This week, step up for a handful of charitable campaigns in between dining and drinking your way across Denver. Here are nine food and drink events from Monday, November 18, through Friday, November 22, plus more to come in December.
If you've ever wondered why the cost of lobster is what it is in the Mile High City, now's your chance to find out. On Monday, November 18, Maine Shack (located a mere 2,029 miles from Maine, at 1535 Central Street) is bringing in guest chef Hugh Reynolds, the owner of Maine's Greenhead Lobsters, starting at 4 p.m. Greenhead supplies all of the seafood house's lobsters, and Reynolds will be available to answer questions about his family-run business — including, presumably, the approximate cost of catching and processing the clawed crustaceans. Those less interested in economics and more interested in their stomachs can enjoy a supper of whole one-pound lobsters (flown in live), clams, slaw and fries for $40, or $60 for two lobsters with the fixings. Info is up on the Shack's Instagram feed.
The holidays are approaching, and people have a lot on their plates. But just for a second, focus less on what goes on the good china and more on the good stuff happening in your life — and, by extension, think of people who have less than you do and what you can do to keep someone fed, warm or just a little happier this season. Local organizations are doing the same with a variety of campaigns this month. Through December 19, all Illegal Pete's locations are accepting donations of new, unwrapped kids' toys; you'll get a free order of chips and queso for your troubles, and toys will go to children at the Ronald McDonald House of Aurora. Boulder's Salt, 1047 Pearl Street, is collecting socks for the homeless through December 31 as part of Colorado's Sock It to ’Em Campaign; all sizes — from babies to adults — are needed, and donors will get a $10 gift card good on a future visit. Finally, Arvada's K & H Home Solutions (not a restaurant, but we're willing to bend the rules for a good cause), at 5805 West 56th Avenue, is collecting donations of food and personal care items for the Community Table food bank through December 20.
Acova, 3651 Navajo Street, is also giving back to the community with its Wednesday, November 20, turkey drive. The eatery is accepting turkey donations (keep that Butterball in the twelve-pound range, please) starting at 5 p.m. for Bienvenidos Food Bank; afterward, you're invited to stick around for drinks and apps. Beers from neighborhood brewery Diebolt will be on hand, with $4 from the purchase of each brew being donated to Bienvenidos as well. Don't have a bird to bring? Representatives from the food bank will be on hand to collect financial donations, too. Find out more on Acova's Facebook page and feel good about giving someone the bird.
Thursday, November 21
As with anything French, there's a long and complex history behind the annual release of Beaujolais nouveau (that's new wine to you heathens). Suffice it to say, the third Thursday in November sees the vintage being released to much fanfare around the world, and in Denver, Le French, 4901 South Newport Street, is celebrating this year's bottles by rolling out a $49, three-course menu of Gallic classics from Thursday, November 21, through Saturday, November 30. Naturally, the 2019 wine is included in the pairings, including a few vintage labels to go with the fresh stuff. Visit the bistro's website for more info and to book your table (that's "table" to you monoglots).
Perhaps the most brilliant fundraiser ever devised is the Dine Out for....conceit. Appealing to our triple desires for convenience, restaurant food and return on investment, it's a nigh-irresistible offer. Just go to a restaurant, eat and drink more than you normally would, and get the satisfaction of knowing that a portion of what you spent is going to a good cause. In case it's not obvious, we fully support this model. On Thursday, November 21, you can Dine Out to End Childhood Hunger at more than 25 Colorado establishments, including Nocturne, the Kitchen, Urban Farmer, Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs and Linger. Between 10 and 20 percent of the restaurants' sales for the day will go to nonprofit organization Cooking Matters, which teaches food skills to families on a budget. Visit its website for a complete list of participating restaurants.
Cue the parade of Christmas-themed bars. On Thursdays, November 21, Death & Co., 1280 25th Street, is opening the doors of Suite 6A, its private mezzanine bar, to serve seasonal sippers through December 28. Every Thursday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m., cocktails like Eight Crazy Nights, Santos El Halper and You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid will be available in the Ramble Hotel's swanky setting, with a buck from each purchase going to local charities like the Gathering Place and Focus Points. As with most of these over-the-top holiday drink extravaganzas, all lists (naughty, nice and reservations) have been thrown out the window, so we recommend you arrive early to ensure your eggnog acquisition.
