The Nine Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

It's a dog's life.
It's a dog's life. Brandon Marshall
It's an animal-centric week on the Denver restaurant scene: Rabbits, pigs and dogs make appearances, but only one of them ends up on your plate. Guess which one? Here are nine of the best events on the culinary calendar from Monday, September 11, through Friday, September 15.

Monday, September 11
You're going to cancel your afternoon meeting today, right? We hope so, because Quality Italian's Wine Week will render you totally incapable of going back to the office, much less discussing SEO or pretending to like Derek in Accounting. The week of wine kicks off on Monday, September 11, and runs through Sunday, September 17; diners at the stylish spot, 241 Columbine Street, will be able to sample ten wines for just $20 when purchasing lunch or brunch. So clear your calendar and make your reservation at Cheers to the work week!

Troy Guard and Los Chingones are gearing up for National Taco Day on October 4. Why is this important for you (after all, every day is taco day in Denver)? Well, the popular spot is soliciting your recipes through Thursday, September 28. Submit your taco idea via this form, and you could have your creation sold at all three locations early in October, with the opportunity to become the taco titleholder and have your dish on the menu for the entire month. So gather up your carnitas, chayote and chiles, and get cooking!

click to enlarge These blondes prepare for the Dog and Owner Look Alike contest. - BRANDON MARSHALL
These blondes prepare for the Dog and Owner Look Alike contest.
Brandon Marshall
Tuesday, September 12
It's getting cooler, but market season isn't over yet, fellow locavores. The Broomfield Farmers' Market, 1700 West 10th Avenue, runs through September 26, and on Tuesday, September 12, it's putting on the inaugural Not Your Westminster Dog Show. In between stocking up on staples like sweet corn, melon, eggplant and chiles (all of which are currently in season), your furry family member can compete for titles including Best Trick, Biggest Under- or Overbite and the dubious honor Dog and Owner Look Alike. A full list of the canine categories is on the market's event Facebook page. The market runs from 4 to 7 p.m., giving Fido plenty of time to sweep the competition and still be able to sniff out crumbs on the kitchen floor while you're making a seasonal, home-cooked meal.

Wednesday, September 13

What do you call it when you sit down for a drink with Peter Rabbit? Hoppy hour, of course! Wonderland Brewing Company, 5450 West 120th Avenue in Broomfield, is hosting Peter and his very large extended family on Wednesday, September 13, for a hoppy hour to benefit Colorado House Rabbit Society. From 6 to 8 p.m., bring your bunny to the brewery to hobnob with other buns; you can sip brews and purchase your little lagomorph (no, we didn't make that word up!) its own snacks from the rescue. And if you're not a rabbit owner? Go anyway, because nowhere in town is going to be nearly as adorable as Wonderland (the White Rabbit may make an appearance; no word on Alice.). Details are up at

Food Fight 2017 won't be nearly as messy as the food fights you remember from your elementary school days, but it will be a lot more satisfying — in more ways than one. First of all, you won't be flinging gray mystery meat across the room. In fact, there won't be any mystery meat, just chefs and bartenders bringing their best to compete for best appetizer, main course, dessert and cocktail. We're most excited for the cocktail competition, which pits mixologists from new kid on the block Citizen Rail against the always excellent Union Lodge No. 1. Secondly, the event is a fundraiser for the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation. And finally, you won't spend your noon hour stuck in a linoleum-clad room full of screaming children while hair-netted lunch ladies look on; this food fight runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13, at the BAC Appliance Center, 1880 West Oxford Avenue in Englewood. Tickets ($75 or $125) are on sale now at

click to enlarge Pants are off for a good cause at Laws Whiskey House this week. - LAURA SHUNK
Pants are off for a good cause at Laws Whiskey House this week.
Laura Shunk
Thursday, September 14
Jennifer Jasinski's upcoming new restaurant, Ultreia, still doesn't have an opening date, but eager diners can get a preview when Bistro Vendôme, 1420 Larimer Street, switches gears and trades classic French cuisine for Iberian pinxtos on Thursday, September 14, and Friday, September 15. The current menu promises small plates of acorn-fed ham aged for four years, cedar plank mushrooms with black-garlic aioli, and shrimp griddle cakes. Call the restaurant at 303-825-3232 for reservations, and check out the full menu at

You've had those nights when your pants somehow went missing by the end of the evening, Just us? Well, on Thursday, September 14, you can show off your skivvies for a good cause (for a change) at Drop Your Drawers for Whiskey Business. Laws Whiskey House, 1420 South Acoma Street, is hosting a fundraiser for Underwearness, Inc., a nonprofit that provides new underwear — something most of us take for granted — to children in need. From 5:30 to 9 p.m., guests will get a whiskey cocktail and three of Laws' excellent whiskeys; food will also be available for purchase. You're encouraged to bring packages of new underwear to donate, and to imitate Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business by partying in your underpants. Tickets, $45, are on sale at

Fall is grape-harvesting season in the Centennial State, and it seems every mountain town is celebrating the season with a wine festival in August and September. From Thursday, September 14, through Sunday, September 17, it's Breckenridge's turn to lure the bikers, hikers and drinkers up the hill with gorgeous fall weather and great wines at the Breckenridge Wine Classic. There are luncheons, seminars, tours, hikes, tastings and bike rides to be had — all of them geared toward highlighting the beverage of honor. The best part about Breckenridge's celebration? Its proximity to Denver: You'll barely have to spend ninety minutes commuting to feel like you're in a different world (though the drive back to Denver might be a different story). A full schedule is up, and tickets ($55 to $145) are on sale now at

click to enlarge Go whole hog at Hickory & Ash this week. - MARK ANTONATION
Go whole hog at Hickory & Ash this week.
Mark Antonation
Friday, September 15
Kevin Taylor's latest venture, Hickory & Ash, 8001 Arista Place in Broomfield, is starting off its beer-dinner series with a bang on Friday, September 15. The Nose-to-Tail Pork & Beer Dinner honors a valiant Berkshire pig that gave its life for your dining pleasure: Mortadella with pistachio pesto, crispy head cheese with pig ear and a quail egg, and braised pork shoulder will be paired with beers from Wonderland Brewing Company (and nope, there's no rabbit on the menu). Dinner is served at 5 p.m. and will set you back $75 for five courses of porky goodness. Call 720-390-4400 for reservations and check out the Facebook page for the full menu.

Keep reading for future food and drink events...
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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