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The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

There's not a big-screen TV in sight at Duo Restaurant.EXPAND
There's not a big-screen TV in sight at Duo Restaurant.
Scott Lentz

It's a sports-themed weekend in the Mile High City: Whether you're celebrating the return of the Winter Olympics, Colorado's (second-) favorite recreational activity or seeking out Super Bowl-adjacent activities, there are food and drink happenings designed to fuel your strength and complement your conditioning. Here are seven of the best from Friday, February 2, through Sunday, February 4.

Friday, February 2
Wayward is following up its wildly popular Miracle on Little Raven with a second themed pop-up bar paying homage to the sporting event that launched a thousand human-interest stories: the Winter Olympics. Starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 2, the Podium Cocktail Bar will be declared open at 1610 Little Raven Street as a sweaty athlete bursts through the front doors and sets a drink on fire (just kidding). But you will be able to enjoy internationally inspired drinks like the Norwegian Pickle Back (Aquavit, pickle brine, caraway simple syrup and lime) and Oh, Canada (whiskey, bacon, Punt e Mes and sarsaparilla bitters) while nibbling on a South Korean street-food menu and watching athletes compete for the glory of their homeland. You'll need to compete, too — for a space at the bar, which won't be taking reservations. So sharpen your skate blades and prepare to execute the Iron Lotus on Tuesday through Saturday nights for the duration of the Winter Games.

Let it never be said that Guy Fieri isn't a fan of Denver restaurants. From Maria Empanada to Tocabe to Dae Gee Korean BBQ, the spiky-haired one has sung the praises of locally owned eateries on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives over the past several years. The latest stop for the show is the Post Brewing Company. With four locations in Lafayette, Boulder, Longmont and Denver's Rosedale neighborhood, the Post gets love for its fried chicken, house beers and hearty Southern/Midwestern fare. Fieri hit up the Longmont location, but you can go to any of the four Posts for a viewing party on Friday, February 2, at 6:30 p.m. Check the Food Network's schedule for airing times this weekend and beyond if you'd rather watch at home (but then you'd be missing out on chicken and beer).

Saturday, February 3
Valentine's Day is coming up, and with it comes the tired reliance on flowers and chocolate. But if you're a traditionalist, at least make sure you do better than a bag of chalky Hershey's Kisses purchased at the gas station; your sweetheart — or you — deserves better. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, Olde Town Arvada (West 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth Boulevard) is hosting A Chocolate Affair, where romantics can try sweet treats at various Olde Town locations. Samples are $1 each (tickets available on site), and you can decide which ones are worth your dime. You might just find something so delectable you keep it for yourself (always our recommendation). Find out more at Olde Town Arvada's website.

If you couldn't get away to the mountains this weekend, visit Black Shirt Brewing Co. for the next best thing — an ’80s Ski Party. Don your teal snow suit and show up on the brewery's patio, 3719 Walnut Street, at 6 p.m. for gear demos, raffles and pints of Electric Ladyland, an oak-aged raspberry saison. Ski-film production outfit Level 1 will be screening its newest film, Habit, at 8 p.m., with a retro dance party to follow. Entry is free; sadly, beers are not (especially given how many of them it will take to make you forget you're wearing that ridiculous neon outfit). Find out more on Black Shirt's Facebook page.

There's a celebratory day for nearly every food substance known to man, and on February 3, it's National Carrot Cake Day. Get your slice of gooey goodness at Ocean Prime (1465 Larimer Street) and do a good deed while filling your cake hole. The restaurant will donate $1 of every slice sold between today and February 9 to No Kid Hungry. And this carrot confection is a doozy, with ten layers separated by slathers of cream-cheese frosting, all doused in pineapple syrup and whipped cream. Just don't go on Sunday, February 4, when the restaurant will be closed (so get one wedge for the road when you go on February 3 — #carrotcaking).

Sunday, February 4
It's Super Bowl Sunday, but what to do if you're a tepid football fan who's tired of watching Tom Brady win, or you just don't care about pigskin at all (unless it's on your plate)? Bruz Beers, 1675 West 67th Avenue, is hosting a Puppy Bowl Watch Party from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 4, where you can watch beagles and boxers while drinking your Belgians. The taproom welcomes your own furry friend, and pet products purveyor Pet Wants Denver will be on hand with dog treats, food and care products. Visit Bruz's Facebook page for details about this dog day afternoon.

If you hate football and puppies and Belgian beer, we're pretty sure there's no hope for you at all. But even the soulless need dinner, and Duo Restaurant, 2413 West 32nd Avenue, has something in mind just for you. Starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 4, the eatery will be offering a three-course prix fixe menu in a civilized setting: no televisions, no buffalo wings, no football stadiums constructed from cold cuts. The menu includes offering such as truffle gougères, French onion gnocchi, pork chops with blue-cheese mornay, and Earl Gray pot de crème for just $52 per couple. Duo's Facebook page includes the entire menu, as well as reservation info.

Planning ahead? Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Lion dancers at last year's Chinese New Year celebration.
Lion dancers at last year's Chinese New Year celebration.
Courtesy of Nathan Yip Foundation

Friday, February 9
Lunar New Year isn't until February 16, but why wait to celebrate the Year of the Dog (obviously the best year)? The Nathan Yip Foundation, which funds educational projects for children in rural Colorado and China, is putting on the dog at the biggest Chinese New Year bash in town on Friday, February 9. From 6 to 11 p.m., three floors of the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, will be transformed into a Chinese night market; from the traditional (lion dancers, calligraphers, fortunetellers) to the modern (silent disco, karaoke), revelers will be treated to pawsome entertainment while wining and dining at mastiff food stations and enjoying the open bar(k).  Tickets are $100 for those under 35 (called "young professionals" tickets) and $225 for everyone else; fetch yours at nathanyipfoundation.org and get ready to party your tail off.

Sliders at CineCHEF 2015.EXPAND
Sliders at CineCHEF 2015.
Westword file photo

Friday, February 23
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.

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Blue Moon Brewing Co. in RiNo gets cultured with Beethoven and Brews.EXPAND
Blue Moon Brewing Co. in RiNo gets cultured with Beethoven and Brews.
Danielle Lirette

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.

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. 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.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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