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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

A wealth of wineglasses bodes well at Coohills.
A wealth of wineglasses bodes well at Coohills. Jacqueline Collins
Start your week with wine and end it in Wonderland; here are six great food and drink events for the days ahead. And if you're wondering how to keep yourself occupied through the month of March after Denver Restaurant Week ends, keep reading for future dates to put on your culinary calendar.

click to enlarge A wealth of wineglasses bodes well at Coohills. - JACQUELINE COLLINS
A wealth of wineglasses bodes well at Coohills.
Jacqueline Collins
Monday, February 25
When was the last time you went to a good old-fashioned wine dinner? It's all sake pairings and artisanal moonshine cocktails these days, but there's a reason the classics persist: They're timeless. Get back to basics on Monday, February 25, at Coohills (1400 Wewatta Street) for its Castiglion del Bosco wine dinner. Reps from the sangiovese-focused winery will be on hand to pour five varietals to accompany chef Tom Coohill's five-course menu, which is slated to include stuffed guinea hen with porcini sauce and truffle mousse; strip steak and crispy shallots in red wine sauce; and roasted tilefish served with saffron-fennel broth. The full menu is up on the restaurant's website; reservations for the $90 dinner are required and can be made by calling 303-623-5700 or emailing [email protected]

Tuesday, February 26
After a night of drinking classic Italian wine, you're probably jonesing for some of those fancy cocktails that are all the rage. Williams & Graham (3160 Tejon Street) and Occidental (around the corner at 1950 West 32nd Avenue) are hoping to lure you in with concoctions from across the country as Austin's Roosevelt Room and Boston's Drink take over the taps on Tuesday, February 26. Jockey for a place at Williams & Graham's bar, where Texas tea will be served starting at 7 p.m., then pay a visit to the far more accessible Occidental to see whether the boys from Boston can mix up a better boozy drink. Visit the bars' Facebook pages for more details.

click to enlarge Start creating brackets that matter at Factotum's Brewer's Madness. - COURTESY FACTOTUM BREWHOUSE FACEBOOK
Start creating brackets that matter at Factotum's Brewer's Madness.
Courtesy Factotum Brewhouse Facebook
Wednesday, February 27
We're still a few weeks away from March Madness, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't start brushing up on your brackets. Starting Wednesday, February 27, you'll have way more fun creating your beer bracket at Factotum Brewhouse, 3845 Lipan Street, at the fourth annual Brewer's Madness than you will trying to put together picks for NCAA teams you started following, oh, yesterday. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., show up at the taproom and cast your vote for the tastiest brew and its accompanying nonprofit organization; the competition will run through April 20, when the championship round decides who will be awarded the $500 grand prize donation. Visit Eventbrite for details about the event, including a complete schedule and list of nonprofits; no tickets are required.

click to enlarge Think you can take beer photos this good? It's not just point-and-shoot. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Think you can take beer photos this good? It's not just point-and-shoot.
Danielle Lirette
Thursday, February 28
Aspiring influencers, take notice: You'll never get invited to events if your beer photos all end up looking like amber ale and you can't deal with the glare from the pint glass. Denver Beertography Meetup has your back; on Thursday, February 28, the group will meet at Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer Street, for a discussion about backlighting and brews. All cameras and skill levels are welcome at the free meetup from 6 to 9 p.m. Show up and you'll be that much closer to being invited to events where your plus one (er....unpaid labor) can follow you around with a light reflector before you monopolize the bar for forty minutes trying to get the perfect shot. More info is up on the Beer Breath Co. Facebook page.

Friday, March 1
Everyone knows March comes in like a lion, but the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, are more interested in the March Hare this month. On Friday, March 1, From 6 to 9 p.m., the DBG will host an Alice in Wonderland-themed evening. Like the famous Wonderland tea party, this one will serve mock turtle soup and sugar cookies while you sip tea (you can even make your own herbal blend). At the same time, learn about fungi and folklore from scientists and enjoy entertainment from an electric string quartet and circus performers in the tropical conservatory. Tickets, $21, and details are available now on the Botanic Gardens website.

So, you say you really like burritos? You'll have to turn that like into love, or even obsession, if you hope to have a shot at downing the five-pound, tortilla-wrapped monster at the Pioneer Bar, 2401 South University Boulevard. On Friday, March 1, the venerable University of Denver watering hole is launching its Burrito You Can't Complete-O challenge, with four contestants vying to be the first to get through the gut-busting ordeal. Come down and watch the fun so you can gauge whether you're up to besting the burrito yourself; after March 1, you can take the challenge any time during the Pioneer's regular business hours. If you can devour the delicious devil in 35 minutes, you won't have to pay, plus you'll earn a commemorative T-shirt and your photo on the wall of fame. If you fail, you'll only be out $35. Either way, there's a free Dos Equis thrown in (as long as you're at least 21). The inaugural eat-off is free for spectators; call the bar at 720-536-4802 for details.

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