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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

When Samuel L. Jackson tells you to be cool, you listen. And this weekend, it's all about staying chill with an ice bar and an ice-cold brunch on the menu; if you just can't handle the drop in temperatures, warm up with a chili cookoff and a combo 5K run/beer fest to get your blood moving. Whether you run hot or cold, here are six great food and drink events over the next three days, plus four more coming up.

Friday, February 15
Downtown steakhouse Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee Street, is bringing back last winter's ice bar; this year, it will be bigger and better as it returns for two nights on Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16. Cool cocktails will be served from a bar and bar glasses carved out of ice, and an ice luge will be on site for anyone who wants to relive a freshman-year frat party. There won't be Jägermeister coming down the chute, though; the class factor will be upped (slightly) by a clarified milk punch being served from the sculpture. If you're feeling a bit cold-blooded this weekend, fear not: You can sip warm bourbon cocktails near one of two fire pits or get your blood pumping at a silent disco. There's no cover for this event; just be prepared to show up between 7 and 11 p.m. and be cooler than cool.

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Like many joints around town, Citizen Rail, 1899 16th Street, is offering a prix fixe menu for Valentine's Day — but we're more interested in the restaurant's Lonely Hearts Club, its late-night, ’90s-themed happy hour happening on Friday, February 15. From 10 p.m. to midnight, singles (lonely or not) can partake in strawberry and Champagne Jell-O shots, mezcal and Campari punch, and bites from the restaurant's regular happy-hour menu, including dry-aged hot dogs and sourdough garlic bread with burrata. There will also be giveaways of CDs with ballads from the era; this one will be be a better effort than what Chris in Biology burned for you freshman year, with "Creep" by TLC, "Careless Whisper" by George Michael and "Suedehead" by Morrissey among the many lovelorn tracks.

You can get your hands on Westbound & Down brews without heading up to Idaho Springs at Saturday's Runderbrew Craft Beer Fest.EXPAND
You can get your hands on Westbound & Down brews without heading up to Idaho Springs at Saturday's Runderbrew Craft Beer Fest.
Jonathan Shikes

Saturday, February 16
Ready to quit your soul-sucking day job and start selling your soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, vegan, paleo brownies for big bucks? Whoa there, partner. Before you level your best zingers at your incompetent co-workers and storm off into the sunset, take a deep breath and do some research about how to run a new startup. But before you even get to that point, you'd better know some basics. Enter Business Essentials for New Entrepreneurs, a series of workshops focusing on running a business out of a farmers' market. From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, you'll learn the basics of administration in the first of the series: accounting, spreadsheets, point of sales and when to hire a pro. Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, is hosting the classes, with instruction from Pfz Farms and staff from Regis University's Anderson School College of Business. Future installments will cover branding, marketing and business plans; find details and enroll for $10 on Eventbrite.

It's been 48 days since you made your New Year's resolution, and about forty since you threw up your hands, screamed into the void, "What do you want from me? I'm just one man!" and promptly abandoned any intention to evolve beyond Hot Pockets and Tinder. But on Saturday, February 16, you can trick yourself into doing something good for yourself with the reward of indulging in something bad for you at the Runderbrew Craft Beer Festival. Nearly twenty breweries including Westbound & Down, Wibby, Ska and Bierstadt will gather at 3560 Chestnut Place from 2 to 5 p.m., where you can sip unlimited brews after running (or walking) a 5K course. Tickets, $39 to $99, are on sale now on the event website.

Brunch and chill at the Monkey Barrel on Sunday.
Brunch and chill at the Monkey Barrel on Sunday.
Courtesy Monkey Barrel Facebook

Sunday, February 17
Come full circle this weekend by hitting up the Monkey Barrel, 4401 Tejon Street, for its Brunch as Cold as Ice: a Sunday morning drinking and dining tribute to Ice-T, Ice Cube, Fresh Kid Ice and other notable names from late-’80s and early-’90s hip-hop. Beats from the famous and infamous (hello, Vanilla Ice) will be dropping while you dine on themed bites and cocktails. The doors open at 10 a.m.; find out more on the bar's website.

