Looking to shed some pounds this summer? Try the see-food diet (thanks, Dad) — which should be especially easy this week, as a quartet of seafood-centric events are popping up around town. But even if you aren't a fan of catching your dinner from the watery depths, there should be plenty for you to do, with bourbon and bacon also making appearances. Here are the six best events on the culinary calendar this week, plus more tasty happenings to look forward to in the coming weeks, including Westword's next big food date, Feast.
Monday, August 19
Mondays are lousy, but yours could be worse. One: You're not one of the whole Maine lobsters being boiled for Stoic & Genuine's patio seafood boil. Two: You can indulge in that lobster — plus mussels, clams, prawns, potatoes and Olathe sweet corn — on Monday, August 19, through Wednesday, August 21. The table on the seafood shack's patio at 1701 Wynkoop Street will be covered in newspaper and oilcloth so the feast can be spread out before you, and then you can get your hands dirty as your peel, crack, shuck and slurp your way to shellfish bliss. Call the restaurant at 303-640-3474 to reserve your spot (there are just 25 available each night) for $95.
Tuesday, August 20
On Tuesday, August 20, Tammen's Fish Market, 2669 Larimer Street, is lowering the price of its deliciously fresh oysters to raise some money for Project Angel Heart, a nonprofit providing medically tailored meals to people living with chronic illnesses. Show up between 6 and 7:30 p.m. for shucking lessons, an East Coast versus West Coast tasting, an Oysters 101 class and, tastiest of all, $1 oysters. There's no admission fee to the event, and 20 percent of all food sales will be donated; find details and RSVP on Tammen's Facebook page. Both you and Project Angel Heart's clients will benefit.
Looking for a different kind of seafood experience? Uchi's collaboration with Tavernetta for its third garden dinner this summer promises a wild ride from Japan to Italy and back again without ever leaving the restaurant at 2500 Larimer Street. On Tuesday, August 20, Tavernetta chef Ian Wortham will team up with Uchi's kitchen for a ten-course, family-style meal, with each concept sending out its own creations. Some dishes fall firmly within Uchi's comfort zone (such as plates of nigiri), while Wortham and Co. will tackle a mushroom and peach salad and smoked mussels with tomato risotto. There will also be some swapping as the Japanese restaurant tries its hand at zucchini dumplings with pecorino and chile oil, and Tavernetta takes on seafood (fluke, in this case). Tickets are a splurge at $175, but you'll get five courses each from two of the top restaurants in town (Tavernetta was named our best new restaurant of 2018, and Uchi was in the top ten) — essentially two expertly crafted meals in one. Seatings are available at 6 and 8:30 p.m.; secure a reservation on Eventbrite.
Wednesday, August 21
It's been two years since Mister Tuna, 3033 Brighton Boulevard, threw its first yacht-rock party — and while we've gotten older since then, we're still none the wiser when it comes to figuring out what yacht rock actually means. Does it have anything to do with Christopher Cross? The Lonely Island? Whatever. It's summer: We're hot and thirsty and would much rather spend our energy on eating and drinking — both of which you can expect to do at the Wednesday, August 21 bash. For $55, you'll get in the door starting at 5:30 p.m., where you can enjoy a welcome cocktail, nautically themed bites (miniature lobster rolls, crab cakes, grilled oysters, caviar deviled eggs) and a full-on crab boil, plus live music. You'll pay for the rest of your drinks separately (much like being on an actual boat, you're over a barrel where booze is involved), though rosé will be on special for $5 per glass all night. Late night bites (after 8:30 p.m.) will also cost you. Get details and tickets on the restaurant's website, then lace up your boat shoes and get ready to slip and slide all over the poop deck.
Thursday, August 22
"Porch pounder" isn't usually a phrase we associate with fine dining, but Beast + Bottle, 719 East 17th Avenue, has always been the kind of restaurant that does a fine job of making you feel like it's your second home. So on Thursday, August 22, the cozy space is serving a three-course porch pounder dinner on its patio for just $55, including wine pairings. Think fried eggplant, octopus carpaccio with potatoes and tarragon, and rigatoni with pancetta and seasonal corn and tomatoes. Because let's face it: When you uncork a bottle of wine on a hot summer evening, you don't want a rare vintage or varietal that demands you take tasting notes. You may not even want to uncork a bottle! (We're great fans of opening a box.) You want a delicious, quaffable, pleasantly cool drink paired with great food — which is exactly what you'll get at your home away from home. Call the restaurant at 303-623-3223 to let them know you'll be inviting yourself over.
