Burgers, Big Trouble, bubbly pink wine, bougie dinners and beer are all on the menu this week (when is beer not on the menu in this town?). Here are six of the best food and drink events from Monday, May 20, through Friday, May 24, with future fun and games to mark on the culinary calendar:
Monday, May 20
If you think the Colorado beer scene was born when Boulder Beer started pouring in 1979, you need to get to History Colorado's Beer Here! Brewing the New West exhibit faster than you can say, "I'll have the double peach milkshake IPA, please." The History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, launched its exploration of Colorado's brewing history over the weekend; the show addresses how and where mining towns (and therefore saloons) sprung up during the Gold Rush, why Colorado went dry four years before Prohibition was enacted nationally, and how Coors has influenced the state's economy and culture. Artifacts including a Prohibition-era bottle breaker (travesty!), historical brewing equipment and the country's first aluminum beer cans are also on display. Samplers of historic beer styles are available for purchase, but if that's not enough to quench your thirst, pick up tickets to the Historic Styles Brewfest on July 20, when 25 local breweries will re-create historic recipes and retired craft-beer favorites. Tickets, $35 or $55, go on sale Monday, May 20, on History Colorado's website, where you can also find more information about the exhibit, which will run through August 9.
Tuesday, May 21
Does the idea of digging into a Feed the Children dinner at a high-end restaurant fill you with warm fuzzies? Safta's multi-course feast on Tuesday, May 21, will raise money for the nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger, but there won't be any rugrats in attendance at the meal itself, so you're safe from unexpected ear-piercing squeals, kiddos camping out on the floor with coloring books and iPads, or small humans racing at top speed between tables. Dishes include salmon coulibiac, (puffed pastry stuffed with a savory assortment of king salmon, risotto, spinach and quail eggs); roasted duck served with spring cassoulet and morels; and trifle made with halvah (a dense, sweet dessert common in the Middle East). The fun starts at 6 p.m. at Safta, 3300 Brighton Boulevard; tickets, $125, are on sale now on Feed the Children's website, where you can find the complete lineup of chefs who will be in the kitchen that night.
Wednesday, May 22
It's a given among gastronomes that stuffing one food inside another increases the deliciousness of both by a factor of four — hence the enduring popularity of jelly doughnuts, calzones, chile rellenos and maki. On Wednesday, May 22, Firenze a Tavola, 4401 Tennyson Street, is gilding the lily with an entire meal made up of ravioli and stuffed foods: four courses of gnocco fritto, fiochetti, stuffed zucchini and dessert ravioli are available for just $37 at the subterranean eatery's 6:30 p.m. Community Table. Take a look at the entire menu on Firenze's website, then text or call 940-367-2977 to reserve your seat at a dinner that will surely leave you...well, stuffed.
Thursday, May 23
Fans of American Grind, the burger joint inside Avanti Food & Beverage, will want to make sure they hit the food court at 3200 North Pecos Street on Thursday, May 23, to send their baby off to bigger and better things. American Grind is closing up shop at Avanti before heading to its own space in Washington Park, and from 6 to 9 p.m., it's hosting a graduation party (or, depending on your point of view, a farewell party, as a recent trip past its new digs — still under construction! — did not appear hopeful for the anticipated June opening). Either way, get your fill while you can: The first 25 guests to the party will get a free burger, but if you show up late, you'll still be able to score a sandwich and beer for $10, plus Telluride Redfish Ale will be on special all day for $3. Find details on the restaurant's Facebook page, and start praying the construction gods smile on the project so you don't have to wait months for your next fix.
Focus Points Family Resource Center and Comal Heritage Food Incubator's are by now familiar to lovers of great food with a mission. But the organization is outdoing itself on Thursday, May 23, with a fundraiser called ¡Lotería! From 6 to 9 p.m., Big Trouble, the upstairs bar at Zeppelin Station, 3501 Wazee Street, will host a rousing round of the beloved Mexican game of chance while serving beer and wine to players. Comal will provide delicious traditional and alta cocina dishes as well. Comal's Facebook page has the event details, as well as a link to the ticketing website, where you can get your tickets for $60 or $100 (VIP tickets include free parking and a welcome cocktail; welcome to New Denver).
Friday, May 24
So ubiquitous is the appearance of pink drinks on patios around town come springtime, we're surprised the consumption of rosé hasn't been codified into cultural law. (Much like not wearing white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, you may think no other beverage except pink wine would be allowable during the summer months.) But while rosé is pervasive, it's also often delicious, so what the hell — we're all in. The Kitchen (1560 Wazee Street in Denver and 1039 Pearl Street in Boulder) is, too, with a curated All Day Rosé menu that kicks off on Friday, May 24, and is available until (you guessed it) Labor Day. Enjoy still or sparkling glasses from around the globe for $11 to $13, plus a spritz ($12) that includes Galliano, pineapple, lemon and mint. And if you want to keep drinking the pink stuff after Labor Day? We won't tell a soul.
Keep reading for more food and drink events.
Saturday, May 25
Frontline Farming, a food and farmers advocacy group that farms five acres in metro Denver and hosts a crop of programs, including rpay-what-you-can food stands, will host the People's Gathering, a free conference focused on food justice and cooperative building, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at New Hope's Baptist New Hope Community Life Center, 3701 Colorado Boulevard. Brandon King, a founding member of Cooperation Jackson, will offer the keynote, talking about how food cooperatives are essential for the security of communities in shifting local and national landscapes. Children's activities will be offered while adults partake of a crop of programs; find out more at tpg.splashthat.com.
Thursday, June 27
Nobody loves tacos more than us — but can you eat $135 worth of them? If you can't, it's not for lack of opportunity at this year's Top Taco. The annual competition takes place on Thursday, June 27, at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, when more than fifty restaurants around town will go head-to-head to see who can serve the best iteration of the classic Mexican street food. There will be tacos for all tastes: street-style (Cilantro & Perejil, Adelitas, Las Delicias), crowd-pleasers (Uno Mas, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Los Chingones) and WTF (Tupelo Honey, Syrup). Not only will tacos fill your tummy, but tequila and margs are also on tap. Still don't think you can stuff over a hundred bucks worth of food in your estómago? Not to worry: GA tickets start at $75 on the event website.
Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21
Slow Food Nations appeals to everyone (except, perhaps, unrepentant fast-food aficionados). The international food fest kicks off its third year in town on Friday, July 19, and will run nearly forty chef demos, lectures, workshops, parties and dinners — plus the enormous Taste Marketplace, with over 100 vendors hawking their wares and handing out samples — through Sunday, July 21. About half the events taking place around town (but mainly around Larimer Square at Larimer and 14th streets) are free, but the rest require tickets, which start at $20. Visit Slow Food Nations' website to see the whole weekend's schedule and make sure you nab tickets for your can't-miss events.
Saturday, August 17
Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks. Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at westwordtacolandia.com.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to email@example.com.
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