If the weekend's events have you chilled to the bone, warm up at Comrade Brewing. The taproom, at 7667 East Iliff Avenue, is hosting the Comrade Chili Cookoff from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, where you can warm your bones with red and green chili (thank Lenin there's no category for the abominable white chili, a creation of the bourgeoisie if ever there was one). Competitors can sign up on Comrade's website; each will be serving samples "according to his ability," while each drinker will be consuming beer "according to his need." The winners will be awarded a very un-Marxist prize of gift certificates.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Adobo Food Truck's Blaine Baggao knows his way around a dumpling, as these beauties show.
Adobo Food Truck's Blaine Baggao knows his way around a dumpling, as these beauties show.
Courtesy Adobo Food Truck Facebook

Tuesday, February 19
February is a fine month for celebrating tasty morsels of joy with a hidden surprise inside — the kind of food that fills your heart with love. No, not chocolate bon bons, silly: We're talking about Asian dumplings. Station 26 Brewing Co., at 7045 East 38th Avenue, is hosting A Night of Dumplings and Beer on Tuesday, February 19. Chef Penelope Wong, most recently of Glenmoor Country Club, and chef Blaine Baggao of the Adobo Food Truck will present a four-course dumpling dinner paired with four beers from Station 26. Wong has been hard at work perfecting her dough folding and pleating, so be prepared for exquisite bites all evening; the dinner runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and tickets, available on eventbrite.com, cost $50.

Denver Restaurant Week may be the only time you'll get out of Bamboo Sushi for $35 all year.EXPAND
Denver Restaurant Week may be the only time you'll get out of Bamboo Sushi for $35 all year.
Linnea Covington

Friday, February 22, through Sunday, March 3
Denver Restaurant Week is coming, so clear your calendar from February 22 through March 3; you'll want to visit a different eatery every day. Hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for three tasty prices ($25, $35 or $45) during the fifteenth year of the wildly popular week. Participating restaurants and menus are up on the Visit Denver site; be sure you book your first choices right away, before someone else nabs your table. Find out more here.

Support SAME Café and its mission to serve healthy food to all people, regardless of their ability to pay.EXPAND
Support SAME Café and its mission to serve healthy food to all people, regardless of their ability to pay.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, March 7
SAME Cafe has been serving up healthy and hearty meals — as well as making national headlines — for more than a decade now, and the pay-what-you-can eatery is now getting wheels. On Thursday, March 7, the non-profit restaurant's SAME Food Truck will make its debut alongside bites and booze from Snooze, Cirque Kitchen and Spirits, The Inventing Room, Renegade Brewing Company, Sweet Action Ice Cream and Biju's Little Curry Shop at the second annual So All May Eat Gala. From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., guests will nip and nibble from great restaurants around Denver; food-justice activist and founder of D.C. Central Kitchen and L.A. Kitchen Robert Egger will also give a presentation. Tickets are currently on sale for $75 on Eventbrite, though in keeping with SAME's mission, pay-what-you-can and volunteer exchange tickets are also available; find out more on the cafe's website.

This could be the result of Brian Polcyn's charcuterie and whole-animal butchery course.EXPAND
This could be the result of Brian Polcyn's charcuterie and whole-animal butchery course.
Mark Antonation

Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20
Chefs and aspiring charcutiers will want to plan ahead for a Denver visit from the maestro of meat, Brian Polcyn, who will lead a butchery course next spring at Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street. Polcyn and author Michael Ruhlman will spend two days teaching students how to break down hogs using both USDA and European seam butchery techniques; how to work charcuterie into menus; and how to properly dry-cure and smoke cured meats. Recipes for pâté, fresh sausage and offal will be provided, as well as a copy of one of the duo's books (their third title, Pâté, Confit, Rillette, will be released May 19), a private cocktail hour and dinner with the pair. Tickets are $800 and are on sale now at Eventbrite.

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

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