Friday, November 22
There are plenty of people out there touting the benefits of food as medicine; even a cursory Google search will reveal how to cure psoriasis, cancer, MS, the common cold and a lazy eye via diet. But what about the emotional and mental benefits of food? Specifically, how can making the food you eat lift your spirits and soothe your soul? Writer Gabi Moskowitz (author of deeply relatable titles The Brokeass Gourmet Cookbook and Hot Mess Kitchen) is taking to the stage on Friday, November 22, to talk about just that. Her 7 p.m. cooking and comedy show takes place Friday, November 22, at Boulder's Chautauqua Community House, 900 Baseline Road. Tickets are just $15 on Chautauqua's website.
Keep reading for future food and drink fun.
Even the most curmudgeonly among us has to begrinchingly admit that December 1 is officially the holiday season. Thanksgiving has passed, December has arrived, and it's the time of year to enjoy glittery, glitzy, glamorous parties. Fittingly, Uchi, 2500 Lawrence Street, is kicking off the month with a champagne-and-caviar dinner at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 1. Menu details for the multi-course meal have yet to be announced, but we expect nothing less than stunning plating, effervescent bubbly that will go straight to your head, and Uchi's always-memorable Japanese food elevated by salty, briny roe from Sturia, a French caviar brand based on farmed sturgeon. Tickets, $125 (includes tax and tip), are on sale now on Eventbrite.
What do you get when you cross two regional specialties (St. Louis barbecue and Colorado weed), former Denver Broncos and a pair of competitive eaters? That would be Rocky Mountain Hi, a mash-up of two of chef/restaurateur Mike Johnson's food-service concepts, Sugarfire Smoke House and Hi-Pointe Drive In. Both joints originated in St. Louis, with Hi-Pointe dubbing itself "the munchie capital of the Midwest" and Sugarfire expanding outside the region only in 2018. But on Wednesday, December 4, the two menus are colliding at the Westminster Sugarfire outpost at 14375 Orchard Parkway for a Mile High-themed menu, with items like bacon blunts (bacon-wrapped mac and cheese), the Denver Burncos (a burger stuffed with cheese and burnt ends), the Dabwood (a burger served with brisket, turkey, bacon and hemp aioli) and Hot Cheeto mac and cheese cupcakes. There will also be appearances by former Broncos including Mark Jackson (you can beg him to take the field again; he'd probably be an improvement to this year's team) and competitive eaters vying to ingest as many pounds of food as they can in twenty minutes. The fun starts at 11 a.m. with the celebrity appearances at 5 p.m. Visit Sugarfire Westy's Facebook page for more details.
Thursday, December 5
It's that time of year again. No, not the holiday season — something much better. It's truffle season, when bristly hogs and (increasingly) adorable curly-haired doggos snuffle through the forest, uprooting pungent fungi. Oak at Fourteenth, 1400 Pearl Street in Boulder, is passing the harvest on to you with its truffle menu, available only at dinner from Thursday, December 5, through Saturday, December 7. The à la carte dishes range from $12 to $42 and include options like savory two-year-old Parmigiano Reggiano ice cream with a drizzle of olive oil and shaved truffles; prime rib with white Italian truffles and rich mushroom jus; an Umami Bomb Burger made of dry-aged beef, aged cheddar and truffles; and Japanese rice with Wagyu beef jerky and truffle shavings. Make your reservation by calling 303-444-3622.
Of all the reasons to get rip-roaring drunk, the holidays are high on the list. Between awkward, mandatory office parties, gift-giving expenses and anxiety, fraught family dynamics and endless repetitions of Last Christmas (though the Wham! music video is a legit classic that should be viewed once and only once each December — sound is optional), it's no surprise that many of us want to shut down our brain cells with some tasty ethanol. For those who don't even celebrate the holiday, the endless hoopla surrounding snow and Santa is even more painful. Enter Festivus, the holiday anyone can celebrate, with traditions that appeal to our universal human nature. Add beer, and you get the Denver Beer Festivus, where the Feats of Strength are fueled by Denver breweries' favorite beers. This year, the aluminum pole is being set up on Saturday, December 14, at Major Studios, 3881 Steele Street; come ready to air your grievances from 3 to 6 p.m. Tickets, $45 or $60, are for sale on the event's website.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to [email protected].