Friday, August 23
Denver temperatures are forecast to start off freaking hot this Friday and escalate to absolutely unbearable by Sunday. We have a solution, though: Head for the hills. Specifically, head to Breckenridge, where it will be practically balmy in the mid-70s, and the Breckenridge Hogfest is going on all weekend. The bacon and bourbon bash kicks off on Friday, August 23, with a bourbon dinner followed by the grand tasting Saturday, and winding down with Sunday brunch. Expect tipples from local distillers Laws Whiskey House, 52eighty, Axe and the Oak, Mythology and Breckenridge Distillery, alongside national brands like Buffalo Trace, Bird Dog Whiskey and Maker's Mark.Tickets for the weekend's events range from $50 to $125 and are still available on Hogfest's website.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Sunday, August 25
More than 200 restaurants opened in Denver last year — and it seems all of them started serving brunch within a few months of opening their doors. For brunchophiles trying to work their way through all the restaurants in town serving the meal, that's a tall order. But on Sunday, August 25, you can make a significant dent in your to-brunch list at BrunchFest 2019. The McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, is the site of the boozy shenanigans, with more than twenty restaurants serving brunch dishes, plus unlimited Bloodys and mimosas, from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets run $59 to $109, and you can pick them up, as well as see participating restaurants, on the event website.
Tuesday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 28
Den Corner knows how to throw a party, and its annual rooftop party and fundraiser only gets better with age. What started out in 2016 with a handful of chefs flown in from Japan has morphed into even more festivities, with twenty Japanese chefs hopping the pond to raise funds for Colorado's We Don't Waste and southern Japan's Kumamoto Castle Earthquake Relief Fund. This year, local chefs Carrie Baird, Ian Wortham, Caroline Glover, Dana Rodriguez, Elise Wiggins, Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly, Alon Shaya and more will join the shindig on August 27 and 28; beer, wine, cocktails and sake will be flowing, while ramen, hand rolls and Japanese street food will be plentiful. Tickets for the party, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. both nights on the roof of the Den Corner parking garage at East Florida Avenue and Pearl Street, are $90 (includes three drink tickets), $110 (includes five drink tickets), or $135 (VIP early admission at 5 p.m., plus five drink tickets), and can be purchased on Sushi Den's website, along with a complete list of participating chefs and menu details. As with everything manned by Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the party generally sells out, so don't delay in guaranteeing your entry.
Wednesday, August 28
Brace yourself: Come Wednesday, August 28, you're going to need all your fortitude — intestinal and liver — to make it through the evening. That's because Chef & Brew, the sprawling summer bazaar of bites and booze, is returning to town. Starting at 7 p.m., the Exdo Event Center, 1399 15th Street, will host a wonderland of sweet and savory bites and local craft beers. Forty dishes (two from each eatery) will be paired with forty different brews, so it's statistically impossible for you to leave without finding something to tickle your tastebuds. And more than honor is on the line here: Cash prizes will be handed out, so chefs and brewers will be on their A game. Tickets are $49 or $69 on the event website, where you can also find a complete list of participants.
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Wednesday, September 4, through Sunday, September 8
September brings cooler temps (we hope!), as well as the return of the annual Denver Food and Wine Festival. From Wednesday, September 4, through Sunday, September 8, restaurants around town will be turning out immaculately plated food, and the wine will be flowing freely. There are annual events (the Riedel wine glass seminar, good for those who want to appear über-sophisticated while sipping — or just those who've broken the majority of their glassware, since you'll be going home with a set of four glasses); bougie events (Dinner Under the Stars, this year taking place at our favorite Italian restaurant in a brewery, Liberati); crowd-pleasers (a patio party at Cattivella and the Bartender's Bash cocktail competition); the marquee event (the Grand Tasting, with over 700 wines and spirits, chef demos and food from forty top Denver restaurants); and a Sunday brunch (again at Liberati) that's sure to pave your way smoothly from hangover to Sunday Funday. Tickets run from $45 to $150 and are available on the festival's website.
Thursday, October 24
Feast, Westword's annual celebration of the Denver restaurant scene, will make its delicious return to the McNichols Building in Civic Center on a new day and time: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday evening. As always, though, Feast will be a true feast for the senses, with music, beverage samplings and dishes from more than forty favorite restaurants. Among those already signed on to sample their food are Uchi, Jackdaw, Milk & Cake, The Veggie Whisperer, Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Q and more. VIP ticket-holders will again be treated to a special menu, this year courtesy of the word-renowned Matsuhisa. Bites from Matsuhisa will include spicy tuna crispy rice, chicken gyoza, black cod miso in limestone lettuce, and more, as well as special VIP cocktails to complement the menu. VIP tickets also include early entry into the event at 6 p.m. and a VIP gift bag. Tickets are now on sale for $30 general admission, $55 VIP at westwordfeast.com.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.