Lists

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Winter warmer CinnaGrinch will be released at LandLocked Ales on Saturday night.
Winter warmer CinnaGrinch will be released at LandLocked Ales on Saturday night. Courtesy LandLocked Ales Facebook
How do you celebrate the month of December? Champagne or sugar-saturated kids? Beer or bourbon? Luckily, you don't have to choose, as there's something for everyone on the culinary calendar this weekend. Plus, keep reading for events through the rest of the month and into the new year.

click to enlarge Frisco's Main Street houses plenty of businesses ready to serve you wassail. - COURTESY TOWN OF FRISCO
Frisco's Main Street houses plenty of businesses ready to serve you wassail.
Courtesy Town of Frisco
Friday, November 30
As Christmas draws ever closer and temperatures (theoretically) continue to drop, keep cozy by visiting Frisco for its long-running Wassail Days. The ten-day fest kicks off on Friday, November 30, at 5:30 p.m., with carolers, cider and mulled wine at the town's tree-lighting ceremony; afterward, visitors can sample different wassail recipes from more than sixty local businesses through December 9 and judge the Soup Cup Classic on December 2. Free tubing sessions, sleigh rides and Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are also on the calendar for the week. Visit townoffrisco.com for the complete schedule before bundling up and heading up to the hills for a bit of holiday cheer.

click to enlarge Imagine cleaning sugar cookie crumbs and icing off this lovely dining room. Thanks to Olive & Finch, you don't have to. - MARK ANTONATION
Imagine cleaning sugar cookie crumbs and icing off this lovely dining room. Thanks to Olive & Finch, you don't have to.
Mark Antonation
Saturday, December 1
Even the most cynical of celebrants — the ones who refuse to allow any Christmas music to be played in the house before Thanksgiving, even if the snow is falling fast and thick — can't argue that the first day of December is the perfect time to kick off the holiday season. The folks at Jax Fish House must be sticklers, too, since Saturday, December 1, is the date of their Champagne and Pearls party. From 2 to 4 p.m., all locations will be getting extra festive with sparkling wine, oysters and caviar decorating the tables and ensuring all revelers (even the Grinches) are in the holiday spirit. Tickets, $55, are on sale now at Eventbrite.

Want to make treasured holiday memories of decorating sugar cookies with your kids — without the not-so-pleasant memories of having to scrub flour, food coloring and powdered sugar out of every nook and cranny afterward? Olive & Finch Eatery & Bakery, 3390 East First Avenue, is the white knight you've been waiting for, as it will be hosting a holiday cookie decorating party from 4 to 5:30 p.m. every Saturday in December. Starting December 1, kids will get a dozen sugar cookies and decorating supplies, plus hot chocolate and healthy finger foods to snack on (yeah, right). Parents can get in on the decorating as well — or they can focus on the wine, cocktails and appetizers that will be on hand for the over-21 set. And while the cost of the event may seem high ($85 for one adult and child, plus $10 for each additional person), consider that you'll come out of it with ninety minutes of warm and fuzzy memories with your kid — without having to clean a damn thing. Priceless. Reserve your spot by calling 720-257-4763 or emailing info@oliveandfincheatery.com.


On any given Saturday night in Denver, chances are more than 70 percent that you'll end up in a local brewery at some point; on Saturday, December 1, make it LandLocked Ales, 3225 South Wadsworth Boulevard in Lakewood, for the Gala in the Pines. Unlike the stuffy, fancy-pants event you may be envisioning, this gala is a laid-back affair benefiting Gateway Domestic Violence Services, an organization providing a crisis hotline, counseling and shelter to victims of domestic violence, their children and even their pets. Starting at 6 p.m., 20 percent of the brewery's sales for the evening will be donated to Gateway; there will also be burgers and tacos from Farmer in the Hive food truck, the release of the brewery's CinnaGrinch ale, and fully decorated Christmas trees for auction (with all of the auction proceeds going to the shelter), so that you can do some good while not having to deal with burnt-out, tangled Christmas lights. Find out more at landlockedales.com and prepare to knock back a few more pints than usual — for a good cause, of course.
 
click to enlarge Just because it's breakfast doesn't mean you shouldn't have bourbon (add the Broncos and it's a no-brainer). - COURTESY WEST END TAVERN
Just because it's breakfast doesn't mean you shouldn't have bourbon (add the Broncos and it's a no-brainer).
Courtesy West End Tavern
Sunday, December 2
The Broncos have done just well enough in the past two weeks to instill some (almost certainly false) hope into the hearts and souls of fans across the Front Range. On Sunday, December 2, the team is going into its 11 a.m. game against the Bengals as the favorite, though we know Keenum and company can screw that up if they try hard enough. If you're dead set on watching the game, though, don't let it get in the way of your brunch plans. West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street in Boulder, is serving a special bourbon-y, bacon-y meal coinciding with kickoff; its first course is Irish coffee, because you're going to need caffeine and booze to steady your nerves. Next up are a bacon flight (served with bourbon maple syrup) and pancakes topped with bourbon banana caramel, pecans and whipped cream, all for $25. Whether you end up celebrating or commiserating with your team, at least you'll be full. Find out more on the bar's Facebook page, then call 303-444-3535 to make your reservation (required).

Keep reading for future food and drink events.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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