The Secret Sauce restaurant group includes some of the most well-established joints in town: Vesta, Ace Eat Serve and Steuben's. On Monday, October 22, you can get bites and beverages from all three of them at Vesta's annual fundraiser, Plates for the Peak. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at Vesta, 1822 Blake Street, where current and former chefs and bartenders from the three restaurants (including alumni Matt Selby and Brandon Foster) will cook up a storm to benefit Urban Peak, a non-profit organization that provides housing, education and support for homeless youth. From Vesta's refined seasonal cuisine to Asian-inspired fare from Ace's chef Thach Tran to relentlessly homey food and fantastic cocktails from Steuben's, there's no way you'll leave unsatisfied. Tickets are $85 and are on sale at Eventbrite.
Just in time for the elections, anti-corruption advocacy group Represent.us is tackling the task of educating the voting public about ranked choice voting, a key reform recommended by the American Anti-Corruption Act. And while a civics lesson may not sound particularly appealing (especially given the political existential dread many of us are suffering these days), the good folks at Represent.us know what it takes to get Coloradans' attention: craft beer. On Tuesday, October 23, BarFly (inside Alamo Drafthouse at 4255 West Colfax Avenue) is hosting the Great American Beer Election from 6 to 8 p.m. For $10, you'll get five beers (from Horse and Dragon, Bootstrap, Bierstadt, TRVE and Denver Beer Co.), information about ranked choice voting and how it benefits the political process, and the chance to cast your vote for a candidate that won't ever prove to be a racist, short-fingered buffoon with a questionable grasp of the English language. Get your tickets at Alamo Drafthouse's website.
Wednesday, October 24
Halloween is coming up in a week, and coffee lovers have that much time to get their hands on a bag of Pablo's special Halloween blend, Chicory Treat. The blend of Central American and Indonesian coffees is augmented with chicory, the root beloved by Louisianans as a bitter, herbal coffee additive for over a century. The blend is available through Wednesday, October 31, at all Pablo's Coffee locations ($12 for twelve ounces), and while we're not sure what chicory has to do with Halloween other than general weirdness, devotees of the strange and unusual won't want to miss this coffee concoction.
The Florida coast and hurricanes seem pretty far away when we're enjoying fall weather in Colorado, but for some Denver residents, Hurricane Michael hit a little too close to home on October 10. Euclid Hall bartender Stephen Denton hails from Mexico Beach, Florida, and his family's home was wiped out by the high winds and flooding. The restaurant, at 1317 14th Street, is hosting a fundraiser on Wednesday, October 24, at 9:00 p.m. to help Denton's family recover. There will be a $20 cover charge, which will get you two drink tickets for beer and wine, plus live music (from American House Fire, Television Generation and Prude Boys) and a raffle for door prizes. Sponsors for the event include Crafted Concepts, Sysco, Italco, Westbound and Down, Epic Brewing Company and Empire Distributors. All proceeds will go directly to the family. Call Euclid Hall at 303-595-4255 for details.
School lunches are a hot topic (if you think otherwise, consider the frankly bizarre case of a school chef in Nebraska who was recently fired after serving kangaroo meat to students). On Thursday, October 25, the Real School Food Challenge pits six professional cooks against each other to see who can create create a meal that complies with USDA guidelines while adhering to the average school budget of $1.25. Competitors include Justin Gold (of peanut butter fame); Hosea Rosenberg (Blackbelly and Santo); Kelly Whitaker (Basta and the Wolf's Tailor); and Daniel Asher (River & Woods). While the pros take their places at the stoves at the Sterling Rice Group test kitchen, 1801 13th Street in Boulder, spectators will sip on wine and beer (definitely not approved for school lunches). Tickets are on sale at eventbrite.com for a suggested $100 (but this is a donation, so it's not set in ston; purchase benefits the Chef Ann Foundation, a national organization working with school districts to provide better and healthier food in school lunchrooms.
Unless you've got a private plane and a bottomless trust fund, it's tough to hit up the best restaurants across the country. That's why ChefsFeed Indie Week, happening Thursday, October 25, through Sunday, October 28, is such a great deal for Denver diners: Nineteen acclaimed chefs from San Francisco, New York City, Austin and throughout the country will converge on Denver to team up with five locals (Gregory Gourdet, Departure; Carrie Baird, Bar Dough; Lon Symensma, ChoLon; Matt Vawter, Mercantile Dining & Provision; and Chris Starkus, Urban Farmer) to create three epic meals. Departure, 249 Columbine Street, will host the dinners; the twelve-course meals on Thursday and Friday have a single chef preparing each course, while Sunday's dinner will have all 24 chefs in the kitchen as they prepare twelve courses in pairs. Tickets start at $165 and include wine pairings; get yours now and see the full roster of chefs on the ChefsFeed website.
Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, giving inveterate creeps and costumed celebrators two chances to party: the night of or the weekend before. Union Station's Terminal Bar, 1701 Wynkoop Street, is kicking off fright night early, on Friday, October 26, with a Spooky Speakeasy from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Throw on your most impressive disguise for the costume contest, and don't think a store-bought getup will do the job, since the winner gets a free night's stay at the Crawford Hotel. Enjoy themed cocktails and a live DJ to go with the masquerade. Get more info on the bar's Facebook page.
Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.