistant of the culinary world. On Monday, March 19, though, olive oil gets its due as Coperta and Marczyk Fine Foods team up for the first in a series of Mondays With Marczyk's dinners. At 6:30 p.m., the restaurant, at 400 East 20th Avenue, will offer a four-course menu based on olive oil that can be found at the market just a few blocks away. There will be rockfish crudo with smoked olive oil; coppa crostini; spaghetti with olive oil-poached squid; and gelato made with olive oil. Dinner — including wine pairings — will set you back just $59; make your reservation at Coperta's website.

Tuesday, March 20
If you know beer, you may have heard of a little brewery back east called Dogfish Head. Besides being the equally fawned over and reviled indie-rocker-gone-mainstream of brewers, founder Sam Calagione has consistently turned out interesting experimental beers for more than twenty years. If you're not familiar with his work, you can get an overview on Tuesday, March 20, as Blackbird Public House, 305 South Downing Street, hosts a Dogfish Head Beer Dinner. Four courses and four beers will run you $45; expect oysters and Sea Quench Ale, a lime gose; scallops with golden-raisin salsa and 90 Minute IPA; and a po' boy with Palo Santo Marron Brown Ale. The food and brews start at 7 p.m.; find tickets and the complete menu on the restaurant's website.

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Nic Lebas in the kitchen at Panzano.
Linnea Covington
Wednesday, March 21
It's wine-dinner Wednesday, boys and girls — that time of the week when restaurants try to entice you with multi-course meals paired with wines from a vineyard you may never have heard of. While we sometimes weary of wine dinners, we can wholeheartedly recommend Panzano's Manzone Wine Dinner on Wednesday, March 21. That's because chef Nic Lebas's technique is impeccable, and the elements on the five-course menu — foie gras terrine with espresso gelée, bison agnolotti with Gorgonzola and preserved lemons, prosciutto-wrapped monkfish with basil crisps — are sure to be delectable. Pair them with big, bold, red Italian wines, and this wine dinner will be well worth the $125 price tag. Reserve your spot for the 6:30 p.m. supper by calling 303-296-3525.


Thursday, March 22

If you've eaten at the SAME Cafe, you know it's not the same old story. Because of the restaurant's mission to provide people of all income levels healthy food, the menu doesn't include prices; customers pay what they can or swap volunteer hours in exchange for a meal. But there are other, subtler touches that aren't immediately apparent. For instance, there are always two pizza, soup and meal choices on the menu — one vegetarian — so that customers are able to make a real choice about what they want to eat. That's an organization dedicated to treating people with real dignity, and you can support the eatery at the So All May Eat Gala on Thursday, March 22. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, will host the fundraiser, where you'll enjoy small plates and beverages from Que Bueno Suerte, City, O' City, The Corner Beet, Renegade Brewing Co., Woody Creek Distillers and more. Tickets are a bargain at $60; find out more on SAME Café's Facebook page and snag your tickets at eventbrite.com.

Culinary Quick Start is a free four-week training program for potential service-industry employees. Offered at the Emily Griffith Technical College and funded primarily through a State of Colorado Workforce (WORK Act) Grant, Culinary Quick Start still needs additional funding to keep the program running. On Thursday, March 22, participating Denver restaurants will donate 10 percent of their sales as part of Culinary Quick Start Giveback Day. Restaurants that wish to participate can sign up on the CQS website, and a list of participating eateries will also soon be available for diners who want to donate a portion of their breakfast, lunch or dinner bill that day.

Get a little sideways with whiskey at Wayward this week. On Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m., the eatery, 1610 Little Raven Street, is hosting The Whiskey Dinner, a fundraiser for the Colorado documentary makers at Traverse Image. Their project, The Whiskey Film, explores the distillation process as well as the personalities of local producers Distillery 291 and Deerhammer Distilling Co. The kitchen's five-course menu will be paired with samplings from Deerhammer's line, and co-founder Lenny Eckstein as well as the film's director, Thomas Kolicko, will be on hand to discuss all things firewater and film. Tickets, $80, are on sale at thewhiskeyfilm.com.

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Learn in style at Boulder's Food Lab.
Courtesy of Food Lab's Facebook page
Friday, March 23
Dishes from Portugal are hard to come by in Denver; the closest you'll get is Ultreia, which serves both Spanish and Portuguese cuisine. But Boulder's Food Lab cooking school, 1825 Pearl Street, is giving you the power to remedy this grave oversight with its Portugal cooking class on Friday, March 23. Starting at 6 p.m., you'll learn to make caldo verde (potato soup with collard greens and sausage), camarão alho (garlic shrimp), bolinhos de bacalhau (cod fritters) and berinjela gratinada ao forno (tomato- and cheese-stuffed eggplant). The investment of $79 is certainly worth it to ensure that you'll be on the forefront of Denver's culinary trends. Sign up at foodlabboulder.com, where you can also check out future classes.

Keep reading for more events later in the month.

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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