The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Hedge Row is one of the 21 restaurants participating in Cherry Creek North Food and Wine this year.
Hedge Row is one of the 21 restaurants participating in Cherry Creek North Food and Wine this year. Danielle Lirette
Most of your eating and drinking plans this week probably revolve around the Fourth of July (see our list of Independence Day festivities around Denver if you haven't given much thought to Wednesday yet). But if you're looking for something that's a bit different, a bit less crowded or a bit less nationalistic, consider one of these five food and drink happenings over the next five days, plus more fun times in July and August after the jump.

click to enlarge Go back in time (to at least the 1980s) at Four Mile Historic Park's Independence Celebration. - COURTESY FOUR MILE HISTORIC PARK FACEBOOK
Go back in time (to at least the 1980s) at Four Mile Historic Park's Independence Celebration.
Courtesy Four Mile Historic Park Facebook
Monday, July 2
Monday, July 2, might seem an unlikely choice to celebrate the Fourth of July, but this year it might be the best bet if you want to beat the crowds. You'll have to show up at work the next morning regardless of when you party, but at least Four Mile Historic Park's early Independence Celebration will be more mellow. From 5 to 10 p.m., nine food trucks (including Em's Ice Cream, Rolling Smoke Grill, Mac 'N Noodles, Devil Dog Grill and more) will be serving food alongside a beer garden, an ’80s cover band and views of Glendale's fireworks display. Admission to the park, 715 South Forest Street, is free, though donations are encouraged. Find out more on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 3
Departure, the sleek Cherry Creek restaurant at 249 Columbine Street, is doubling down on its modern Asian cuisine with half-priced bottles of sake all summer. As part of Departure's Summer of Sake series, bottles of the Japanese spirit are fifty per cent off from 4 p.m. to close every Tuesday through the end of the season. With 25 different bottles on the menu, there's something for everyone, whether you're a fan of honjozo, junmai or ginjo.

click to enlarge Huitlacoche is often served in quesadillas and tacos in Mexico. - FLICKR/KAREN
Huitlacoche is often served in quesadillas and tacos in Mexico.
Wednesday, July 4
Englewood's ode to strong drinks and flaky quick bread, The Whiskey Biscuit, at 3299 South Broadway, is broadening the culinary horizons of suburbanites with its "I Can't Believe I Ate It" series. Previous installments have served up frog legs; this month's edition, which kicks off on Wednesday, July 4, boasts the significantly more challenging (to pronounce, if not to ingest) huitlacoche (also known as corn smut or Mexican truffle). The fungus infects corn kernels and causes them to erupt into blue-gray, mushroom-like growths on the ear; they're as tasty as they are ugly. The Biscuit's version with be served with chicharrones until supplies are gone. Find out more on the bar's Facebook page.

click to enlarge Turning Pop Rocks into real food is magic. - FLICKR/BRIAN SB
Turning Pop Rocks into real food is magic.
Flickr/Brian SB
Thursday, July 5
If your kid's been begging for Fizzing Whizbees, Exploding Bonbons and Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans since they were old enough to know what candy was, take a page out of Honeydukes' book and send them off to the Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, for a lesson on Pop Rock cuisine. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 5, the fine folks at the library will guide kids in creating treats with the fizzy candy. The free event is open to students in grades six through twelve; find out more on the library's website.

Friday, July 6
Maine Shack, the latest venture from the culinary team behind Bar Dough, isn't scheduled to open until late this summer (and in this restaurant environment, we wouldn't be surprised that stretches to late fall), but you'll be able to get a preview of its food on Friday, July 6 (4 to 11 p.m.) and Saturday, July 7 (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) when the seafood shack temporarily takes over Bar Dough's kitchen at 2227 West 32nd Avenue. On the menu: four, count 'em, four types of lobster rolls; whole fried clams; fried scallops; and the improbable New England-style roast beef sandwich — which, horrifyingly (at least to Southwestern tastes), is topped with barbecue sauce. Reservations aren't required (unless you're talking about that roast beef, in which case they are mandatory); the restaurant will be set up for counter service, so just show up with an appetite.

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